Nearly 80 million people in the United States have a pet.

According the Academy of Sleep Medicine, almost half of Americans sleep with their pets.

Researchers give it a mixed review in terms of how it affects sleep quality.

Many agree having a pet at our side makes our days better, and for some - the nights, too.

Do you let your pets sleep with you in bed?

Dr. Lindsay Merkel at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine offered insight on some of the benefits of sleeping with your pets. 

"Given everything we understand about the benefits that we can gain by having them sleep with us, I think yes, having them sleep with us is a great idea.”

"It seems to bring out the beneficial hormones we need for stress relief and, you know, feeling good about ourselves, the dopamine and the oxytocin," Merkel explains.

The Mayo Clinic did some research too.

A sleep study tracked dogs sleeping in the bedroom and their humans.

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The study says having the dog in the bed can disrupt sleep, but having the dog on the floor by the bed does not.

But — as long as you don't have allergies and they don't have parasites — Dr. Merkel says it’s okay to go all in.

"It seems like the proof is that having them in your bed is actually beneficial for both of you."

Merkel says cats are good too, and studies have shown their purrs can help you heal.

A study from 2009 showed your purring cat might help with getting rid of migraines, lowering stress, easing your breathing, and lower your blood pressure.

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