Dogs increase risk of insomnia — while cats increase the likelihood of leg twitches, study finds
Sleep disorders? Your pet could be to blame! Dogs increase the risk of disrupted sleep — while cats increase the likelihood of leg twitches, study finds
- Although pets can provide a “sense of security,” they negatively impact sleep
- The largest sleep differences were observed between dog and non-dog owners
- Snoring, sudden awakenings and the need for sleeping pills were taken into account
Your beloved pets could be to blame for restless nights, leg twitches and even trouble sleeping, experts have claimed.
New research has shown that dog owners are more likely to have trouble sleeping than those without puppies, while cat owners are linked to more leg twitching throughout the night.
Snoring, sudden awakenings and the need for sleeping pills were among the factors considered in the study by US scientists at Lincoln Memorial University.
Although pets were recognized as providing “a sense of security and companionship” that can relax the owner, the results clearly showed that they worsened overall sleep quality.
While pets can provide a “sense of security,” scientists say they negatively impact sleep overall (stock image)
How Your Pet Can Disrupt Your Sleep
- More trouble sleeping
- sleep disorders
- sleep apnea
- feeling rested
- Feel sleepy
- Not getting enough sleep
- need pills to sleep
- have leg twitches
- Trouble falling asleep/sleeping
- leg twitches
dr Lauren Wisnieski, who led the study, said: “Previous studies on the association between pet ownership and sleep quality and sleep disorders have produced mixed results.
“On the one hand, dogs and cats can be beneficial to an owner’s sleep quality because of the social support pets provide — pets provide a sense of security and companionship, which can lead to improvements in anxiety, stress, and depression levels.
“On the other hand, pets can disturb their owners’ sleep.”
For its analysis, the study relied on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted in 2005-2006.
Around 5,500 perspectives were examined, of which 51.7 percent were female and 48.3 percent male.
It showed that sleep quality differences were most dramatic between dog and non-dog owners compared to cat and non-cat owners.
Overall, dog owners have been shown to have more problems with sleeping, insomnia, sleep apnea, restlessness, drowsiness, lack of sleep, sleeping pills, and leg twitching compared to non-dog owners.
Meanwhile, cat owners were more likely to snore, have trouble falling asleep/sleeping, and have leg twitches compared to non-cat owners.
Snoring, sudden awakenings and the need for sleeping pills were included in the study by scientists at Lincoln Memorial University in the US
dr Wisnieski suggested this could be because cats are more active at night, but the true cause has not been established.
She added: “If the causal relationship is established through further research, the results will have implications for clinical recommendations for treating patients with poor sleep quality.”
“Additionally, educational resources can be developed to educate pet owners about the risks of sleep disorders and offer potential solutions, such as:
Despite their findings, the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has previously found that letting pets rest in the bedroom with you can help with sleep.
Study author Dr. Lois Krahn of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona said: “We have found that many people find comfort and security in sleeping with their pets.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for most of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are at home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that.”
Tips for sleeping with your dog:
The Sleep Foundation has published a list of sleeping with a dog tips for those who choose to do so.
They say whether or not someone shares a bed with a dog is their personal choice, but they should be aware of the pros and cons.
How to share a bed with your dog:
- Use the right size mattress – To avoid disturbance, make sure your mattress is big enough for you and your dog;
- Wash bedding and linens regularly – This good hygiene helps to ensure that there are no unwanted germs in the bed. If your pet spends time outdoors, it may also be worth wiping their paws to keep dirt and pests out of the bedroom.
- Stay up to date on vet visits – Keep your pet disease free to protect yourself. Make sure they have the required vaccinations;
- Don’t let her lick your face – Face licking can be an important transmission route for potentially dangerous diseases;
- Take your pet for a walk before bed – This is recommended as it gives the animal one last chance to use the toilet and burn off excess energy. This avoids the risk of them voiding in the bedroom and can lead to less sleep disorders;
- Consistent bedtime – Just like humans, animals have a circadian rhythm. Making sure you go to bed and wake up around the same time each day can help you and your pet stay in a relatively similar sleep pattern and avoid restless nights.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-11867987/Dogs-increase-risk-sleep-disorder-cats-boost-chance-leg-jerks-study-finds.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Dogs increase risk of insomnia — while cats increase the likelihood of leg twitches, study finds