Seven in ten Americans say sharing a bed with their cat or dog improves their sleep, survey finds

Seven in ten Americans say sharing a bed with their cat or dog improves their sleep, survey finds

  • A survey has found Americans who sleep alongside their cats and dogs believe it helps them sleep at night
  • Half of participants also said that they felt being near their pet reduced their stress and anxiety levels
  • Studies say having pets nearby while you sleep can provide ‘significant psychological comfort’
  • CDC warns that many Americans are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep every night, leaving them at risk of heart disease and more

Snuggling up with a cat or dog at night could really improve your sleep, a survey suggests.

British pollster OnePoll quizzed 2,000 American pet owners and found seven in ten felt sharing a bed with their favorite animal helped them sleep at night. Half even said that being near their cat or dog reduced their stress and anxiety.

Previous studies suggest that sharing a bed with pets leads people to feel more comfortable and secure in bed. It could also improve their mental health.

Doctors advise seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but estimates suggest a third of Americans are failing to get this much.

This leaves them at risk of chronic conditions including heart disease, obesity and depression, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

Snuggling up to a cat or dog could improve someone’s sleep, a survey suggests, with seven in ten Americans saying it improved their sleep at night (stock image)

How much sleep do I need every night?

The CDC says all adults should sleep seven to nine hours a night.

But it estimates about a third fail to get this much.

Children need more sleep, around nine to 13 hours a night.

And toddlers and babies need the most, from 12 to 17 hours.

Not sleeping enough leaves someone at risk of the following conditions:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • depression

The CDC says those who struggle to get to sleep may be suffering from stress, depression, alcohol, caffeine or sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, among other reasons.

Source: CDC

The survey also found half of pet owners found it easier to settle down at night when their dog or cat was next to them.

And a total of 58 percent of respondents in relationships preferred spending the night with their pet than their partner.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing, with owners saying their sleep was disrupted by a pet two nights a week on average.

Six in ten also blamed their pets for making them feel overheated in bed.

A growing body of studies has suggested that sleeping with a pet could help someone’s sleep.

A paper published last year tracked the sleep patterns in children aged 13 to 17 for two weeks, with a third of them sleeping with a pet.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, concluded: ‘Frequent co-sleepers showed similar sleep profiles to those who never slept with pets.

‘All of this suggests that having pets in the bed or bedroom is not necessarily bad.

‘There can be significant psychological comfort in having your pet close by, which can help both initiate and maintain sleep.’

Another study among 900 American women carried out in 2018 found sleeping with a pet may help them to feel more comfortable and secure in bed.

Dogs were associated with a lower level of perceived sleep disturbance and stronger feelings of comfort and security overall than human partners, the experts found.

But cats were seen as being just as disruptive as sleeping with a human.

A meta-analysis of 17 studies of sleep also carried out in 2018 found sleeping with pets could improve mental health for sufferers.

But it noted that further research was required to determine the extent to which they helped.

Brent Pfister, the president of marketing for the mattress maker Sealy, which ordered the study, said: ‘Having a good night’s rest is crucial to our overall health and well-being.

‘As shown by this [survey]co-sleeping with pets can bring a sense of security and can help people and their pets settle in easier for bedtime.

‘However, many people sleeping with their pets experience interrupted night-time sleep and so may also be sacrificing overall sleep quality and some of the more physical benefits gained from a good night’s sleep.’

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