Sharing your bed with the family pet can be good for your health

A prior study suggesting that sharing the bed with your cat or dog is proven inaccurate as a new study shows it can be beneficial to share a bedtime with your pet
By Jason Spencer | Feb 13, 2016
Sleep specialists have often condoned sharing your bed with Shadow or Lassie. But if you're like me and share your bed with your pet then you'll be happy to hear a new study has proven earlier advice to be inaccurate.

According to CBS News, a new study released by the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona reveals that it's not the end of the world if you leave room for your cat or dog when you go to bed.

The study was led by Dr. Louis Krahn, who noted that if having a pet in bed didn't affect the owner in any way then there was no problem with it. In fact, it could actually be beneficial.

"If having a pet nearby helps them feel relaxed and gives them a sense of security, which permits them to fall asleep with less difficulty, then I think that is something that does deserve attention," said Krahn.

150 pet owners were surveyed for the study. One of the questions asked if they allowed their pet to stay in the room with them after lights out, to which more than half said yes. Out of those that allowed their pets in the bedroom, 1 in 5 reported constant disturbances as they slept, though 41% said that they weren't bothered at all.

Even if this new study suggests there's nothing wrong with allowing your cat or dog onto the bed, Krahn notes pet owners should keep sleeping habits in mind.

"They need to know how well they sleep as a person and how well the pet sleeps," Krahn. "Take into account the size of the pet."

The study, which was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, doesn't go into which breeds are more disruptive than others. Krahn stated that was something she would like to focus on in future trials.


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