Should dogs sleep in bed with you? That’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for quite some time now, and the answer, according to a new survey, is to let sleeping dogs lie — snuggled in your bed.
We all know too well the struggles of sleeping with a partner: He snores too loud, he hogs the blankets, or he tosses and turns in the middle of the night. But how does slumbering with a pet affect sleep quality? That was the question researchers sought to answer in a November 2018 study published in the journal Anthrozoös. The investigators polled 962 women in the US via an online survey about their bedmates and learned that 57 percent of respondents slept with a human partner, 55 percent made room for a dog, and 31 percent cuddled with the cat. Assuming there is some overlap between those three groups, it seems as though some people have some very crowded beds.
“Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security,” the researchers wrote. “Conversely, cats who slept in their owner’s bed were reported to be equally as disruptive as human partners, and were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed partners.”
One interesting tidbit researchers gleaned was that dog owners went to sleep and woke up earlier than cat owners who didn’t have dogs. We tend to think of cats as early risers, but their nighttime activities may leave them hitting the snooze well into the day.
The study didn’t answer why women who shared beds with dogs felt their sleep quality was better — but until we learn that we’re just going to continue letting Fido curl up under the covers with us. After all, nothing beats those slobbery kisses in the morning!