real life

There's good news for your health if you dog sleeps in your bedroom with you.

It’s something every dog owner has always known but now science has shown it to be true.

Sleeping with a dog in the room is not bad for a night’s rest. It can be, in fact, conductive to it.

Research out of Mayo Clinic in the US has shown how 40 healthy adults “maintained good sleep efficiency” while sleeping with their dogs in the room. Researchers put this down to the security dog owners feel when their four-legged guardian is nearby.

All participants wore a acclerometer to track sleep activity and none of the puppers were younger than six months old.

The research, published this month, found participants spent, on average, around 475 minutes in bed; around 100 minutes asleep; and showed around 81 per cent sleep efficiency. In total people spent around 71 minutes awake after initial sleep onset.

This wasn’t significantly different to people who sleep with their dogs locked in the laundry or the living room or (heavens forbid) outside.

“When did dogs become equal to humans?” Post continues below.

There was a difference, however, in sleep efficiency when the dog was sleeping on the bed, as opposed to on the floor. In those issues, sleep efficiency is somewhat compromised.


“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic said in the study’s release.

“We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

Cleo, a girlfriend's dog, snuggled in the bed clothes. She knows what to do. Image supplied.

"Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximise their time with them when they are home," Krahn continued.

"Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep."

Really, it's the perfect excuse next time you're asked to defend your dog's sleeping-in-the-bedroom status (someone always asks, don't they?)

Just tell them: science says it's good for your health.

To read about the sleeping position that alleviates period pain, click here

To read the questions you have about sleep when you don't have kids, click here

To find out exactly how much sleep you've lost since you've had kids, click here