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This Is Why Sleeping With Your Dog Can Actually Be Good For You


Who could ask for a better best friend than a dog? Dog lovers know this, and they are emotionally and physically connected to their furry friends. Moreover, dogs are one of the most loyal friends that a person could have because they form a special bond with their owner that is almost impossible to break.  Besides, this unconditional love between you and your dog is not the only benefit you can enjoy.   

On an emotional level, owning a dog is proved to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, the mere presence of your furry friend eases pain, reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, improves your overall mood and increases happiness. On a physical level, having a dog around you can prevent allergies, will inspire you to exercise more, and help children to develop physically and emotionally.

 And, if you need an excuse to let your dog sleep with you – now, you have a valid one. Namely, it has been proven that having your dog in your bedroom can help you sleep better.

There is a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings which tested the sleeping habits of 40 adult dog owners who let their dog sleep either in the same bed with them or elsewhere in the bedroom. In the experiment, both dogs and their owners were given to wear motion-tracking devices during the 7 nights of the study, and then they answered questions related to the quality of their sleep and the location in which their dog spent the night.dog

The study proved that having your dog in your bedroom when you sleep does not reduce your sleep quality. In fact, it can even make you sleep better. The results showed that on average, people who had their dog in the bedroom had 83% sleep efficiency which counts for a good night sleep bearing in mind that 80% is considered to be a sufficient amount of sleep.

However, the before mentioned results are for those people whose dogs slept in their bedroom but not in their bed. Those who slept with their dog in their bed had a slightly lowered sleep efficiency of 80% – which is still considered satisfactory, but the difference is that they woke up more during the night as opposed to others whose dog slept elsewhere in the bedroom.

What is interesting is that sleeping with your partner, on the other hand, will not cause you such sleep interruptions. If anything, according to the authors of the study your partner can make you sleep even better than you would if you slept alone. This is because human beings are more flexible to accommodate to the needs of their bed partner than a dog could ever be.

The lead author of the study and also a sleep specialist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Louis Krahn, said that many dog owners find it comforting and relaxing to have their pet in the bedroom with them.

However, she cautioned that this does not apply when people have multiple pets because instead of raising their sleep efficiency, having multiple pets around you can increase sleep disruptions which cause you to wake up several times during the night. This can happen more often if the dogs snore and move in their sleep.

She conducted another study on this problem, but this study was rather small and it included mostly middle-aged women, so it is difficult to relate it to the whole population. Also, the study did not have a control group, and because it was a small study it is difficult for the researchers to conclude if the size and the breed of the dog can make any difference to the sleep quality.

All in all, these findings, however small, are still great news for all dog lovers! You can now welcome your dog into your bedroom without worrying if it will affect your sleep. Finally, if you wonder if your dog likes sleeping in the same room with you – don’t worry. They sleep well regardless of the location or having you as a bed partner.  

Therefore, let your furry four-legged friend into your bedroom tonight. In addition to increasing your comfort and the feeling of safety – it can deepen your bond and love for one another.     

Source: Time