The question: Family dogs often spend the night in their owner's bedroom. Might this affect people's sleep?
In this study, the researchers assessed the sleep habits of 40 healthy adults (average age, 44) who had no sleep disorders and who had a dog older than 6 months (average age, 5 years) that slept in the bedroom.
Sleep efficiency was worse if the dog was on the bed rather than elsewhere in the room: 80 vs. 83 percent. People also spent less time awake after initially falling asleep if their dog was not on the bed. The dogs' sleep efficiency was not affected by their location.
"A dog's presence in the bedroom may not be disruptive to human sleep, as was previously suspected," the researchers, all affiliated with the Mayo Clinic,reported.
Data came from a small number of participants for a short time. The study did not include people with more than one dog in their bedroom and did not include, for comparison, people who did not sleep with a dog in the bedroom. The findings do not apply to other?pets, such as cats.