If you’re a pet lover, odds are that you’ve probably let your pet sleep in your bed with you from time to time. 65% of American households own a pet, and if you’re like most pet owners, you let your furry friend sleep with you every night.
Although having your pet sleep in the bed with you might seem like it would wreak havoc on your sleep, a new sleep survey suggests otherwise. According to the Mayo Clinc’s sleep study, having your pet in bed with you can actually have a positive effect on your sleep quality.
Mayo Clinic Sleep Survey Details
- 150 study participants, 82 men and 68 women
- 18% did not have a bed partner
- 49% reported owning pets
- 41% of pet owners owned multiple pets
The survey also found that more than half of the pet owners (56%) let their pets sleep in their bedroom—either on the bed with them or on the floor. 20% of pet owners reported that having their pet in bed with them disrupted their sleep in some manner.
But 41% of people reported that their pets were unobtrusive and were even beneficial to their overall sleep. To some, having their pet in the bedroom with them provided “security, companionship, or relaxation that aided their sleep.”
Why Does Sharing a Bed Improve Sleep Quality?
Although the overall value of sleeping in bed with a pet is not well understood at this point, studies have pointed out that sleep is “dependent on a state of physical and mental relaxation.”
Studies have also found that having a companion in bed (whether it be a human or animal counterpart), can lead to a longer and healthier life.
“Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being,” Wendy M. Trowel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, explained to the Wall Street Journal.
Here are some added benefits people have reported from snuggling up next to their pet night after night (taken from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Survey):
- A single 64-year-old woman reported that she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet.
- A married woman commented that her two small dogs were her “bed warmers.”
- A 50-year-old woman reported that she didn’t mind when her cat slept on her chest while another woman described her cat as “soothing.”
- Several people reported that having a dog or cat helps them relax.
With so many pet-loving people in the United States, we aren’t all that surprised that one couple has built an 11-ft-long bed so their five cats and two dogs could sleep with them.
We don’t know if we would go that far for our pets, but at least they’ll be living a long and healthy life!
Comment and let us know if you let your beloved pets sleep in bed with you—and if they do, what added benefit(s) does having them in bed with you bring?