Americans love their dogs. More than 40 million households have them. The majority of families would consider their furry friends as part of their family. We love to play with our dogs, and we love to interact with them as much as we can. However, one area where people are more divided on spending time with their pets is bedtime. Many people don’t let their pets into their bedroom because of concerns over losing sleep. A recent study published by the Mayo Clinic shows that sleep quality doesn’t suffer from having a dog in the bedroom.
The study followed 40 adult pet owners over five months to assess the quality of sleep between those who did sleep with their dogs and those who didn’t. The data shows that sleeping with a dog in the bedroom does not necessarily disrupt sleep. In fact, for some people, having a pet in the bedroom improved their sleep. The type of dog did not have bearing on this either. People were just as comforted by smaller dogs as larger ones.
The one exception to pets not being disruptive to sleep was whether they slept with the dog in their bed. Those with dogs in their bed experienced less sleep on average compared to those who just had them off to the side in the bedroom and those who didn’t have them in the bedroom at all.
The decision to sleep with a dog in the bedroom is a personal one. This study does show, though, that having a pet in the bedroom is not inherently detrimental to sleep quality if they are not in the bed with you.
Patel, Samla I., et. al., "The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment." Mayo Clinic Vol. 92. Issue 9. pp. 1368–1372.