For that reason, I've never personally been one who likes to have dogs sleeping on the bed with us, and lately, the older I get, the worse I sleep, so for me dogs sleeping on the bed is usually out of the question.
Fortunately, I have one dog who LOVES sleeping in his crate. He walks into it at night just as easily as you walk into your bedroom. He can't sleep away from home unless we bring the crate with us.
The second dog likes the bathroom because it has cool tile, and he moves often, trying to find just the right spot.
But . . . the third one, the little 12-year-old Yorkie we just adopted, really, really, really wants to sleep on the bed with us. She does sleep on her own for the first part of the night, but somewhere between 3:00 and 4.30 a.m., she starts a low, soft whining that eventually wakes one or both of us. Of course, we give in, and up on the bed she comes to spend the last hour or two of sleep with us!
We all know how important those hours of beauty rest are to our wellness - so does having a dog in the bedroom, or in the bed, improve or undermine good sleep?
A Mayo Clinic Study supports sleeping with dogs in your room
Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, is the author of a recent study which asked the question: "Does having a dog in the bedroom, or in the bed, disturb sleep?" The researchers studied 40 dog owners who did not have a sleep disorder.
Drum roll for the answer: The Mayo Clinic News Network reported results indicating that "sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better - no matter if they're snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane."
However . . . there was a caveat: do not let your canines crawl under the covers with you. According to the study, the sleep benefit extended only to having dogs in the bedroom, not in the bed itself. Owners who cozied up to their pups in their bed sacrificed quality sleep.
Sleep and the canine/human bond
"The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom," the Mayo Clinic study concluded. "Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won't negatively impact their sleep." Unless the pets are actually in bed with them.
As for me I can tell you that after having the little 12-year-old lady sleeping with us for a couple of hours every morning, I can't imagine ever going back to not having her with us, although I'm now having a lot of sleepless mornings. But . . . I love her so much . . . and she has very efficiently and successfully trained me and my husband to provide for exactly the comfort she desires!