Reviewed by Amy Flowers on February 19, 2012

Sources

Michael J. Breus, PhD, American Board of Sleep Medicine, Clinical Psychology, Clinical Sleep Disorders, Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine, Atlanta.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Michael Breus, PhD: Should you sleep with your pet? Well, I would have to tell you that I would be in trouble if I said that people can't sleep with their pets anymore because we have a cat that sleeps in our bed. And he's pretty quiet and he doesn't move around a whole lot. But there are some bulldogs that snore louder than human beings. So, you have to be aware of what this can do. Especially large animals, large breed dogs, can have a significant effect on somebody's sleep because they move around quite a bit in their sleep, which can be disturbing to you. That's number one. Number two is people may not may not realize it, but you can actually get allergies to pets over time that you didn't start out having. So when your animals first of all, are used to getting on your bed, they get on your bed quite a bit, even when you're not home and so their dander and hair gets on the covers, gets on the pillows, things of that nature. And when you're sleeping on that, and it's very close to your respiratory system, you can have significant allergic reactions and never realize that you were allergic before. So, there's actually been a study that looked at people who sleep with pets verses people who sleep without and people who sleep without pets actually have a better night's rest. So what I oftentimes tell people to do is if you just can't part with having Fido or Fluffy out of the bed, at least put them at the foot of the bed, with a specified blanket with them to sleep, so that way they can be out of your way, and hopefully not disturb your sleep.