Does Sleeping with your Dog Keep You Up at Night?

As cozy as having our cute cuddly dogs snuggle in with us for the night may sound, sharing the bed with two humans & two dogs takes a toll on our quality of sleep and sadly no one slumbers as well as we used to.

The dogs crowd us in so it’s hard to turn over, not to mention the occasional jolt out of bed when the dogs start barking at some imaginary sound! I didn’t even think that my tiredness could be due to the dogs until I read an article from the Mayo Clinic about how pets do, in fact, interrupt your sleep.

We started giving our Maltese, RiQui, an all-natural herbal remedy called Sleepytime Tonic to help calm her down. She used to get up every night for a ‘walk about’ and to have a pee, bark at birds, bugs and shadows. While our sleep still isn’t 100%, RiQui isn’t as excitable and does tend to have a more restful sleep when we give her Sleepytime Tonic . Both humans are very happy for more reasons than one!

(By the way, that really is a photo of my husband, and one of our dogs…not staged!)

Here is the article from the Mayo Clinic:

Dog Tired? It Could Be Your Pooch

ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2002) — ROCHESTER, MINN. — You’ve heard that your spouse’s snoring can cause you to lose sleep, but what about your pet’s? John Shepard, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, recently asked that question to 300 patients who came to the center for a routine consultation. He found that many people with sleep problems were sharing their bedrooms with their cats and dogs.

“The results indicate that 22 percent of our patients are likely to have pets sleeping on the bed with them,” Dr. Shepard says. “That’s a significant number.”

Dr. Shepard notes that many common things in daily life affect sleep. The sleeping environment — especially sound, movement, light, temperature and humidity in the bedroom — plays a significant role in the quality of people’s sleep. Dr. Shepard became interested in how pets can disrupt people’s sleep after one patient reported that she frequently got up in the middle of the night to let the dog out and waited up to 15 minutes before returning to bed with her pet.

“After hearing that anecdote, I began to wonder how many of my patients were sleeping with pets and how much the pet interrupted sleep,” he says.

Between February and September 2001, Dr. Shepard surveyed 300 patients seen at the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center to determine the frequency and severity of sleep disruption that may result from family pets. He found the following:

* 157 of 300 patients (52 percent) had one or more pets, primarily cats and dogs.

* Nearly 60 percent of the patients with pets slept with their pets in the bedroom. When a dog was permitted to sleep in the bedroom, it had a 57 percent chance of being allowed to sleep on the bed.

* Of the pet owners, 53 percent considered their sleep to be disrupted to some extent every night, but only one percent felt that their sleep was disrupted for more than 20 minutes per night on average.

* Snoring was reported in 21 percent of dogs and seven percent of cats.

* Cats were more likely to be allowed in the bedroom and on the bed.

“I suspect that the degree of sleep disruption experienced may be significantly greater than the owners admit, but I have no objective data,” says Dr. Shepard. “Every patient has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping with pets and make a personal decision about the sleeping arrangements in the household. Some people are very attached to their pets and will tolerate poorer sleep in order to be near them at night.”

June 2008 <­ /releases/2002/02/020215070932.htm>

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  1. i believe i would have a lot of trouble trying to sleep with my dog ….. it would not work out … nooo way, maybe if he was small, and smelled nice … lol

  2. There is no way – a 50 lb. Weimaraner just doesn’t work out in my bed. It’s like having another person right there next to you (lol). She does, however, sleep in her own bed on the floor & her snoring occasionally wakes me up.

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