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New Study Reveals Having A Pet Cat Or Dog May Lead To More Restless Nights

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Your Pet Might Be Causing You Some Restless Nights

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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 Study Focused On Pet Ownership Data

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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.

Owning A Cat Affects Your Sleep Differently Than Owning A Dog

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Through this analysis, the team found that owning a cat was associated with different sleep impacts than owning a dog.

This Is How Your Pet Impacts Your Sleep

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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.

Owning A Pet Negatively Impacts Sleep

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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.

What Prior Studies Have Proved About Pet Ownership

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According to Dr. Wisnieski, prior studies have had varied results concerning the relationship between pet ownership, sleep quality, and sleep disorders.

On One Hand, Pets Might Help Your Overall Quality Of Sleep

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“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.

But On The Other Hand, They Can Disrupt It

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“Yet, on the other hand, pets may disrupt their owners’ sleep.”

The Study Considered Different Sleep Quality And Sleep Disorder Aspects

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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.

The Researchers Also Built Models

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The researchers also built multivariable logistic regression models, which included factors such as feeling sleepy, feeling unrested, taking more than 15 minutes to fall asleep, and receiving less than six hours of sleep on average.

Different Findings Might Be Due To Cats Being More Active At Night

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According to Dr. Wisnieski, the different sleep quality findings among cat and dog owners might be due to the fact that cats are often more active at night.

She also revealed how there were fewer differences among sleep quality indicators between cat and non-cat owners versus dog and non-dog owners.

The Results Of The Study Can Help With How Patients Are Treated For Suffering From Poor Sleep

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The team believes that if further research can establish a casual relationship, then the results may impact how clinicians treat patients suffering from poor sleep quality.

There’s Also An Opportunity To Educate Pet Owners

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“Additionally, educational resources can be developed to inform pet owners about the risks of sleep disruptions and offer potential solutions, such as crating the pet or restricting access to the bedroom at night,” Dr. Wisnieski added.

Here’s What The Researchers Are Interested In Learning In The Future

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Moving forward, the researchers are also interested in measuring the human-animal bond between pet owners and their pets in order to understand how bond strength impacts sleep quality.

Read The Study Here

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To read the study’s complete findings, which have since been published in Human-Animal Interactions, visit the link here.