Sharing Your Bed with a Pet May Help You Sleep
This probably won’t be a surprise to people whose pets share their beds at night. New research from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine suggests that having the family pet with you at night may actually help you sleep better.
The research team surveyed 150 patients at the Center, 74 of whom reported owning at least one pet – mostly dogs and cats. They gathered information, including whether patients allowed their pet to sleep in the bedroom and on the bed, and whether their pet is disruptive to their sleep.
About 56 percent of pet owners reported allowing their pets to sleep in the bedroom or the bed.
It wasn’t always a positive experience. Disruptive behaviors – including wandering, whimpering and snoring – were reported by 20 percent of owners who allowed their pet to sleep close by. However, 41 percent of owners said their pets were not disruptive, with some – particularly individuals who were single – saying their presence even helped them sleep by providing security, companionship or relaxation.
Interestingly, the team reported one caveat regarding their findings: the bias of the pet owners. They noted that many were eager to relate positive experiences with their pets, but reluctant to reveal any undesirable aspects.
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