Your dog or cat could be the cause of chronic poor sleep: study

Had a strawberry night’s sleep?

A new study published in the journal Human-Animal Interactions has shown that people with dogs are more likely to suffer from a sleep disorder. Owning a cat was also associated with sleep problems, but not to the extent that dog owners suffer from them.

Researchers have recognized that while pets can have a relaxing effect on their owners during the day, they ultimately negatively affect overall sleep quality.

“On the one hand, dogs and cats can benefit an owner’s quality of sleep because of the social support provided by pets,” said Dr. Lauren Wisnieski, who led the study, in a press release. “Pets provide a sense of security and companionship, which can lead to improved levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. Yet, on the other hand, pets can disrupt their sleep. owners.

Scientists at Lincoln Memorial University considered the sleep hygiene histories of study participants, noting factors such as snoring, waking up abruptly, needing sleeping pills, not sleeping resting or sleeping, taking more than 15 minutes to fall asleep and having less than six on average. hours of sleep.

Scientists at Lincoln Memorial University considered a variety of poor sleep factors.
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Scientists from Lincoln Memorial University focused on pet ownership in the United States, examining data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005-2006.

Around 5,500 people were examined – 51.7% women and 48.3% men.

Compared to those without pets, dog owners have been found to have more sleep issues, including trouble sleeping, sleep apnea, feeling insomnia or drowsiness, the need to take pills to fall asleep, insufficient sleep (less than six hours) at night and twitching of the legs. .

Meanwhile, owning a cat was more likely to cause snoring, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, and jerking in the legs.

Differences in sleep quality were more extreme between dog owners and non-dog owners compared to cat owners and non-cat owners, possibly due to cats being more active at night , the researchers hypothesized.

Young woman and her dog waking up in the morning.
Scientists have acknowledged that while pets can relax their owners with a “sense of security and companionship”, they ultimately hurt overall sleep quality.
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Wisniesky added that the link between sleep and pet care requires further research, which could inform how clinicians treat patients with poor sleep quality and help experts develop educational resources on these health risks associated with owning a pet.

She said potential solutions include crating your pet or limiting their access to the bedroom at night.

“Future studies would benefit from measuring the human-animal bond, so we can understand how the strength of (their relationship) affects sleep quality,” Wisniesky said.

New York Post

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