Dogs can help you sleep better, but there’s a catch.
Scientists recently examined an age-old question: Is it OK to let your dogs sleep in your room?
They looked specifically at the question of “whether a dog in the bedroom or bed disturbs sleep.” The researchers studied 40 dog owners who did not have a sleep disorder.
The results indicate that “sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better ─ no matter if they’re snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane,” Mayo Clinic News Network reports.
But there’s a catch …
A recent study at the Mayo Clinic is sure to set many tails wagging around your house! The study, “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment,” evaluated the sleep of 40 healthy adults without sleep disorders and their dogs over five months. Participant and their dogs wore activity trackers to track their sleeping habits for seven nights.
According to the study, sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better ─ no matter if they’re snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane. There is one caveat, however. Don’t let your canines crawl under the covers with you. The sleep benefit extends only to having dogs in your bedroom ─ not in your bed.
According to the study, adults who snuggled up to their pups in bed sacrificed quality sleep.
“The relationship 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,” said Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus and an author of the study. “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. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus and an author of the study. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
So, go ahead. Turn your sheepdog into a sleep dog. Just make sure they are relegated to their own comfy dog bed, rather than your bed.