It’s well-known that good sleep is crucial for health, and a new study from Canisius College in New York State has added an interesting twist: women tend to sleep better with dogs than with human partners or cats.

The study, led by animal behaviorist Christy Hoffman, Ph.D., surveyed nearly 1,000 women in the U.S. Results revealed that 55% of women shared their bed with a dog, 31% with a cat, and 57% with a human partner.

Why Dogs Are Ideal Sleep Companions

  1. Matching Sleep Patterns: Dogs’ sleep cycles align more closely with human sleep patterns compared to cats. This synchronicity helps reduce disturbances.
  2. Adaptability: Unlike human partners who might have varying sleep schedules, dogs tend to adapt better to their owner’s routine, promoting better sleep quality.
  3. Routine and Responsibility: Owning a dog often involves maintaining a consistent schedule, such as morning walks, which can enhance the owner’s sleep routine and overall sleep quality.
  4. Stillness and Stability: Dogs generally remain more still during the night compared to cats, who are more likely to move on and off the bed, causing disruptions.
  5. Sense of Security: Dogs provide a sense of security that cats and even some human partners do not. The presence of a dog can be reassuring, knowing that they might alert their owner in case of an intruder or emergency.

Subjective Benefits

Although the study highlights several advantages of sleeping with dogs, it’s important to note that these benefits can be subjective. For example, some dogs might snore or generate heat, which could affect sleep quality differently for different people.


Hoffman suggests that more objective research is needed to fully understand how pets influence sleep. Future studies could use devices like Fitbits to track sleep quality in various sleeping arrangements. This research could be valuable, considering the large number of pet owners in the U.S.

Overall, while the current findings are promising, they are based on participants’ perceptions. Therefore, a deeper exploration into how pets affect sleep is essential for drawing more definitive conclusions.


In summary, dogs appear to be excellent bed companions for many women, providing comfort, security, and better sleep alignment. As research continues, we may gain more insights into the dynamics of pet co-sleeping and its impact on sleep quality.

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