Do you have a cat or a dog? Do you let your dog or cat sleep in your bedroom or on your bed? You are certainly not alone, as a survey commissioned by leading pet insurer Animal Friends found that nearly half of owners sleep with their pets – is this something you do?
But is it a good idea to welcome your pet into your bedroom? Bespoke kitchens in Glasgow specialists DM Design has analysed the arguments both for and against this decision and you can see them below.
The case for pets being in the bedroom
A study carried out by the Mayo Sleep Clinic, a leading clinic based in Arizona, USA, supports the case for welcoming your pets into your bedroom – they don’t see a problem!
After surveying 150 patients — 49% of whom owned at least one pet — it was found that over half of those with animals in their let them sleep either in their bedroom or even on their bed.
However, the study also revealed that most of those who did felt safer, more secure, more relaxed and had a better night’s rest than those who didn’t, although just 20% of those with pets said that they experienced interrupted sleep due to their pets ‘snoring’, ‘wandering’ or ‘whimpering’ when they were in the bedroom.
The author of the study, Lois Krahn, commented that ‘Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible. Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable.”
She also pointed out from the study’s results that people who slept alone — whether because they were single or that their partner had to occasionally travel or work at night — “more often spoke of the beneficial companionship stemming from a pet in the bedroom or on the bed”.
This isn’t the only time where research carried out at the Mayo Sleep Clinic has revealed results in favour.
In a study of 40 healthy adults who had their sleep evaluated with a dog in the bedroom over a 5 month period — (with both the humans and dogs wearing activity trackers for the research) — it was found that people slept better when the pet was on their bed. Sleep quality was however sacrificed when people allowed their dogs to sleep under the covers with them.
In regard to this particular study Dr Krahn acknowledged: “The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”
The case against pets being in the bedroom
Although the clinic has released studies in favour of having pets in the bedroom, the institute — or more specifically their Sleep Disorders Center — believes that people who have difficulty sleeping should consider keeping their pets out of the room.
In a survey of 300 patients, of which over half had one or more pets, 53% of pet owners suggested that their sleep was disrupted to some extent on a daily basis. Snoring was also reported in 21% of those with dogs, as well as 7% of those with cats.
John Shepard, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, advised: “Every patient has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with pets and make a personal decision about the sleeping arrangements in the household. Some people are very attached to their pets and will tolerate poorer sleep in order to be near them at night.”
Derek Damin, of Kentuckiana Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Louisville, believes that people who have asthma or obviously pet allergies should definitely refrain from letting their animals on their bed or even in the bedroom. This is “to give your nose a few hours a day to recover”, Dr Damin explained. He did add “But if you’re not allergic, there’s really no big issue with having a dog in the bed. It’s fine as long as it doesn’t disturb your sleep.”
It appears then that so long as there aren’t any issues with allergies, personal preference takes precedence when deciding whether or not to allow pets into the bedroom.
What do you think?