There are plenty of healthy habits a human can practice, and one of the latest ones has to do with pets. According to the results of a study by the Mayo Clinic, people who sleep with their dogs sleep better and tend to be healthier in general. Why does sleeping with a dog in the bedroom make a difference?
What The Mayo Clinic Found
The study was a joint effort of researchers at two of the branches of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Forty people and their dogs took part in the experiment. Each night, the people slept as they usually do, either with their dog in the bed or in the bedroom. The dogs and the humans all wore sensors that tracked how well they slept and how much they moved when they slept. This information was tracked on a nightly basis for five months.
All of the people who took part in the study were adults who did not have any health problems relating to sleep, and most of them were women. All of the dogs who were included in the study were also adult dogs, so the unpredictable sleeping habits of puppies did not throw off the results.
On The Bed Or On The Floor?
Most advice that deals with sleeping better says to get anything that could make noise or cause a distraction out of the bedroom, which would certainly include dogs. The results of this sleep study show that dogs in the bedroom do disturb their owners’ sleep. At the end of the study, it was found that people who slept with dogs in the bedroom got more sleep than average, but people who sleep with their dogs in bed with them got less sleep than average. Why do dogs improve sleep?
People love their pets, so having the dog nearby is a source of comfort. If the dog is a calm and restful sleeper, the sound of the dog breathing can create a soothing white noise that helps the owner to stay asleep. Even if a person does not wake up, the body naturally makes adjustments when things are moving around it. Dogs tend to move a lot more than humans when they sleep. That’s why having a dog in the bed can cause a person to get less sleep in a night than they normally would. To sum it all up, people who sleep with one dog in their bedroom at night tend to sleep a little better than people who don’t have any pets in their bedroom.
Should You Bring Your Dog To Your Bedroom?
Although the results of this study are promising, there is a need for some caution. The study was a casual one because it only tracked the sleeping habits of forty pet owners, and it did not account for other factors that could have made the participants’ sleep better or worse. All of the people in this study only had one pet, and all of the pets were dogs. Having more than one dog in a bedroom could create more of a disturbance and have less of a calming effect.
It is also quite possible that, since a small number of people participated in this study, the results would not be the same with a larger group. Of course, the benefits of sleeping with a dog in the bedroom can be nullified if you have a very active dog or you are a very light sleeper. If you notice that having your dog in the bedroom has a negative impact on your sleep, it is probably best to have your dog sleep elsewhere. Pets are a part of the family, and it feels good when science gives us more reasons to keep our animals even closer.
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