177. Sleep with a pet, Is it okay?


Sleeping with pets is a common practice among many households, with dogs and cats often finding their way into their owners’ bedrooms at night. While there has been a longstanding belief that sharing a bed with pets could disrupt human sleep, recent research suggests otherwise. This article explores the effects of sleeping with pets on human health and sleep quality, drawing from recent studies and expert opinions.


Sleep with pet



1. Traditional Perception vs. Recent Research:

Historically, it was thought that pets in the bedroom could disrupt sleep due to their shorter sleep cycles. However, recent studies have challenged this notion, suggesting that sleeping with pets can actually improve sleep quality for some individuals.


2. Data from Mayo Clinic:

A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Medicine Center in 2017 found that over half of pet owners reported sleeping with their pets in the bedroom, with the majority stating that it helped them sleep better. Only a minority reported disturbances to their sleep.


3. Sleep Trackers Study with pet:

Another study in 2017 utilized sleep trackers on both humans and dogs, revealing that both species obtained sufficient sleep when sharing a bedroom. However, the quality of sleep declined when sharing the same bed.


4. Impact on Children’s Sleep with pet:

Research from Concordia University in Canada examined the sleep quality of adolescents who shared a bedroom with a pet. Surprisingly, having a pet in the bedroom did not negatively affect sleep quality for these children.


pet 1


5. Psychological Comfort:

Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla from the Mayo Clinic suggests that having a pet nearby can provide psychological comfort and promote feelings of calmness, which can aid in falling and staying asleep.


6. Potential Disruptions:

Despite the potential benefits, it’s essential to recognize that some individuals may experience disturbances to their sleep due to their pet’s movements during the night. Professor Vsevolod Polotsky advises taking measures to address these disturbances if they occur.


7. Considerations for Sleep Disorders:

Individuals with sleep disorders such as insomnia, delayed sleep phase disorder, or sleep apnea should exercise caution when sleeping with pets, as their movements may exacerbate these conditions.


sleep apnea



8. Respiratory Concerns:

People with respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should also be cautious about sharing a bedroom with pets, as pet dander and fur can trigger symptoms and worsen breathing difficulties.


Pet disease management


9. Importance of Undisturbed Sleep:

Professor Polotsky emphasizes the importance of undisturbed sleep, highlighting the need for individuals to achieve 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted rest each night to support overall health and well-being.


10. Individual Variability:

Ultimately, the effects of sleeping with pets on human health and sleep quality can vary from person to person. While some may benefit from the presence of a pet, others may find their sleep disrupted. It’s essential to assess individual circumstances and preferences.



In conclusion, sleeping with pets can have both positive and negative effects on human sleep quality and health. While some studies suggest that having a pet in the bedroom can promote feelings of comfort and relaxation, others caution against potential disruptions to sleep, particularly for those with pre-existing sleep disorders or respiratory conditions. Ultimately, the decision to sleep with a pet should be based on individual preferences and considerations for maintaining optimal sleep hygiene.




Does sleeping with pets affect sleep quality?
While some individuals report improved sleep quality with pets in the bedroom, others may experience disruptions, particularly if they have sleep disorders or respiratory conditions.


Can children sleep with pets without it affecting their sleep?
Research suggests that children can generally sleep with pets in the bedroom without it negatively impacting their sleep quality.


What should I do if my pet’s movements disrupt my sleep?
If your pet’s movements are causing disturbances to your sleep, consider implementing measures such as providing a separate sleeping area for your pet or using earplugs to minimize noise disruptions.


Are there any health conditions that may contraindicate sleeping with pets?
Individuals with sleep disorders, respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies, or those who are sensitive to pet dander should exercise caution when sleeping with pets.


Can pets transmit diseases to humans through sleeping together?
While the risk of disease transmission from pets to humans through sleeping together is generally low, it’s essential to maintain good hygiene practices and ensure that pets are regularly vaccinated and treated for parasites.


Do certain types of pets have a greater impact on sleep quality?
The impact of sleeping with pets on sleep quality may vary depending on factors such as the size of the pet, its behavior during the night, and individual preferences.


Is it safe for pregnant women to sleep with pets?
Pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider regarding the safety of sleeping with pets, as there may be potential risks associated with certain infections or allergens.


Can sleeping with pets alleviate feelings of loneliness or anxiety?
For some individuals, the presence of a pet in the bedroom may provide comfort and companionship, which can help alleviate feelings of loneliness or anxiety and promote relaxation.


Should pets be trained to sleep separately if they disrupt their owner’s sleep?
Depending on the severity of sleep disruptions, pet owners may consider implementing training techniques or providing separate sleeping arrangements to address any issues.


What are some alternative strategies for improving sleep quality with pets in the bedroom?
Alternative strategies for improving sleep quality with pets in the bedroom include establishing a consistent bedtime routine, ensuring pets receive adequate exercise during the day, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment for both pets and owners.


Today’s Quiz

Question: What percentage of pet owners reported sleeping with their pets in the bedroom, according to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Medicine Center’s study in 2017?

Answer: According to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Medicine Center’s study in 2017, over half of pet owners reported sleeping with their pets in the bedroom.


Mayo Clinic Sleep Medicine Center:


Concordia University:


CNN Health:


Expert opinions from Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky, director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Sleep Research Institute, and Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic.


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