Sound Sleep Guru

Sleep and Furry Friends

I came across a very interesting journal article published in Nature about pets and sleep. I wanted to share the results because I think this is a very important topic that affects many of us!!

The title of the study is “Association between pet ownership and sleep in the Swedish CAardiopulmonary bioImage study.” SCAPIS

The investigators sought to study the association of pet ownership with 1) achieving at least seven hours of sleep per day 2) sleep quality as measured by the Pittsburgh sleep quality index and 3) difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Any guesses what they found?

Here’s a quick summary:

  • No significant associations between sleep outcomes and pet owners versus non pet owners
  • No significant associations between sleep outcomes between dog owners and non dog owners
  • Cat owners have had a higher odds ratio of failing to achieve the recommended seven hours of sleep per day versus non-cat owners.
  • No cat ownership associations with sleep quality, difficult falling asleep or staying asleep.

Do these results surprise you? Studies have shown pets may improve sleep in some sub-populations, for example if there is depression, loneliness, or grief.

I know these results resonate with me! If you have been following me for awhile them you know I implemented a pet divorce with my two cats about 9 months ago. I think part of the problem is they are more active at night and now that we have a toddler, there no room for more disruption at night. I now say goodnight to my cats as a part of my bedtime routine and lock them downstairs. It has made a HUGE difference for me in improving my sleep quality.

It’s also very common for me to hear from patients that their cats wake them up licking them, meowing asking to be fed or just sitting on top of them.

I absolutely love cats, but we cuddle and play during the day now and honestly I think we’re all happier!

Do you co-sleep with any pets?

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