A recent study led by Dr. Lauren Wisnieski from Lincoln Memorial University has found that having a pet cat or dog may cause you to experience more restless nights.
The research specifically focused on United States pet ownership using data drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)– which was conducted between 2005 and 2006.
Through this analysis, the team found that owning a cat was associated with different sleep impacts than owning a dog.
For instance, cat owners were more likely to have leg jerks; meanwhile, dog owners were more likely to have a sleep disorder and have trouble sleeping.
It is important to note that the study was unable to establish the casual nature of pet ownership on sleep disorders and sleep quality. However, the results of this research were consistent with previous studies– revealing that owning a pet does negatively impact sleep quality.
According to Dr. Wisnieski, prior studies have had varied results concerning the relationship between pet ownership, sleep quality, and sleep disorders.
“On the one hand, dogs and cats may be beneficial for an owner’s quality of sleep due to the social support that pets provide. Pets offer a sense of security and companionship, which may result in improvements in anxiety, stress, and depression,” she said.
“Yet, on the other hand, pets may disrupt their owners’ sleep.”
This cross-sectional study considered different sleep quality and sleep disorder aspects– including waking up during the night, snoring, leg jerks, and needing medications to sleep.