If you always consign your dog to the kitchen or living room when you go to bed, it may be time to rethink your choices.
According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, sleeping alongside your dog may actually improve your sleep patterns.
The researchers were trying to assess whether having a dog in the bedroom would disturb or help sleep.
To do this, they spent four months evaluating the sleep of humans and dogs occupying the same bedroom.
40 healthy adults without sleep disorders took part with their dogs, none of whom were under six months old.
For seven nights, the humans wore accelerometers and their canine pals wore dog versions to track their sleep.
The study found that regardless of the size of the dog, having a four-legged friend in the room improved sleep quality.
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Centre for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus said in the study’s release.
“We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
If the dog was on the bed rather than the floor, however, their owners slept less well.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximise their time with them when they are home,” Krahn said.
“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.”