No Rest for the Wicked [Pet Owner]

Pets and sleep are a topic of hot debate, it would seem.  The tender-heart pet owners – we absolutely love them – will tell you that pets are people, too.  They’ll ask you how YOU would like to sleep all alone in a kennel on a cold winter’s night. The answer: not very much at all.  “Exactly my point,” they’ll say.

“…but my dog loves his kennel.  It makes him feel safe.” That’s what the opposite side will say. They’ll tell you that if you’re losing sleep because your pet shares your bed, then you probably deserve every bit of that under-eye baggage you carry around with you.

Then, we have the third group of pet owners.  They’ll balk at the very mention of their pet sharing their bed, and they’ll scoff at the idea that a kennel would ever make a difference, anyway. These are the folks who share their home with the anxiety-ridden border collie who barks at every little creak of the floorboards or the cat who randomly traps a squirrel in the basement at 2am. This crowd is losing sleep, no matter what. If you’re thinking that these accounts are far too detailed to be hypothetical, you would absolutely correct.  It’s easy to relate.

Even if you are the owner of one of the unicorn types that obey every command every time without fail, the fact remains that living things (including humans, border collies, cats, and even squirrels) move in their sleep. Unfortunately, those subtle movements are among the many aspects of your environment that can negatively impact the quality of your sleep, along with temperature, sound, and odors.  Oh, and don’t forget that crowding can also stand in the way of adequate beauty rest, so be sure that you’re giving your border collie enough personal space at night.

The recent study that sparked this train of thought was performed by the Mayo Clinic, and results were just posted in October 2015. More information can be found HERE, but in the spirit of saving time, we’ll go ahead and give you the spoilers:

In the end, researchers decided that they did not have sufficient evidence to say that pets do, in fact, contribute to issues with disrupted sleep. This was largely due to the very small size of this particular study. However, their findings suggest that it’s at least worthwhile for physicians and sleep therapists to speak with their patients about the possibility that their pets are affecting their sleep patterns.

Maybe there is something good on the horizon for sleepless pet owners. If we’re lucky, studies like these will lead to exciting innovation and answers to our questions about where our beloved best friends should sleep. For now, though, get ready to get cozy until spring rolls back around… because how would YOU like to sleep all alone in a kennel on a cold winter’s night?

 

Featured Photo Credit: Finger Food via Compfight cc

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