The subject of sharing the bed with pets causes much contention between pet owners. Some love the idea of cuddling up with their furry friends, while others are totally opposed to the idea. It is thought that around 50% of pet owners in the UK allow their pet into the bedroom, a figure that may be surprising to some.
We believe that you should implement the nighttime routine that works best for you and your animals. However, in an effort to convert the naysayers, findings have shown that having pets in the bedroom could in fact have a positive impact.
A study, conducted by the Mayo Sleep Clinic in Arizona, interviewed 150 participants on their sleeping habits, 49% of which had pets. Of the pet owners surveyed, almost half reported that they felt more rested with an animal in their bedroom than without.
The study also found that, while 20% of pet owners said that their pets sometimes interrupted their sleep with 'wandering', 'snoring' or 'whimpering, 41% said it was an advantage and actually helped them drift off.
Speaking of the study, authors drew a distinction between pets that sleep soundly, and those who are perhaps more restless. They concluded that those whose pets sleep soundly tended only to report the benefits of having a pet in the bedroom. These include security, companionship, and relaxation.
Speaking of individual cases, they said:
"A single 64-year-old woman commented that she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet.
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 researchers have stressed that further work must be done before pets can be suggested as beneficial for people suffering from sleeping problems or disorders, if you do already have a pet and are struggling to sleep, why not try allowing them into the bedroom? You never know...
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