Minneapolis – Nearly half of Americans sleep with pets, according to the Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Many people agree that having a pet by their side makes their days better. And also at night.
Dr. Lindsay Merkel, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine, sleeps in a very full bed at night.
“We are four Chihuahuas and one Miniature Dachshund,” Merkel said.
Seven mammals are cuddling, including her husband. So you might not be surprised to hear her answer to our question.
“Given all we know about the benefits of having them sleep with us, yes, I think having them sleep with us is a good idea.” It seems to bring out the beneficial hormones dopamine and oxytocin needed to de-stress and feel good about yourself.
The Mayo Clinic also conducted some research. A sleep study tracked dogs and their humans sleeping in their bedrooms. Conclusion? The human who had one dog in her bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency. However, the dog’s position above and below the bed made a difference.
According to the study, keeping a dog on the bed can interfere with sleep, but placing the dog on the floor by the bed is fine.
But as long as you don’t have allergies and don’t have parasites, Dr. Merkel says it’s okay to go all-in.
“It seems like proof that having them in your bed is actually beneficial for both of you,” she said.
So stay close and don’t look back.
As for cats, Dr. Merkel is okay with it, but cats in general don’t seem very interested in co-sleeping.