Can sleeping with your dog have a negative impact on your rest?

While one study seems to say yes, a doctor has a different idea.
Puppy Border Terrier in Dog Bed
Puppy Border Terrier in Dog Bed / Tim Graham/GettyImages

We love our dogs, and we have no problems spoiling them. Sometimes, spoiling them means allowing them to sleep in our bed. But is that detrimental to our sleep?

According to a recent study published to Live Science, it seems as if sleeping with your dogs is not a good idea. While cats do not seem to have a negative impact on our sleep, this study revealed that “Sleeping with your dog in the same room could be negatively affecting your sleep quality.” However, the study did also point out that at least 93% of dog owners who are co-sleeping with their pet claim that it actually improves their sleep. Apparently, even just sleeping in the same room as your dog has a positive impact on your mental health, according to people who did co-sleep with their dogs.

One doctor shares his thoughts on co-sleeping with your dog

Although the study seems to say even sleeping in the room with your dog is bad for you, pet owners do not feel the same way. And it turns out that pet owners are not the only one who disagree with this study. In a press email we received, we learned that Dr. Michael Breus, known as the Sleep Doctor, has a different approach to the idea of co-sleeping with your dog. The doctor made it clear that he was a bit skeptical of these findings and he used his own experiences to explain why.

"We sleep with two french bulldogs every night. As long as you don't get disrupted throughout the evening and you wake up refreshed, I'm fine with sleeping with an animal. That said I would stick to dogs or cats."

Dr. Michael Breus

Considering even the study pointed out that people who sleep with their dogs feel that they are getting a better night’s sleep when their dog is with them, it is hard to say that you are not getting the rest you need. Everybody is different and some of us are going to sleep better with our companion at our side. Now obviously that will not work for everyone, as there are some dogs that are just as restless as they’re human. So then it makes sense that you might not have a good night’s sleep with them at your side.

Even if a study does indicate that you may not be getting a great night sleep with your dog at your side, that doesn’t mean that you have to listen to that study. Maybe other people aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean you’re not.

I have always slept better with a pet at my side. Whether it was a dog or a cat, there is something comforting about having them co-sleep in the same room. So while the study itself seems to say, no, I’m going to listen to the Sleep Doctor, who says it’s fine. Because obviously, it’s not about what a study says about you, it’s about what you know to be true for you.

What do you think fellow pet owners? Are you sleeping better with your dog at your side?

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