Does your dog sleeping in the bedroom hurt the quality of your sleep?

Posted at 9:16 AM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 09:16:30-04

Millions of Americans have dogs and these beloved pets are often considered families’ four-legged fur babies. But researchers at the Mayo Clinic are now investigating whether dogs should be sleeping in the bedroom with their owners.

A small study followed 40 adult dog owners, using activity trackers to monitor the humans' and dogs' sleeping patterns over seven nights. The results? Having a pup in the bedroom doesn't seem to disrupt owners' sleep.

But there’s one catch: The study suggests that owners who share their beds with their dog may experience a decrease in sleep quality.

ABC News’ chief medical contributor, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said this study depends on three major factors. “It depends on the size of the dog, the size of the bed, and the size of the person sleeping with the dog,” she said.

Ashton said she’d like to see the study be done with cats and multiple dogs sleeping in the bed, rather than just one human and one dog that the study focused on.

“Obviously if the human quality of sleep is disrupted, that is a hard line in the sand, in my opinion medically, because our sleep is already not so great as a country,” she said. “But I think if the dog provides comfort and you get a better night’s sleep, then that’s definitely good for humans.”