Dogs and dog lovers, rejoice: A recent study found that allowing your four-legged friend into the bedroom doesn’t worsen your sleep, contrary to what had previously been suspected.
To come to this conclusion, researchers strapped 40 healthy adults and their dogs with sleep trackers for seven nights. On average, those who allowed their dogs to sleep in their bedroom (but not in their bed) maintained 83 percent sleep efficiency — the ratio of time spent asleep compared to time spent in bed. For reference, anywhere between 80 percent and 90 percent is generally considered satisfactory.
Those who allowed their dog into (or onto) the bed, meanwhile, only lost a few extra percentage points on the sleep efficiency index, maintaining 80 percent on average. So go nuts, dog lovers.
As for why some people sleep better with their dogs nearby, certified clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle believes it has to do with comfort and a sense of security. “I talk to people all the time who swear they sleep much better with their pets — say, a cat curled up on their feet,” she explains. “Some people love the warmth, comfort and security, reporting that it’s extremely difficult to sleep without their pets nearby.”
That said, Cralle warns that allowing pets into your sleeping space is a matter of preference, and the affects it might have on your sleep vary from person to person. “If you truly sleep better with pets in the room, do so,” she says. “But if you’re putting up with interruptions, position changes and noisy breathing, rethink it.”
Either way, your dog won’t care much: “Regardless of location or an additional human bed partner, dogs seemed to rest well,” the authors wrote in their research.
Must be nice.