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 on “Good Morning America” today.
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.”
"GMA" asked our viewers on Twitter if they think dogs belong in the bedroom. The resounding answer was yes.
Do you think that your dog should sleep in your bedroom? Tweet and let us know your thoughts! pic.twitter.com/scAckXn6CZ— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 12, 2017
My dog has slept in the bed with me since day 1! I can't sleep without her- she's my little watch dog ?— FalPal ???? (@see_kel) September 12, 2017
Yep...I sleep better knowing he's there to protect me.— Maria De (@Babsd1966) September 12, 2017
But there were some critics, citing allergies, privacy and some commenting that sharing the bed with your fur baby is just plain “gross.”
No!!!! We love our dog, Henry, so we provide him a safe and warm place to sleep. Our bed is for my husband and I only.— diana gritney (@BlessIAm63) September 12, 2017
Absolutely not ! Eweeee— Jonathan ?? (@itsonlyjonathan) September 12, 2017
Yes and no, I have allergies to their hair & dander but still sleep with me, constantly washing sheets & pillows helps! They keep me warm ??— nobody (@sc00byd00bie) September 12, 2017
I use to let my dog get on the bed when I was young, now HELL NO, that's gross!— ABC (@Ms_Anglenora) September 12, 2017
No he's got his own room!— Tom Thomas (@presidenthomas) September 12, 2017