One study suggests a better quality of sleep may come from having a furry friend in the bed rather than another human.
According to research published by Canisius College professors Christy L. Hoffman, Kaylee Stutz and Terrie Vasilopoulos, women who own pets -- especially dogs -- may have better sleep because of stronger feelings of comfort and security.
Of 962 women in the United States studied by the Buffalo, New York, school, 55 percent shared the bed with at least one dog and 31 percent shared the bed with at least one cat. Fifty-seven percent of women shared the bed with a human partner. Based on the percentages, there may have been overlap among those with human and pet sleep partners, but it is not made clear in the study.
The results are not conclusive, however. Cats were seen as just as disruptive to sleep as a human partner. Dogs were perceived to disturb sleep less than both cats and human partners.
“Follow-up research is necessary to determine if pet owners’ perceptions of pets’ impacts on their sleep align with objective measures of sleep quality,” the study abstract said.
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