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Pets in the Bed? A New Survey Finds You’re Not Alone

If you sleep with Fido or Fluffy, you’re in good company, a new survey shows.

Nearly half of respondents to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) poll said they share their bed with a pet, and 46% of those people said they sleep better with their pet in the same bed. Only 19% said they sleep worse when their pet sleeps with them.

Younger Americans are more likely to sleep with a pet. For example, 53% of Gen Z respondents said they almost always or sometimes sleep with a pet, compared with 36% of baby boomers, according to the survey released during Pet Appreciation Week, June 5 to 11.

“Healthy sleep looks different from person to person. Many pet owners take comfort in having pets nearby and sleep better with their companion by their sides,” said Dr. Andrea Matsumura. She is a sleep specialist in Portland, Ore., and a member of the AASM’s Public Awareness Advisory Committee.

“For most adults, whether you sleep with a pet or not, it is important that you get seven or more hours of restful sleep each night for optimal health,” Matsumura added in an AASM news release

If sleeping with your pet interferes with your sleep because they hog the bed, sprawl on your pillow or cause other problems, the AASM offers some tips to improve your sleep:

  • Set up a separate, comfortable sleeping space nearby for your pet as an alternative.
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. Consider your pet’s routines as well, including their walking and eating schedule.
  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing, and keep it at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings and turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry in the evening, eat a light, healthy snack.
  • Get regular exercise and follow a healthy diet.

More information

The American Sleep Association has advice about sleeping with your pet.

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, June 7, 2022

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