While it’s common for many people to share their bed with their furry best friend, researchers are officially stating it is bad for sleep. Co-sleeping has often been defined as sharing a bed with a child or a romantic partner, but sharing with a pet is one that studies often overlook.
Dr. Sowjanya Duthuluru M.D. and her team presented their research in the form of a poster at SLEEP 2014, which was the first of its kind. She shared with The Huffington Post that pets have been known to be disruptive to sleep due to allergic reactions they may trigger, their animated dreams, or unexpected meows and barks throughout the night.
300 patients were asked 17 questions about their quality of sleep and about their pets (or lack thereof), with 148 patients identified as pet owners. 54% of people with pets admitted to sharing their bedrooms or beds with their furry friend. 30% of the pet owners who slept their pets reported waking up at least once a night due to their pets, with 5% of them admitting they had trouble getting back to sleep after the disturbance if they shared the bed with a bed more than four nights a week. Overall, 63% of the pet owners who share their bed had poor sleep quality.
Further research will definitely be needed to find out more about the effects of co-sleeping with pets as some pet owners did feel comforted by having their pets in bedroom. Sharing a bedroom with pet is a personal decision, but always evaluate your sleep quality and how you feel when you wake up the next morning.