New research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that people could rest easier at night if they slept with their dogs. There is, however, one important caveat — you’ll need to make sure your dog sleeps in a separate bed.
According to the New York Daily News, researchers from the Mayo Clinic studied a total of 40 healthy adults with pet dogs and no sleeping disorders over a period of five months. These adults and their dogs were both given activity trackers in order for the researchers to keep track of their sleeping habits throughout the week.
As succinctly noted by the researchers, people who had a single dog in their bedroom were able to enjoy good sleep efficiency. But it wasn’t enough for the dogs to be sleeping in the same room as their human masters – it made a difference whether the subjects were sleeping with their dogs on the same bed or not.
All in all, the study suggests that dogs need to have their own sleeping area within the same room in order for people to have a good night’s sleep, regardless of the dog’s size or breed. CNET wrote that subjects who allowed their dogs to sleep on the same bed as they did reported lower sleep quality as compared to those who slept with their dogs in the same room but didn’t allow them to climb on the bed.
In a statement quoted by the Daily Mail, study author Lois Krahn commented that people generally assume having pets in the bedroom is more of a distraction than anything else. But based on her team’s findings, it isn’t unusual for people to let their pets sleep with them, due to the “comfort and sense of security” they bring, and the desire to spend more time with these animals after being away from them for most of the day.
“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,” Krahn added.
The study did come with a couple of limitations, starting with the very small sample size of 40 human subjects. The researchers also excluded dogs that were less than 6-months-old, though CNET opined that this was an understandable move, as it may be too much to expect a good night’s sleep with a hyperactive young puppy running around your bedroom.
Despite the aforementioned limitations, the Mayo Clinic’s new study had one key take-home thought — contrary to what was once suspected, it’s not necessarily a bad idea to sleep with your dog in the same room, provided you don’t let your pet climb on or under the covers and share a bed with you.
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