When it comes to your pooch and your bed, the verdict is in. For a good night's sleep, there's no need to let the dog out of the bedroom when you're ready to go to sleep. A recent Mayo Clinic study found sleeping with your dog in the bedroom - but not in your bed - may not disrupt sleep as previously thought.

That's good news for the millions of Americans who have as pets and consider their canine companion a member of their family.

Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist and co-author of the study says, "The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom."

Dr. Krahn explains the study, "We decided to collect data using a measuring device, applied to both the dogs and people, to see who was right.

"And we found that as long as the dogs were not on the bed, their presence in the did not appear to be a big issue for the sleep of their owner, but on the bed was a different story.

"I do think that it's possible to have a dog, to incorporate them into your life, to spend time, including evening and night hours, but you have to be sensible.

"You have to sort of pay attention to your own needs, your own sleep, and then think of how you can incorporate the dog. And don't let the dog just do exactly what it wants."