Letting your dog sleep in your bedroom may lead to more restful sleep

Whether or not a dog is allowed in the bedroom is a highly individualized decision: Some pet owners are eager to cuddle up to their pup at night, while others banish Fido from their sleeping quarters.

Now, new research attempts to shed some light on whether letting a dog sleep the bedroom helps or hurts a person's efforts to get a good night's sleep.

A small study from the Mayo Clinic finds that sleeping in the same room with your pet does not appear to affect quality of sleep. In fact, it may actually lead to a more restful night. However, that benefit does not extend to people who actually shared their bed with their pet, which the research found may negatively affect sleep quality.

"Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption," study author Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine on Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus, said in a statement. "We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets."

According to the American Veterinary Association, more than 43 million American households have dogs. Nearly two-thirds of pet owners said they consider their pooch a part of their family.

MORE: Read the full story at CBSNEWS.com

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