New Research Shows Sleeping With Pets May Help You Sleep Better

Until now, research has suggested that sleeping with your pets is disruptive and should be avoided. A new study released December 2015 finds that sleeping with your pet may help you feel more secure, reduce anxiety and even sleep better!

Earlier Research Suggested Sleeping With Pets is Disruptive

We reported on the 2014 Mayo Clinic  study in which 300 participants were surveyed. One hundred fifty-seven of them owned pets and about 60 percent of them allowed their pets to sleep with them on the bed. Of those 60 percent, 53 percent said that their pets disrupted their sleep. Most pet owners were disturbed a few times each night, with only a handful stating their sleep was disturbed for more than 20 minutes every night. You can read our full post Sleeping with Pets: Has Your Quality of Sleep Gone to the Dogs here.

New Research Identifies Benefits of Sleeping With Pets

This month, the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic conducted similar research. They found that 56% of the participants shared their bed or bedroom with their pets but only 20% reported being woken up by their pets and 41% said having pets in their bed helped them sleep better.

The Reported Benefits:

  • Helps with relaxation
  • Sense of companionship
  • Sense of security
  • Increased feeling of contentment

Do you sleep with your pets? What are the benefits or disruptions?

Are you concerned that you or a loved one are suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness?

Take the sleepiness quiz

Are Pets in the Bedroom a Problem? Krahn, Lois E. et al.Mayo Clinic Proceedings , Volume 90 , Issue 12 , 1663 – 1665

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Photo credit: Kermit Newman


  1. Elizabeth Roessler Reply

    I sleep with my dog but they can’t be certain because there could be confounding variables that also lead to this better sleep that aren’t being said or known. Did all the participants return the survey or just some of them? More variables we don’t know about!!

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  8. Connection Answer Reply

    Companionship: Sleeping with pets can provide a sense of companionship and emotional support, especially for those who live alone. Having your pet by your side can alleviate feelings of loneliness and create a sense of security.

    Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Studies have shown that sleeping with pets can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. The presence of a pet can provide a calming effect, promoting relaxation and improving overall sleep quality.

    Warmth and Comfort: Pets, especially cats and dogs, emit body heat that can create a cozy and warm sleeping environment. Snuggling up with your pet can help keep you warm during colder nights, enhancing comfort and promoting better sleep.

    Improved Mood: Interacting with pets releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin, which can elevate mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Waking up to a happy and enthusiastic pet can start your day on a positive note.

    Sense of Security: Many pets have protective instincts, and their presence can provide a sense of security while sleeping. Knowing that your pet is nearby can help you feel safer and more at ease, allowing you to relax and drift off to sleep more easily.

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