A new study conducted by the Mayo Clinic has an interesting main objective: to find out if having a dog in your room while you sleep could have a negative or positive impact on the quality of sleep you experience. A previous study from 2015 (organized by the same institution) surveyed pet owners on whether they allowed their pets to sleep in their bedroom. A majority permitted their furry best friends to sleep in their rooms with them, but a group of these responders did identify their pets as disruptive to their rest.
This new study, titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment,” expands on the original study, with a focus specifically on dogs. 40 study participants and their dogs wore accelerometers to help track their level of relaxation over a week-long evaluation period. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets,” said Luis Krahn, a specialist in sleep medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
There are some other factors that should be considered when evaluating this outcome. For one, it was found that people who allowed their dog to sleep on the bed with them experienced lower quality sleep than those who had a separate dog bed in their room. Also, none of the dogs were younger than 6 months, so of course the data may be different for people with energetic or untrained puppies.
Overall, the conclusion of this study should be seen as positive to most dog owners, “A dog’s presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected.”
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To read more about this study, visit the Mayo Clinic website here.