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They’re loyal. They’re lovable. And who can resist those cute wet noses and wagging tails? No wonder dogs have become known as man’s best friend. According to the ASPCA, approximately 44% of all U.S. households own a dog. That’s literally millions and millions of people who have a pooch as a part of their family.
And because these doggies are considered part of the family, it turns out that many owners go as far as sharing their bed with Fido every night.
If you’re one of these folks, you may want to get a better understanding of what cuddling with a canine companion does to your sleep and how you might be able to minimize the impact.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic conducted a study to evaluate sleep habits of people who co-slept with their dogs. The study found that many people felt comfort and security in having their pets near them all night. In fact, some even slept better with their dogs in the bedroom.
However, the positive benefits of sleeping with your dogs ended when the test subjects actually invited them under the covers. Sleep efficiency results for these subjects went downhill when the dog was in the bed, as opposed to just in the room.
Let’s face it, most dogs snore. And some even act out their dreams, like running in their sleep. Plus, the American Kennel Club says that dogs are polyphasic sleepers, which means that they average three sleep/wake cycles every hour at night. That can mean a lot of noise and shifting around when they wake each time. With that in mind, sharing a bed with your four-legged friend likely leads to more sleep disruptions for you and, in turn, poor sleep quality.
Even though co-sleeping with your dog isn’t the best idea, we know many loyal owners who already share their bed won’t kick their dog out for any reason. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, half of the 78 million dogs owned in the United States sleep in a person’s bed — either an adult’s or child’s. If you find yourself in this group of pet parents, here are some tips on what you can do to get a restful sleep with your dog by your side:
The Mayo Clinic sleep study found that dogs slept just the same whether they were on the bed or in another location in the bedroom. As far as your dog is concerned, the floor or a crate is a perfectly fine place for it to catch some zzz’s. Consider sleeping near, but not next to, your dog and you won’t be barking up the wrong tree for a good night’s sleep.
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, The Snoozzze, to get the latest sleep research and tips to help you get better sleep.Your favorite furry companion shouldn’t ruin your sleep. Learn the pros and cons of sleeping with your pet in order to get #bettersleep from @BetterSleepOrg. #BSCSleepTips
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