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Sleeping With Your Dog May Be Better for Your Sleep

According to Healthline - Good news for anyone with a four-legged best friend at home: letting him sleep in your bedroom doesn't make your sleep worse, according to a new study from the Mayo Clinic - and may actually help you get easier. But before you grab him at bedtime, know that researchers still warn about sleeping in the same bed.

The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, included 40 adults, all of whom slept with a dog in bed or elsewhere in their bedroom. Both humans and canines wore motion tracking devices for seven nights, and the humans answered questions about sleep quality and where the dogs spent the night.

The researchers found that having a dog in the bedroom did not necessarily compromise sleep quality, as had been previously suspected. On average, people with dogs in their rooms (but not in their beds) maintained 83% sleep efficiency - compared to total time in bed. 80% is generally considered satisfactory.

Sleeping with a dog in bed, however, was linked to somewhat lower sleep efficiency: an average of about 80%. Although this is considered a satisfactory score, people with dogs in their beds woke up more during the night than those whose dogs slept in another corner of the room.

Human bedfellows, on the other hand, did not cause similar disturbances. Those who slept in bed with two had better sleep efficiency than those who slept alone. "Presumably, humans attend to the needs of the bed partner in an effort to promote sleep in ways that even the best-trained dog cannot," the authors wrote in their paper.

Lead author Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Sleep Medicine Center on the Arizona campus of the Mayo Clinic, says that for some owners, sleeping with an animal companion in the bedroom can be comforting.

"Having a well-behaved cat or dog nearby can be very relaxing and conducive to sleep," she said in a 2014 video interview, after conducting a similar earlier study.

But when people have multiple pets, she warns, it multiplies the chances of interruptions-such as when dogs snore, move, or fidget during your dreams. This is important, she says, because the number of people who have more than one pet has increased in the last decade. (In the current study, only families with a single dog were included.)

The new study was small, did not contain a control group, and most of the participants were healthy, middle-aged women-so the results may not apply to other populations. Because of the small size of the study, the researchers were also unable to determine whether the breed or size of the dog made any difference. But the findings are still welcome for anyone who loves sleeping with a pet, and doesn't want to sacrifice their sleep.

"My main recommendation is for people to look at their own sleep setup and consider carefully whether or not it's working to sleep with their dog," Krahn said.

"And if you're wondering how your puppy feels about all of this, don't worry too much. Regardless of the location or a human bed partner next to him, the dogs seemed to rest well," the authors wrote in their article.

Content created and supplied by: Trendyhealth (via Opera News )

Healthline Mayo Clinic


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