A study conducted by the Mayo Sleep Clinic in Arizona has found that having a cat or dog in bed with you could assist in your ability to have a good night’s sleep.
The study followed 150 participants with just under 50% of them owning pets.
Although 20 per cent of owners said they were frequently disturbed by their pets odd sleeping patterns, 41 per cent said they found having a pet in bed to be a great advantage.
Lois Krahn, who authored the study Are Animals a Problem in the Bedroom? said: “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.
“Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable. The value of these experiences, although poorly understood, cannot be dismissed because sleep is dependent on a state of physical and mental relaxation.”
Owners who slept well with their pets said that they felt the companionship helped them to feel safe and relaxed when drifting off to sleep.
“One 50-year-old woman did ‘not mind when my lovely cat’ slept on her chest and another described her cat as ‘soothing.’ Patients volunteered that they deliberately acquired a dog or cat to help them relax.”
Whilst more studies will be conducted into how beneficial pets are to good sleep, initial findings point to having pets as a simple solution to those who suffer with sleep problems.
The authors said: “Health care professionals working with patients with sleep concerns should inquire about the home sleep environment, and companion animals specifically, to help them find solutions and optimise their sleep.”
Do you sleep better with your pet?