There are some things about sleeping that seem to just be a fact. You sleep better in your own bed, totally true, right? Flipping your pillow to the other side will instantly cool you off and lull you back to sleep? Also true! Sleeping with your dog next to you, instead of your partner, will give you a better night sleep? That is also, apparently, true.
Are you one of the many dog owners who has been saying this for years? Well, now a scientific study conducted by researchers at Canisius College actually proves your theory. The research study is titled "An Examination of Adult Women's Sleep Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing" and looks at the sleep patterns of adult women.
The interesting part of this study is that woman sleep better next to a dog, but not a cat or another human. Dogs might be better sleep partners than cats because dogs are not nearly as active as cats are at night. Every cat owner knows about the random 3 a.m. "run around the entire house" protocol that all cats seem to have to do for apparently no reason.
The study was done to see what exactly the impact was of sleeping with a dog versus a human or a cat.
People in many parts of the world commonly share their beds not only with human partners but also with dogs and cats. Self-report and actigraphy data have shown that sleeping with an adult human partner has both positive and negative impacts on human sleep, but there has been little exploration of the impacts that pets have on human sleep quality.
The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Anthrozoös, followed 962 women living in the United States. Of those women, 55 percent shared their bed with a dog and 31 percent shared their bed with at least one cat, and 57 percent of those women shared their bed with a human partner. All in all, only 7 percent of the women in the study did not have a cat or dog that they shared the bed with.
At the end of the study, it was determined that dogs are less disruptive sleep partners than humans or cats. Again, no surprise that cats are disruptive sleep partners. They sleep so long during the day, it seems every cat thinks it is either time to party or eat between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m..
The study concluded:
Dog owners had earlier bedtimes and wake times than individuals who had cats but no dogs. 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.
So, if you've been looking for an excuse to get a dog, you might have just found one! Hopefully, it isn't too hard convincing your human partner.