Oi, stop banning your pets from the bedroom or ordering them downstairs to their little beds in the kitchens when it’s time to snooze.
It turns out that letting your pets sleep in your bedroom isn’t just a nice treat for them – it’s good for you, too.
New research from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has found that letting dogs sleep in the bedroom helps people get a better night’s sleep. And considering we’re all tired, sleep-deprived wrecks, we reckon it’s worth letting little Crumble up on the bed and seeing if it helps us drift off.
Researchers analysed 40 adults who didn’t have sleep disorders, as well as their dogs, over the course of five months, giving both humans and dogs activity trackers to monitor their sleeping habits for seven nights.
They found that sleeping in the same room as their dog helped people to have a better night’s sleep, regardless of the dog’s breed.
Which is great news. The only caveat? The findings only apply if your pet is in the bedroom, but not under the covers.
So let them snooze at the foot of the bed or on a pillow nearby, but cuddling up under the duvet as though your cat is a soft toy won’t do the same wonders for the quality of your rest.
In fact, letting animals get under the covers can reduce sleep quality, likely because cats and dogs like to move around and fidget, which can end up disrupting your sleep.
The researchers believe that the benefits of letting your pets sleep in the same room are down to a sense of comfort and security.
‘Many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day,’ said study author Dr Lois Krahn. ‘So they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that.’
Plus, few things are as soothing as stroking a cat as you drift off to dreamland.
Many of us have believed that pets don’t belong in the bedroom, or that having them nearby will wreck our sleep… and according to this research, that’s not the case.
‘Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,’ explains Dr Krahn. ‘We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.
‘The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom.
‘And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.’