Health & Spirit

Let sleeping dogs -- and their masters -- lie

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

President John F. Kennedy's family had several dogs that cuddled with Caroline and John-John (as well as a beer-swilling rabbit that was a gift from a magician) while they were in Washington. Calvin Coolidge had nine canines lodged in the White House's family quarters. And the Obamas' Portuguese water dog, Bo, was allowed to sleep on the bed with the first lady when the president was out of town.

That's not unusual; many people find comfort from having their pooch sleep on the bed. Unfortunately, a new study of 40 pet-loving adults with no sleeping disorders finds that having your dog up on the mattress may prevent you from getting the restful sleep you need to be sharp the next day. But, dog owners, take heart; that doesn't "put Fido in the doghouse." The study published in Sleep Medicine found that having a dog snoozing in the room, just not on the bed, doesn't pose any problem.

Ideally, you should be sound asleep for 85 percent of the time you're in bed. People with a dog in the room are asleep about 83 percent of the time -- an insignificant difference. And in truth, many people get far less sleep time than that because of insomnia, interacting with digital devices or aches and pains.

So if you're not sleeping well, having a dog sleeping nearby may boost your health by improving your snooze time! The other benefits of owning a dog? It reduces blood pressure and protects against heart disease; motivates you to exercise, which promotes weight loss; and lowers stress.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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