(Photo credit: landotter)

Most of us probably know that it’s not the best idea to let our canine or feline companion sleep in our bed at night. Sure, it may be comforting and cozy, but in reality, it does more harm than just tracking pet hair all over the duvet cover – it is downright bad for our sleep and ultimately, our health.

First off, there are many benefits to having a pet, but regardless of what you believe, sleeping in bed with Fido is not one of them. I admit, I’m guilty of it myself and often let my kitties sleep in my bed with me. Heck, I even have a sheet on the end of my bed for Dutch and Mila to lie on, and I grew up with the family cat curled up at my feet nearly every night. After reading some of the research though, I may need to start cracking the whip.

Ways your kitty affects your sleep:

Cats definitely like their sleep and get plenty of it. Research has found that 62 percent of cats sleep with their owners and another 13 percent sleep with children.

  1. Cats are nocturnal. Occasionally, cats and humans may be on the same sleep schedule, but more often than not, it’s opposite. Cats spend the entire day snoozing and are generally more alert at night.
  2. Cats are territorial. Ever try to lock your cat out of your bedroom and find him or her scratching at the door and meowing until you open it? I fall into this trap every time I close the door. Truth be told, once your cat curls up on your bed or pounces around your bedroom, the space is theirs and they will do anything to reclaim it.

How Lassie ruins your slumber:

About half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds, and actually, 62 percent of small dogs, 41 percent of medium-sized dogs, and 32 percent of large dogs sleep with their owners.

  1. Nesting. Dogs scratch, dig and walk in circles to create a comfortable sleeping spot and mark the area as theirs. Additionally, dogs wake up frequently in the night and often re-nest, which is likely to disrupt your sleep.
  2. Doggy dreams. Just like humans, dogs have brain activity during REM sleep and therefore, it’s not uncommon for them to “talk” in their sleep (barking, whining, growling). This may not only wake you up in the night, it may also keep you from dozing off.

In addition, having a cat or dog bedside can trigger allergies and though rare, even spread diseases. Point in case, take sleeping issues seriously and know that getting good sleep is critical to your health. Your four-legged friends won’t be happy to be booted from the bedroom, but on the flipside, they’ll have a healthier and happier owner longterm.


Categories: Sleep Research

One Response so far.

  1. [...] acceptable bedtime behavior, simply is not. Whether it be having a nightcap, watching TV in bed or letting your furry friend snuggle up on your pillow, most of us are all doing something that inhibits our [...]

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