A new study titled “An Examination of Adult Women’s Sleep Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing” recently published in the journal Anthrozoös found that cuddly canines might mean sweeter dreams.
The study polled 962 female pet owners to see how having an animal affected their sleep. Fifty-five percent of canine-owning participants said they let their dog sleep in the bed, while only 31 percent of cat owners were willing to share covers with their kitties. Additionally, 57 percent of all women surveyed shared their bed with another human.
Based on the responses they received, the study found that dogs were the least disruptive of the three bed partners.
“Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security,” the study states.
Cats and humans were found to be equally bothersome in bed, though cats were seen as the least comfort-providing.
The study posits that the sleep schedule that dog owners can develop to help meet their pets’ needs might contribute to a better quality of sleep.
Overall, while the numbers point to dogs being the best sleepover buddies, the authors of the study say that follow-up research is required to see if “pet owners’ perceptions of pets’ impacts on their sleep align with objective measures of sleep quality.”