Why you should reconsider sharing your bed with your pet

Apr 04, 2024
Sharing your bed with your furry friend might seem cozy, but a recent study suggests it could be disrupting your sleep quality. Source: Getty Images.

Sharing your bed with your furry friend might not be as dreamy as you think, with a recent study suggesting cuddling up to your four-legged friend may be doing more harm than good when it comes to sleep quality.

As part of a recent study published in Scientific Reports, over 1,500 American adults answered questions about their sleep routines. Surprisingly, about half of them admitted to sharing their sleeping space with their pets—meaning their pets bunked with them for at least part of the night.

Researchers then dug into the sleep patterns of both pet co-sleepers and those who snoozed solo. The verdict? People who cuddled up with their pets experienced poorer sleep quality and more trouble with insomnia compared to those who slept without their furry companions. Even after adjusting for different demographics, the results held up.

Despite such findings, a whopping 93 percent of those who snuggled with their pets believed their presence had either a positive or neutral impact on their sleep.

Brian N. Chin, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Trinity College and lead author of the study, noted that while pets often boost mental well-being, their nighttime antics might sabotage sleep quality.

“Most pet owners report that their pets have a generally positive effect on their mental health,” Chin wrote.

“However, our study fills an important knowledge gap by indicating that co-sleeping with pets can affect sleep quality.

“Even though pets may have an overall positive effect on mental health, it is possible that some of this benefit may be undermined if they are also causing you to lose sleep at night.

“Although some people report that co-sleeping with their pets can provide them with a sense of comfort or intimacy, it is important for people sharing a bedroom with their pets to be aware of their potential to serve as a source of nighttime noise, heat or movement that can disrupt your ability to fall or stay asleep.”

So, while sharing your bed with your furry friend might offer a sense of closeness, it’s essential to be mindful of how it could affect your beauty sleep.

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