If you are currently fighting through the worst bouts of insomnia, then it might be the best time to take Mr. Fluffyboots in bed. A new study by researchers from Mayo Clinic in Arizona has found that sleeping problems can actually be fixed by snuggling up with your feline and canine companion, unless you have allergies and your pet is a turtle or a snake.
Researchers have interviewed 150 of the people who always visit the clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine, and asked them questions regarding their sleeping habits, including their pets behaviour and sleeping locations, and whether or not their pets can affect their sleeping habits.
What the scientists found was that 56% of the participants questionnaire shared their bed or bedroom with their pets. 41% reported that their cat or dogs presence clearly assisted them to get a goodnight’s sleep, although of those 84 people, 20% stated that their pet disrupted their sleep.
But of the 20 percent that found pets in the bedroom disruptive, the most common complaints were wandering, snoring, and whimpering. Like the single 51-year-old woman who kept a parrot in her bedroom that consistently squawked at 6am. (Why parrot?)
Respondents described feeling secure, content and relaxed when their pet slept nearby. The value of these experiences, although poorly understood, cannot be dismissed because sleep is dependent on a state of physical and mental relaxation, according to one of the member of the team.
Sleeping with your pet gives you a sensation of safety and company that makes you feel rested more peacefully with increased relaxation, as most of the participants described. Single people specifically reported their sleep enhances when they share their mattress with their dog or cat.
Many pet owners view companion animals as family members that they wish to incorporate into as many aspects of their life as possible. Because humans spend considerable time sleeping, a pet owner’s desire to have animals close at night is understandable,” according to the researchers.
So, if you’ve been doing the numbers in your head, or counting sheeps but with no positive effects on your sleeping pattern, whatsoever, then better take your dogs in bed with you.