Pet Pointer: Pets Apparently Influence Sleep

The sleeping woman and its dogA recent Mayo Clinic study suggests that pets may have an influence on how well you sleep. Patients at the Mayo Clinic completed an extensive sleep questionnaire in 2013, answering questions about number and type of pets, where pets sleep, pet behavior traits, and whether their pets disturbed their sleep.

Of those surveyed, as many as 10% of pet owners felt that their pets disturbed them while they were sleeping. Although few felt that the sleep interruptions were not intolerable, a higher percentage experienced irritation.

Dogs, cats and birds were the most popular pets owned. Reported sleep disturbances included whimpering, whining, wandering, squawking, medical needs, letting pets out and even snoring.

Dr. Krahn, author of the Mayo Sleep study concludes, “When people have these kinds of sleep problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their sleep.”