For a good night’s sleep, let the dog snuggle up to you

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  • Mayo Sleep Clinic in Arizona surveyed 150 patients about sleep habits
  • Found those who sleep with pets ‘feel more safe and secure’
  • But 20 per cent say sleep interrupted by ‘wandering or whimpering’


Animal lovers have been warned for years that having a pet in the bedroom may affect their sleep.

Dogs and cats snore, fidget, wake up early and take up space.

So the latest research might sound counter-intuitive – but a leading clinic in the US now says people who cuddle a dog or cat at night actually sleep better.

Researchers surveyed 150 patients, 49 per cent of whom owned animals, about their sleep habits and their pets.

They found those who slept with their pet in the room, or even on the bed, felt more safe and secure and thus had a better night’s rest.

The Mayo Sleep Clinic in Arizona found more than half of those with animals allowed them to sleep in the bedroom or on the bed.

And while 20 per cent of pet owners did complain of interrupted sleep because of ‘wandering’, ‘snoring’ and ‘whimpering’, a greater number said having their pet in the bedroom didn’t cause any problems – and many said it was an advantage.

They said having their pet on the bed or bedroom relaxed them and made them feel secure.

Those who sleep alone felt more secure and reported they slept extremely well with their cat or dog under the covers with them.

One 64-year-old woman commented that ‘she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet’, said study author Lois Krahn.

‘One married woman described her two small dogs as ‘bed warmers’.

One 50-year-old woman did ‘not mind when my lovely cat’ slept on her chest and another described her cat as ‘soothing’.’

She added: ‘Patients volunteered that they deliberately acquired a dog or cat to help them relax.

‘People sleeping alone, not always single but sometimes with a partner who travels or works some nights, more often spoke of the beneficial companionship stemming from a pet in the bedroom or on the bed.’

However, sharing your bed with a pet is certainly not for everyone. A previous study in 2013 by the same clinic reported that around that 10 per cent of people had had their sleep disturbed by pets.

A recent study of 23,000 dog owners found that more that half people let their pets sleep on their beds.

Dr Khan said: ‘Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible.

‘Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable.

‘As more households include multiple pets, the challenge of securing appropriate sleeping arrangements is increased.’

Source: Daily Mail