Dog in bed illustration

Should You be Sleeping With Your Dog?

Posted By Erin on Nov 4, 2017

We often think of pets as antithetical to sleep. They bark, they whine to be let out, they chew holes in your most comfortable mattress. Well, a new study shows that people with dogs are actually likely to sleep better and deeper than those who do not.

You and Your dog on Your Most Comfortable Mattress

The study observed over forty healthy adults with no prior sleep disorders. It tracked them as they occupied the same bedroom as their dogs. Dogs, not puppies. All the adults wore an accelerometer that tracked each person’s sleep activity while on their most comfortable mattress. They compiled this data, and the results were surprising. The findings showed that those who let their dogs sleep in their bedroom had a much easier time falling asleep than those who did not. “Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus said. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

Learning From The Past

Dogs sleeping with their masters goes back at least as far as the middle ages. Medieval kings even slept with their hunting dogs! Not only was it a good way to forge a bond with man’s best friend (the closest way to someone’s heart is through the most comfortable mattress), but it also kept warmth concentrated by combining the body heat of dog and owner. “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,” Krahn said in a recent interview. “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.” There is one way where the study differs a little from history. They do not recommend sleeping in the same bed as your dog. While the study showed that it might be good to have your dog in the bedroom for the peace of mind that it brings, it’s definitely NOT a good thing to bring them up on your most comfortable mattress with you. Dogs carry pet dander, dust, and other small bacteria that can be a problem. This is worse for the elderly, small children, and people with compromised immune systems, so they may want to avoid having a pooch directly on their most comfortable mattress with them. That being said, the benefits of quality time in the bedroom with our hairy best friends are undeniable.

Finding Comfort With Your Pet

“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,” says Krahn.  “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.” That’s great news for all of us pet lovers, so roll over Beethoven, we’ve got some snoozing to do. For more great articles on sleep, health, and wellness check out the other articles on the Nectar blog.

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