Should you let your pet sleep with you? A recent study is challenging the conventional wisdom that animals in the bedroom can mess with your sleep.It has long been thought that pets in the bedroom can be disruptive to a person’s slumber, but believe it or not, they can actually be beneficial.According to a recent Mayo Clinic survey, 41 percent of sleep patients who share their beds with their animals find it helpful.“If having a pet nearby helps them feel relaxed and gives them a sense of security, which permits them to fall asleep with less difficulty, then I think that is something that does deserve attention,” said Dr. Lois Krahn, Sleep Specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.Albuquerque pet owner, Carlos Chavez, couldn’t agree more, which is why he shares his bed with his large German Shepherd.“It’s our companion. It’s like a family member. It’s like having your family next to you. It’s also protection. She’s a great guard dog,” said Chavez.Not everyone agrees. At least 20 percent of respondents admitted that their pets interrupted their sleep.They cited noise, movements, crowding, temperature, odors and allergens as reasons.“Too noisy. They rustle around. I hear them at night. They’re making noise. They have their beds. They can sleep in their bed and I’ll have mine,” said Margie Cornwell.Doctors say there are many considerations pet owners need to take into account, such as whether you’re a heavy sleeper or light sleeper, how well the pet sleeps, the size of the animal and the size of the bed.Experts say if you do allow your pet in bed, clean off its feet and if it’s an older animal, make sure it has a safe way to get in and out of bed.The study did not look at whether different types of pets or different species were more disruptive than others.
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