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Sleeping with a pet has always divided us, with many of disgusted at the idea while many find sleeping with their pets comforting.

Well, considering the latter, these people might actually be on to something, with a new study claiming that people who sleep beside their dog have a better sleeping health.

The study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, aimed to look at how much having a dog in our bedrooms would either help or hinder our sleep at nights. To achieve this, the researchers spent a total of 4 months closely evaluating the sleep of people who had their dogs in the room.

Monmon on bedTo keep this as fair as possible for the results, those chosen were all healthy adults who had no sleep disorders. The dogs that took part were all over 6 months old too. Every night the people in the study would were accelerometers, which would monitor their sleep and the dogs would wear a canine version so their sleep could be monitored too.

These results were collated at the end of the study, with findings showing that those people who had a dog in their room, would sleep more soundly at night. Something that totally goes against our idea that pets in the bedroom are a total no-no.

Yet, it does make sense when you think about, especially when it comes to our dogs, which were historically kept to guard our homes. So, the idea of a dog sleeping in our room bringing us a sense of security and therefore improving our sleep, does seem fair. Plus, as many of us spend our days away at work, we often feel guilty that our dogs feel abandoned and alone. By having our dogs sleeping in our bedrooms, this guilt lifts slightly as at least they’re not locked away downstairs or in another room. Again, helping us to sleep more smoothly.

However, it is important to note that of these people with improved sleep, they did not have their dogs sleeping in their beds. People with their dogs in their bed would find that they had a more disturbed sleep.

Sleeping with your pets in your bed – whether this be a dog or cat etc. – is never a clever idea, as it generally will lead to a disturbed sleep and contributes to decreasing your mattresses lifespan and is often highly unhygienic. In fact, these are just some of the diseases and unpleasant things that your pet can bring into your bed:

  • Bacterial Infections – the salvia in our pet’s mouths are absolutely infested in bacteria that can be transferred to human leading to illnesses such as meningitis. Staphylococcus infections – including MRSA – are known to pass from animals to humans.
  • Faecal Matter – There’s no escaping the fact that animals, especially dogs, will stand in, play with and even eat faecal matter. Which they bring into your bedroom and your bed. Not only is this disgusting, but can lead to the transmission of parasites and bacteria to our bodies.
  • Other Nasty Creatures – dogs and other pets can have infestations of bugs like mites and fleas. Not only will this be unpleasant for your pet, but these are the last kind of creatures that you want in your bed.

So, if you do want to keep your pets in your room, try to keep them sleeping in their own beds. Of course, this isn’t always possible, with many of our pets having a mind of their own when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

For people who can’t keep their pets out their bed, it’s essential that you increase the hygiene levels in your bedroom. This includes washing your sheets at least weekly at a high temperature, cleaning your mattress monthly and increasing the intensity of hoovering in the bedroom, including under and behind the bed. You may also want to invest in a mattress protector and replace your mattress sooner than the recommended 6 – 8 years. 

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