Study: Sharing a bed with your pet could improve your sleep - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Study: Sharing a bed with your pet could improve your sleep

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A new study shows sharing a bed with your pet could improve your sleep. (CBS News) A new study shows sharing a bed with your pet could improve your sleep. (CBS News)
(CBS NEWS) -

A recent study is challenging the conventional wisdom that animals in the bedroom can mess with your sleep.

Dog owner Patricia Sullivan had canine company in bed as soon as she brought home her first puppy.

“He started to cry, and whimper and I felt sorry for him,” Sullivan said. “And I put him on my bed and he curled up in a ball. And he was asleep and he's been there ever since.”

Sleep experts have long thought that pets in the bedroom are disruptive to a person's sleep, but a recent Mayo Clinic survey found 41 percent of sleep patients who share their beds with their animals find it beneficial.

“If having a pet nearby helps them feel relaxed and gives them a sense of security, which permits them to fall asleep with less difficulty, then I think that is something that does deserve attention,” Dr. Lois Krahn, who is a sleep specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said.

Twenty percent of respondents however, admitted their pets interrupted their sleep.

Study author Dr. Lois Krahn, who is a sleep specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said there are many things pet owners need to consider.

“They need to know how well they sleep as a person and how well the pet sleeps,” Krahn said. “They need to take into account the size of the pet.”

Krahn said should consider these other factors: the size of the bed, the number of pets and the pets must be clean and free of fleas.

“If their feet were really wet, I'd wipe them off,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said her dogs don't just relax her, they go a step further.

“If I stay up too late the dogs remind me to go to bed,” Sullivan said. “They actually walk into my bedroom, look at me like c'mon let's go.”

Even though their barking sometimes wakes her up, Sullivan said she wouldn't have it any other way.

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