Sleeping alongside your dog can help you sleep better

Did you know? Sleeping with your dog can help you get a better night’s rest


Sleeping Boxer puppyIt’s music to my ears (although perhaps not so much to my better half’s…) – there is a new study by the Mayo Clinic which claims that sleeping alongside your dog can help you get a better night’s sleep!

I know it’s a bad habit… But I just can’t leave my dog to sleep downstairs. To those who don’t have pets, or believe a dog’s place is in the kitchen or the living room (or anywhere but the bedroom), this probably sounds ridiculous. But I genuinely feel I sleep better when I know my dog is safe and sound in my bedroom.

The Mayo Clinic researchers wanted to assess whether having a dog in the bedroom would disturb the sleep patterns of their owners. So they spent four months studying the sleep of 40 humans (none of whom suffered sleep disorders) and their dogs (none of whom were under 6 months of age) occupying the same bedroom. Then, for seven days, both humans and doggies alike wore accelerometers, a watch-like device containing motion detectors to measure limb movements.

The study concluded that regardless of whether the dog was big or small (and all the doggy sizes in between), sharing a bedroom with them improved sleep quality.

Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Centre for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus said, “Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption… We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

Dogs sleeping on bed‘YES!’ I thought! ‘A study that speaks my language!’ I said. But then my bubble well and truly burst… The study also found that if the dog was on the bed rather than the floor, their owners slept less well. Doh! Maybe I need to encourage my pooch to sleep on the floor… *Oh but she looks so comfortable!*

Anyway, the point is that having your dog sleep in your bedroom with you can be comforting. Not only that, if you’re out and about all day at work, you may not get to see your dog as much as you’d like, and so you may choose to welcome your dog into the bedroom in order to maximise the length of time you can spend with them.

So if you welcome your dog with paws wide open into your bedroom, now you can sleep well knowing your dog is helping you to sleep well! And if you’re like me, welcoming your dog onto the bed, well… We may need to re-evaluate… (or not!).

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