Monday, 1st January

Here's Why You Should Ditch Your Furry Friends at Bedtime

It’s the question that divides all pet lovers; should you let your furry friend share your bed? If you like your sleep sanctuary pet hair free, you’ll obviously be in the ‘no’ camp. But for thousands of others, a few hairs and a wet nose are a small price to pay. Why? Because snuggling up with a warm pet makes you feel safe and protected. And their rhythmic breathing can help you drift off to sleep more easily. In fact, many people believe that sleeping with a pet actually gives them a better night’s sleep.

But is that true?

Well, we’re sorry to burst the furry bubble, but the Mayo Clinic for sleep disorders in Minnesota thinks otherwise. They asked 300 patients to discover the frequency and severity of sleep disruption as a result of sharing their bedroom with their cats and dogs. The survey found that:

  • Almost 60% of the patients slept with pets in the bedroom
  • If a dog was allowed to sleep in the bedroom, 57% of people let it sleep on the bed
  • Some 53% of the pet owners had their sleep disrupted every night
  • Those who let their pet share the bedroom, but not on the bed, had slightly less disturbed sleep
  • Snoring was reported in 21% of dogs and 7% of cats!

And it’s not just the snoring that can interrupt your sleep. Just like you, dogs go into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep patterns during the night. So while your pooch is whining, yapping and twitching its way through a doggy dream, you’ll be getting no shut eye at all. Then there’s that annoying habit of scratching around in the duvet to make it nice and comfy when they want to change position. Or having to answer the call of nature in the wee small hours. No wonder sleeping with man’s best friend can make you feel dog-tired.

Cats can also have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep. If you’ve got a pet cam, you’ll already know that your feline friend spends most of the day sleeping. So it shouldn’t come as any great surprise when your little fur ball is pawing your face, meowing at the bedroom door or running up and down the curtains in the middle of the night. After all, cats are nocturnal animals with a completely different sleep cycle to you. If they’ve already slept on the sofa for 16 hours, it’s unlikely they’ll want to lie still for another 8 hours.

But what does all this mean for pet owners?

Most sleep specialists agree that good quality sleep requires a ‘sleep efficiency score’ of 80% or more -that’s the amount of time you spend sleeping, compared to the total amount of time you spend in bed. A fragmented night’s sleep can equate to having just four hours of non-stop beauty sleep. So while your furry friend can snooze their way through the next day, you’ll have to struggle with drowsiness, poor attention span and irritability.

There is some good news though. Snoring aside, sleeping with a human partner doesn’t interrupt sleep in the same way. And snuggling up together actually gives you a better sleep efficiency score than if you sleep alone. So to make sure you’re prepared for a deeply relaxing sleep, keep pets out of the bedroom – or at least off the bed. And for a totally refreshing overnight recharge, don’t forget to take 15ml of Benenox as part of your bedtime routine.


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