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.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

Keep reading Show less