New Study By Mayo Clinic Finds Sleeping With Dogs Improves Sleep Quality
A new study by Mayo Clinic disproves a previous assumption that sleeping with your furry friends at night is bad for your health. According to the study, those who sleep with their dogs in their bed were determined to have an average satisfactory sleeping quality of 80%.
The study followed 40 adults and their dogs over a series of seven nights during which both the adults and canines wore motion-tracking devices. Evidence suggests that those who sleep with their pets in bed don’t suffer from poor sleep quality.
However, those who slept with their pets in their room rather than in bed still slept more efficiently with a score of 83%. Why the 3% difference?
The study determined the reasoning behind the lower sleep score was due to the dogs’ movements in their human companion’s bed. The dogs’ movements resulted in more disturbances throughout the night causing interruptions to the owner’s sleep cycle.
This may be due to the fact that dogs’ sleep cycles tend to be shorter than humans. According to Time Magazine, human sleep companions weren’t as disturbing of each other’s sleep cycles.
“Presumably, humans accommodate the needs of their bed partner in an effort to promote sleep in a manner that even the most well-trained dog does not,” said lead author Dr. Lois Krahn in the study.
A single dog or cat in a bed may have the best sleep results, Krahn said, but it’s when multiple animals sleep on the bed that the owner’s sleep may become unhealthily disrupted. Even just one extra hour of sleep is valuable up to 82% of Americans.
It should be noted, however, that the study only analyzed the households of middle-aged, healthy women. And, because there was no control group, the researchers were unable to officially determine whether there was a difference in sleep quality and the size or breed of the dogs.
Despite these drawbacks, Krahn’s message remains the same. “My main recommendation is for people to take a look at their setup and carefully consider whether it is truly working or not,” Krahn said. “And not allow loyalty to their pet to blind them to consequences that aren’t desirable to their sleep.”