Do you have trouble sleeping?

A new study has found having a pet in the bedroom could be the answer to a better night's sleep.

While you may be thinking a snoring, fidgeting animal sharing your sleeping space sounds like a recipe for a disturbed night, new research from the Mayo Sleep Clinic suggests otherwise.

The clinic found a number of people slept better when their pet slept along side them.

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Of the study's 150 participants, 49 per cent owned a pet. More than half of these animals slept in their owners room or bed.

Twenty per cent of pet owners noted their animal interrupted their sleep by 'wandering', 'snoring' and 'whimpering'.

But a large number said having their pet in their bedroom or on their bed deemed it an advantage.

One 64-year-old woman commented that "she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet," said study author Lois Krahn.

"One married woman described her two small dogs as 'bed warmers.' One 50-year-old woman did 'not mind when my lovely cat' slept on her chest and another described her cat as 'soothing.'"

Krahn said patients had deliberately acquired a pet to help them relax.

"People sleeping alone, not always single but sometimes with a partner who travels or works some nights, more often spoke of the beneficial companionship stemming from a pet in the bedroom or on the bed," she said.

DOGS IN BEDS

A recent study of 23, 000 dog owners found more than half of them let their canines sleep on their beds.

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"Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible," writes Krahn.

"Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner's desire to have animals close at night is understandable. As more households include multiple pets, the challenge of securing appropriate sleeping arrangements is increased."

- nzherald.co.nz