Women, if you want to catch better zzz’s, you should trade in your partner for your dog. That may sound extreme, but consider this: A new study published in the journal Anthrozoös found that a woman’s quality of shut-eye improves when she sleeps in bed next to her canine rather than her human partner.
Researchers from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, surveyed more than 960 women. They discovered that women are less likely to have their sleep disrupted by dogs than humans. Of the participants, 55 percent shared a bed with canines, while 57 percent cuddled up next to a human partner.
The researchers wrote in the study, “Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.”
Here’s more on the study:
The same doesn’t go for cats. The survey discovered that people who slept with at least one cat (31 percent) felt less relaxed and secure. They also experienced more sleep disruption.
That figure remains on par with comfort levels associated with human sleep partners, the researchers discovered.
The study culls self-reported data, which means the results are based on self-perception, as lead researcher Dr. Christy L. Hoffman, an anthrozoologist and professor at Canisius College, told Broadly.
The study also found that dog owners typically had earlier bedtimes and wake up times than those who only owned cats and not dogs.
While the study did find a correlation between the dogs and the quality of sleep, more research still needs to be done to corroborate the link.
Confirming the findings will require further investigation into pets’ effects on a humans’ sleep, Hoffman suggested.
This isn’t the first time research has documented the soothing effects of sleeping with dogs. A 2017 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that some people slept better when their canines were also in the bedroom.
The study examined 40 adults who didn’t suffer from sleep disorders and their dogs over the course of five months. Participant and their dogs wore activity trackers to help keep tabs on their sleeping habits for seven nights.
It found that dogs can act as a comforting presence in the room while you’re getting ready to sleep.
“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption,” study author Lois Krahn, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist, told ScienceDaily. “We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”
Krahn’s finding did come with one caveat: Don’t let your furry one snuggle under the covers. According to researchers, there are benefits to having dogs sleep in the room (but not in the actual bed) with their humans. According to Krahn, people who cuddle with dogs in bed may end up sacrificing quality shut-eye.
“The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” Krahn told ScienceDaily. “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”
Whether your four-legged friend is sleeping under the covers or on their own bark-o-lounger, one thing is clear: Dogs make everything better.
What do you think? Do you sleep better when snuggling with your dog?