Many pet owners let their animals sleep in their bedrooms but is this really a good idea? Cats and dogs often like to snooze near their owners and certainly enjoy the comfort of a nice bed, but should they be kept out of the room?
You might be surprised to discover that recent research suggests that you will sleep better with your animals in the bedroom. It might be time to stop ordering your pooch to go downstairs at bedtime. Perhaps you ought to be inviting them into your room instead! Your dogs are unlikely to complain!
The Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic in Arizona has been conducting research into how pets impact the sleep patterns of their owners. They analysed 40 adults and their dogs over a five-month period. None of the pet owners involved suffered from sleep disorders. Both owners and their dogs were fitted with activity trackers to monitor their sleep patterns over the course of seven nights. The researchers found that sleeping in the same room as their dog helped people to get a better night's sleep. The breed of the dog did not influence the results. However, the findings only applied if the pet was in the room but not under the covers.
Under the Duvet
It appears that it is a good thing to share your bedroom or even your bed with your pet but they should not crawl under the duvet with you. Indeed, allowing a pet to sleep under the duvet could result in disruption to your sleep. So, pets help you to sleep but why would that be the case?
Comfort and Security
The researchers at the Mayo Clinic believe that the benefits of pets in the bedroom are the result of an enhanced sense of comfort and security. Pet owners who go out to work are forced to spend more time that they would wish away from their animals. Sleeping in the same room is one way to spend more time with their pets. Owners feel happier with their animals around and may also feel less guilty. In addition, stroking an animal is a soothing experience which may help people to drift into sleep.
So, pets should be welcome visitors to the bedroom as long as you don't suffer from allergies which could be exacerbated by a cat or dog on the bed. More research is required as it would be useful to know if pets could help people who suffer from sleep disorders. It could also be the case that pets benefit from sleeping in their owners' bedrooms. This could be one situation where the needs of people and animals are in harmony.