Study: Do pets in bed hurt or help sleep?

A dog looks on as a pig sleeps on a bed at their owner house Nieves Morodo in Barcelona city, Spain, Monday Nov. 7, 2011. N(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

AUSTIN (WFLA) Should you allow pets to sleep in your bed? A new study reveals that, while the answer depends on you, most people are not bothered by having their animals snuggled up next to them at night.

The Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona studied 150 patients. Seventy-four of those people are pet owners. More than half of those pet owners allow their pets in the bedroom.

While 20 percent of owners described their pets as disruptive at night, 41 percent said their pets are unobtrusive. Many said pets are even beneficial to sleep. They provide” security, companionship or relaxation,” the study’s authors said.

Dogs are more dependent on humans than cats, the study’s authors explained. Dogs do a better job adopting a “consistent sleep pattern” with their owners. But, dogs can also bark or whimper during the night if they are dissatisfied.

Meanwhile, cats rarely spend the entire night in one place because they tend to roam.” Nonetheless, some cat owners, presumably those with animals that sleep well, describe their cat as a valued source of relaxation,” the report says.

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