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Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Sleep in Your Bed

Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Sleep in Your Bed

President Kennedy’s family had several dogs that cuddled with Caroline and John-John (as well as a beer-swilling rabbit that was a gift from a magician) while they were in Washington. Calvin Coolidge had nine canines lodged in the White House’s family quarters. And the Obama’s Portuguese water dog, Bo, was allowed to sleep on the bed with the First Lady when the President was out of town.

That’s not unusual; many people find comfort from having their pooch sleep on the bed. Unfortunately, a new study of 40 pet-loving adults with no sleeping disorders finds having your dog up on the mattress may prevent you from getting the restful sleep you need to be sharp the next day. But, dog owners, take heart—that doesn’t put Fido in the doghouse. The study published in Sleep Medicine found having a dog snoozing in the room, just not on the bed, doesn’t pose any problem.

Ideally, you should be sound asleep for 85 percent of the time you’re in bed. People with a dog in the room are asleep about 83 percent of the time—an insignificant difference. And in truth, many people get far less sleep-time than that because of insomnia, interacting with digital devices or aches and pains.

So, if you’re not sleeping well, having a dog sleeping nearby may boost your health by improving your snooze-time! The other benefits of owning a dog? It reduces blood pressure and protects against heart disease; motivates you to exercise, which promotes weight loss; and lowers stress—all adding up to a lower RealAge.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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