It’s all a bit negative in that dogs were perceived to disturb sleep less than feline or human partners who share a woman’s bed.
For woman, domestic cats are just as disruptive as humans when bed partners. So there. Dogs, however, reign supreme in the aspect of the human-companion animal relationship and it may be to do with the feeling of security a dog brings to a woman at night. I actually believe that men don’t really understand the issues that women face in respect of feeling safe and secure.
A study – Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing – explored the benefits or detriments that pets have on sleep for women.
There were 962 participants in the USA. Fifty-five percent shared their bed with at least one dog and 31% slept with a cat. Fifty-seven percent of women shared their bed with a human.
Dogs came out better than humans and cats in terms of less disruption to sleep because of stronger feelings of security and comfort. It is also speculated that dogs are better at warning of dangers.
Another less disruptive aspect of sleeping with dogs is that women are more likely to stick to a routine which can lead to better sleep. Dog owners had earlier bed time and wake times than people who only lived with cats.
However, under an assessment protocol called the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) a ‘high percentage of participants did experience sleep quality deficits’. The researchers appear to have concluded that pet ownership contributes to poorer sleep quality but less so for dogs than for humans and cat partners who share a woman’s bed.
My personal experience is that my cat makes sleeping harder. That sounds harsh but I have to be truthful. He restricts my movements at night which makes it harder to get to sleep. I believe that we all have our pre-sleep routines and movements and we have to be free to do them.
Cat companions sharing the bed restrict the owner’s movements because she or he is concerned for their cat and modifies their movements. This compromise affects the ‘getting off to sleep’ process. How about you?
The named researchers were: Terrie Vasilopoulos, Christy Hoffman and Kaylee Stutz. Link to the study.
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