It's time to kick fido out—of bed, that is

September 12, 2017 by Gia Miller, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—It's time to reclaim your bed and send your pets packing—at least at night.

Your may be more compromised if your dog is in your bed, though this is not the case if Fido is simply in your bedroom, according to a new study from the Mayo Clinic.

"The question is, where do the animals sleep, and does it affect the human?" explained study author Dr. Lois Krahn of the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

"I found there are all sorts of different patterns. Most people are pretty loyal and accept their pet. They don't want to complain about their pet bothering them at night. And, my belief is, more people have more than one pet and that just multiplies the possibility for there being a problem," said Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist.

The small study focused on 40 with a single dog in their bedroom. The researchers evaluated the amount of sleep and wake times over seven days.

The study participants comprised mostly women (88 percent). The average age was approximately 44 years old.

Humans wore an activity monitor on their wrist to detect both movement and light. They also kept a sleep diary.

Dogs wore a "FitBark" activity monitor that detected movement only. Pet owners were not given access to their dog's activity data so as to not affect the outcome.

Researchers concluded that a human's was higher and wakefulness after sleep began was lower when the dog was in the room, but not in the bed.

The quality of the dog's sleep did not change based on its location.

"To me it's like the whole caffeine thing," said Dr. W. Christopher Winter, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine in Virginia.

"People tell me all the time that they could drink a pot of coffee before they go to bed and it doesn't affect their sleep, but my guess is it does, and they just aren't aware of it. It's making their sleep, which could be 100 percent, 85 percent," he said.

"I often say that we are very good at saying our sleep is better or our sleep is worse in some situations, but we're not really good at saying our sleep is normal. Because, for some people, if you have been sleeping with a dog in your bed for 20 years, what is normal? You don't even know anymore, to some extent," explained Winter, who wasn't involved with the study.

Krahn said: "There are a couple of different things that happen. Very often people are awoken by their pet, so the pet is walking on them, moving around, wiggling in bed, or snoring. Dogs sometimes will be moving and acting out their dreams. There are some pets that get under the blankets, and that wakes a person up."

Winter also pointed out that it isn't just your sleep that should be a concern, it's also your pet's.

"The dog shouldn't become dependent on his owner being in the bed with him. He should develop his own good sleep habits. You could create a situation where when you go out of town, your dog is a nightmare for the person who is watching him because you aren't there to sleep with him or her," Winter said.

"I'm not a big fan of co-sleeping, with children or pets," he said.

The study authors believe this is the first research of its kind to objectively evaluate the effects of in bedrooms on human sleep. Still, they recommend further studies be done evaluating other types of pets and multiple pets per human.

They'd also like to understand if wakefulness by the owner is because of the dog's movements, or if the owner stirred first.

"I also wonder if there are differences in terms of pets. We could study cat, dog and sloth and see what the differences are," Winter said.

The study was published in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Explore further: Are you barking up the wrong tree by sleeping with your dog?

More information: Lois Krahn, M.D., neurologist and psychiatrist, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix; W. Christopher Winter, M.D., president, Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, Virginia; Sept. 2017, Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Here's what the American Kennel Club has to say about bed-sharing with your dog.

Related Stories

Are you barking up the wrong tree by sleeping with your dog?

September 7, 2017
Let sleeping dogs lie ... in the bedroom. That's according to a new Mayo Clinic study that's sure to set many tails wagging.

More Americans kept awake by fido, fluffy

June 5, 2014
(HealthDay)—Dogs whimpering that they need to "go outside," cats with medical needs, even pets that snore— it's all adding up to sleepless nights for many Americans, a new report finds.

How much sleep do you really need?

July 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—Health initiatives typically center on diet and fitness. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society state that getting enough sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising.

Sleep is key to college success

August 17, 2016
(HealthDay)—It can be hard for college students to get enough sleep, and that can affect their physical and mental well-being, a sleep expert says.

Daylight saving time—why some have a hard time making the switch

March 9, 2017
For the most part, adjusting our clocks an hour ahead—as we will do this weekend—comes as good news: it is a welcome change from the long, dark winter.

Sleep: the great motivator

February 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—If you really want to follow through on your New Year's resolutions, make sure you get enough sleep.

Recommended for you

Introduction of alcohol found to adversely impact fertility rates in hunter-gatherer community

June 19, 2018
Fernando Ramirez Rozzi, a research director with the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found that the introduction of alcohol to a Baka pygmy hunter-gatherer society caused fertility rates to fall. In his ...

Bad habits that lead to cancer, chronic disease corrected by simple lifestyle intervention

June 19, 2018
Does this sound like someone you know? He or she spends too much time in front of screens, gets little exercise and eats a diet high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables.

Risks of cancer and mortality by average lifetime alcohol intake

June 19, 2018
The risk of mortality, and of developing a number of cancers, is lowest in light drinkers consuming an average of less than one drink per day across their lifetime, and the risk of some cancers increases with each additional ...

Graphic warning labels linked to reduced sugary drink purchases

June 18, 2018
Warning labels that include photos linking sugary drink consumption with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay, may reduce purchases of the drinks, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School ...

Greater levels of vitamin D associated with decreasing risk of breast cancer

June 15, 2018
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggest higher levels of vitamin D are associated with decreasing risk of breast cancer. Their epidemiological study is published in the June 15 online ...

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels, study reveals

June 13, 2018
Replacing potatoes or rice with pulses can lower your blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent, according to a first-ever University of Guelph study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.