NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 8:17 AM
Let sleeping dogs lie with you.
A new study reveals that people who cuddle with their critters catch more z’s.
The Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona recently surveyed 150 patients, half of which were pet owners. And of the 56% who let their four-legged friends crash in their bedrooms or on their beds at night, 41% said that their pets didn’t disrupt their beauty sleep – and even admitted to dreaming easier because their critters provide “security, companionship or relaxation.”
That’s tail-wagging news to the roughly half of American households that include pets, since half of those pets either share the bed with their humans or doze somewhere nearby.
Only one in five participants in the sleep study confessed that their animal companions woke them up in the night.
Men and women who slept alone reported feeling more secure with an animal nestled next to them. A single 64-year-old woman told researchers that she felt more content when her small dog slept under the covers near her feet, while another woman considered taking a cat nap with her feline “soothing.”
The new findings contradict standard sleep recommendations that have suggested kicking pets out of the bedroom. In fact, a 2013 report by the same Center for Sleep Medicine estimated that 10% of people said pets disturbed their sleep, up 1% from 2001. But that study found that those tossing and turning the most had multiple pets, which increased the odds of one animal waking everyone up.
Nocturnal disturbances also depend on the pet. Some animals might whine and scratch at the bedroom door if left outside.
The new survey suggests that dogs, which are more depending on humans, can adopt a consistent sleep pattern that aligns with their owner. Cats tend to roam and reposition during the night, on the other hand, with only a few spending the entire night snoozing in one place.