Pets and Beds

Pets and Beds.jpg

When you’re looking for a hot water bottle which never cools down, it’s very hard to look past your four-legged friend.

Your pets offer you companionship and loyalty during the day – so why shouldn’t they offer you warmth at night too, right?

Well, there seems to be a whole heap of research which actually says you must be barking to invite your pampered pooch or fussy feline into your bed.

This is because sleeping with your pet means:

  1. You’ll take longer to fall asleep,
  2. You’re more likely to wake up tired,
  3. You’re more likely to wake up during the night because of disturbance from your pet.
And when Dr John Shepard, medical director of the Mayo Sleep Disorders Center in the US, surveyed 300 routine patients he discovered 157 had pets, of which nearly 60% slept in their owners’ bedrooms.

Shepard found 53% of the patients considered their sleep was disrupted by their pet every night, including by snoring in 21% of the dogs and 7% of the cats.

So why do so many of us do it? According to the American Pet Products Association 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners as well as 62% of cats sleep with adult owners and 13% with children.

There’s clearly an issue for those who suffer from allergies and asthma – presumably if you or your children react badly to pets, fur or hair, then you’d be able to make that call yourself.

The key factor is to set ground rules so you’re not letting your pet dictate your sleep patterns:

  1. Let a new dog get used to having his own sleeping area before inviting him into the bedroom.
  2. Don’t ever let a dog come into a bedroom uninvited.
  3. Make sure your dog is tired out from a day’s exercise so doesn’t see the bedroom as an area for more playtime.
  4. Cats often play while we’re asleep so give them a “perch” or means to get out of the bedroom to find toys.
  5. Cats don’t sleep in eight-hour blocks like humans so get into a routine where they play hard just before you go to sleep – then you might just have them tired enough to be restful while you’re trying to sleep.