Sleeping With Your Dog May Help You Get a Better Night's Rest

A new study from the Mayo Clinic says that letting dogs in the bedroom may not disrupt sleep quality.

If you have a dog, like one of America’s 43 million dog-owning households, you probably ran into the dilemma of whether to let man’s best friend sleep in your room or even in your bed. You might be worried that your canine buddy won’t let you get any quality sleep. Thankfully, a new study from the Mayo Clinic puts this question to rest - it’s ok to let the dog sleep in the bedroom but keep it out of your bed. 

The study authored by Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus, looked at the sleep of 40 healthy adults and their dogs over five months. For one week, the researchers had participants and their dogs wear activity trackers to track their sleeping patterns. 

“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Dr. Krahn. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

No matter what dog it may be, the study found, some people’s sleep may actually be helped by having their dog sleeping in their bedroom. This doesn’t work, however, if you let the dog climb into your bed - adults who slept next to their canine companions were found to have worse sleep quality. A dog should have its own bed.

“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,” explains Dr. Krahn. “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."

As the study was of a relatively small size, with none of the dogs being under 6 months old, you should consider carefully if you want to let your new and very excitable puppy into your bedroom. You’d be unlikely to get much good sleep that way. 

Still, the dog lovers might find the the study’s conclusion that “a dog's presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected” quite comforting.

You can read the study titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment” here.

How getting in sync with your partner can lead to increased intimacy and sexual desire

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Stan Lee, Marvel co-creator, is dead at 95

The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
  • Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
  • Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
Keep reading Show less