We all know that the subject of co-sleeping with babies can be pretty controversial, but what about sharing a bed with your pooch? If you love cuddling up with your furry friend every night, there's no reason to stop—researchers say that sleeping with a dog doesn't really disrupt a human's sleep cycle.
, published by Mayo Clinic, analyzed 40 dogs who slept in the same bed as their owners. Both dogs and humans wore trackers to analyze their sleep patterns, and the owners also logged their sleep activities in a journal. After one week, researchers reported that both the humans and the dogs recorded "satisfactory" sleeping efficiency, which is sleeping for at least 80 percent of the time through the night. The average sleep efficiency for the owners was 81 percent, and the average for dogs was 85 percent. Although, the study does report that the humans slept a little better when their dog wasn't in the same bed.
But if you're debating whether or not to let your pup snooze alongside you, it really all depends on the dog's demeanor, Carlo Siracusa, a veterinarian in Philadelphia, tells the . “There are dogs that tend to be more reactive to stimuli," Dr. Siracusa says. "So, for example, if the dog is on the bed and the owner turns and inadvertently hits the dog with the leg, some dogs will get startled and react out of fear." But if a dog is more relaxed, he says there is "no problem" with letting a dog sleep with his owner.
Ultimately, you'll want to let your dog take the lead, Dr. Siracusa added, saying that a pup will take a snooze wherever it's most comfortable. "When dogs sleep, they want a safe space and don’t want to be bothered."