A new study found that sleeping with your dog at night time could improve the quality of your sleep. The study was conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and was published in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
In a paper titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment,” the researchers assess the pros and cons of sleeping with man’s best friend.
The researchers found sleeping with your dog could be beneficial, but not under the covers.
People can improve their sleep quality by sleeping with dogs in same room
The study claims snuggling with your dog in bed could reduce people’s sleep quality, due to space issues.
“We found that many people find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets,” said study author Dr. Lois Krahn from the Mayo Clinic, according to Daily Mail. “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that.”
The researchers tracked down the behavior of 40 adults without sleep disorders and their dogs over the course of five months. The participants and their dogs wore activity trackers (accelerometers) to monitor their sleeping habits for seven nights.
The results showed that sleeping in the same room as dogs helps people have a better night’s rest, regardless of the dogs’ breed. However, they noted that only applies if the dog is present in the same room, but not under the covers.
Sleeping in same room as your pet does not negatively impact your sleep
A 2015 study by researchers at Mayo Clinic surveyed 150 patients seen at the clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine. That study found over half of the owners allowed their pets to sleep in the same bedroom, but a percentage of that group described their dogs as disruptive to their sleep quality.
However, the new study found it is perfectly okay to sleep with dogs, as long as they don’t sleep in your bed. The researchers say it does make a difference where they sleep, as people who slept with their pet in the bed suffered from lower sleep quality compared to those who slept nearby.
“The relation between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people, in fact, do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” noted Dr. Krahn, who is also a sleep medicine specialist. “And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”
The study had some limitations, as usual. None of the dogs analyzed in the study were younger than six months old – and having a puppy sleeping with you might be more disruptive than suggested in the paper.
Source: Daily Mail