Can a pet in the bedroom help you sleep better?
Can a pet in the bedroom help you sleep?
Do you allow your pet to snuggle up with you in bed? If not, you might want to reconsider; new research finds that, for most people, the presence of a pet in the bedroom could benefit sleep.
Lead author Dr. Lois Krahn, of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ, and colleagues publish their findings in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
It goes without saying that the US is a nation of animal lovers; almost 65% of American households own a pet, the most common companions being dogs and cats.
There have been numerous studies hailing the benefits of pet ownership. A recent study, for example, found that children with pet dogs experience less stress.
But according to Dr. Krahn and colleagues, there is limited quality research on how the presence of a pet in the bedroom may impact an owner’s sleep.
Pets in the bedroom may offer sense of security, relaxation
To address this research gap, the team surveyed 150 patients at the Center for Sleep Medicine, of whom 74 reported owning at least one pet – mostly dogs and cats.
The researchers gathered various information, including whether they allowed their pet to sleep in the bedroom and on the bed, and whether their pet is disruptive to their sleep.
Around 56% of pet owners reported allowing their pets to sleep in the bedroom or the bed.
Disruptive behaviors – including wandering, whimpering and snoring – were reported by 20% of owners who allowed their pet to sleep close by.
However, 41% of owners said their pets were not disruptive, with some – particularly individuals who were single – saying their presence even helped them sleep by providing security, companionship or relaxation.
One woman described her two small dogs as “bed warmers,” while another woman described her cat as “soothing” when it slept on her bed. A single 64-year-old woman said she felt more content when her dog slept under the covers by her feet.
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