He may be man’s best friend, but if you have problems sleeping Dr. Mary Rose, a sleep expert at Baylor College of Medicine says you should find pets a bed of their own.
“Many times when you tell someone that they need to sleep without their pet, they get very protective,” said Dr. Rose, assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor. “So it’s important to determine what works best for them to optimize their lifestyle with a pet.”
Rose said a lack of training for pets like dogs can cause disruptions to your sleep. If the pet is not well trained and wakes the owner in the middle of the night, it would be disrupting to have the pet in the room.
Cat owners face issues with their feline’s nocturnal schedule that can cause disruptions, as cats tend to walk around more during the night.
Rose also points out that owners who struggle with allergies should check with their doctor to make sure it’s safe to sleep with their pet.
Benefits to bunking up
Rose noted sharing your bed with a pet has benefits. For example:
- They can create a sense of security
- Their rhythmic heartbeat and release of bonding hormones, like oxytocin, may aid in owner’s sleep
- Trained assistance dogs can help keep owners who struggle with sleep walking safe
- They can comfort children who have night fears or nightmares
“At the end of the day, use common sense to determine what is best for you and your pet,” said Rose.
–By Audrey M. Marks