Want a good night’s sleep?

Mayo Clinic says Fido can help.


“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” says Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus.

To test that pivotal assumption, Dr. Krahn and her team conducted a study on The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment.


And, the results may surprise you …


A disruption?

No way, says Dr. Krahn:

“We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets … , sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better.”


But, before you get too excited and call Fido into the sack, let’s parse the study’s verbatim conclusion:

“A dog’s presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected.

Humans with a single dog in their bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency; some achieved greater sleep efficiency.

However, the dog’s position on/off the bed made a difference.

Human sleep efficiency was lower if the dog was on the bed as opposed to simply in the room.”

English translation: To gain any canine-induced sleep benefits, no more than one dog in the bedroom … and, the dog stays off the bed.

That said, Dr. Krahn opines:

“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 mere fact that the Mayo Clinic is researching topics like this is enough to make me lose sleep.



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One Response to “Want a good night’s sleep?”

  1. John H Carpenter Says:

    I believe there are other therapeutic benefits of pets. Frequent “petting” visits and even pet ownership in homes for the aged are supposed to be beneficial. Pet ownership has been know to help convicts return to normal life and to assist cancer patients. And there are always the service dogs. My bet is this question goes all the way back to why pets were domesticated in the first place. I doubt it was to help humans hunt. Ever tried to hunt with a cat? Recognizing and understanding these effects would seem to be to be a legitimate medical research topic.

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