Desperately seeking a good night’s sleep? Adopt a dog! According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, humans and dogs who sleep nearby benefit more than those in separate rooms.
Researchers studied 40 healthy adults (mostly women, with an average age in the mid-40s) and their dogs (all over 6 months old, so no puppies skewing the results!), monitoring their movement and sleeping habits over a period of five months, and what they found was rather surprising.
Contrary to common belief that pets disturb our sleep, it was discovered that sleeping in the same room actually has benefits for both you and your fur baby – you sleep better, and they get to be near their favourite person in the world.
“We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets,” co-author of the study, Dr Lois Krahn from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine, said.
But there’s a catch: just don’t let them on the bed – and definitely don’t let them IN the bed. While having them in the room does increase “human sleep efficiency”, sleep efficiency decreases when the dog sleeps on the bed and drops even more when they’re allowed IN the 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,” explained Dr Krahn.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximise 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.”
Tell us in the comments below, where does your pet sleep? Will you start letting them in your room after reading these findings? Or maybe start kicking them off the bed?
This article was written in partnership with Over60.