Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pets in the Bed




Pets in the Bed

Does sleeping with your dog or cat affect how well you rest?

According to Dr. Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, the idea of people sleeping in bed with their dogs is nothing new. Dr. Coren notes that even Rameses the Great, the Egyptian pharaoh, had a hound name Pahates who was given the title of “Bed Companion to the Pharaoh.” Rameses is one of many famous people throughout history who have been known to sleep with their dogs in their beds.

Why do we sleep with our pets?

Even in modern 21st century times, many pet owners choose to sleep with their furry friends. According to a 2012 Harris poll, about 70% of Americans, at least occasionally, let their pets sleep in their beds. There are many reasons why we let our pets sleep in our beds. Here are just a few:

·         ContentmentOxycotin the snuggle hormone, which is raised by touching (human or otherwise) increases our level of contentment. As you can imagine, the more content we are, the better we sleep.


·         WarmthDr. Cohen notes that dogs have a slightly higher body temperature than humans. Sleeping with dogs may have meant the difference between survival and death in more primitive times. As the colder weather approaches, I often encourage my dogs to climb on my bed to keep me warmer at night, even if they’d prefer to sleep on their own somewhere else in the house.


·         Security – Some pets are meant to keep us safe. Perhaps your reason for letting your dog, cat, or rabbit into your bed is because you sleep better knowing protection is close by. There are hundreds of heroic stories of owners being awoken by their pet to let them know someone or something is unusual around the house. This natural instinct could have also helped in the survival of humans, suggests Dr. Cohen. Dogs would have been used to warn humans of an approaching dangerous animal or hostile human, which could have meant the difference between life and death.

Does sleeping with your pet affect your sleep?

The big question and of course, there is no simple answer. According to a group of Australian researchers from Central Queensland University: yes, but not really.
In their 2014 sleep study, they found that people who slept with their pets took longer to fall asleep, were more likely to wake up tired and were more likely to be woken up by a dog barking or animal making noises. There were, however, “no significant differences found in total self-reported sleep or feelings of tiredness during the day,” The study found that, on average, people who shared a bed with their pets, took only 4 minutes longer to fall asleep than those who slept without pets.


Another study published in FastCo.com surveyed 298 patients at a family practice clinic. About 50% of respondents said they shared a bed with their pet. Nearly a third of people who shared a bed with their pet also reported being awoken by their pet at least once per night. What’s more, 63% of the same bed-sharing owners, stated that they have a “poor sleep quality” and also share a bed with their pet 4 nights a week or more.


Another aspect of sharing your bed with your pet are the ripple effects it may have on your relationship. A study cited by the Daily Mail suggests that a dog will add nearly 2,000 arguments to a couple’s relationship throughout its lifetime. Disagreements can range from who will walk the dog, yard clean up with the most common being, you guessed it, whether or not the dog can sleep in the bed. Yikes!

Concerns about pets sleeping in the bed

Let’s say you’re like me, and you’re happy to let Fido, Felix, Thumper or Babe also share your bed. There are other concerns beyond a good night’s sleep (and your relationship) to take into consideration.


Disease – Dogs and (especially outdoor) cats are known to get dirty. I like to believe my dogs compete with one another to see who can smell worse or who can dig a bigger hole in the backyard. But do they bring diseases and parasites into our beds?


Dr. Sophia Yin wrote a piece for the Huffington Post where she argues this is unlikely. In 2011, there was a study by two Californian veterinarians which stated people who slept with their pets were more likely to get diseases such as the bubonic plague. Dr. Yin says the chances of this happening are rare and pets on regular flea protection should not be a concern for disease if sharing a bed with their owner.

·         Disturbance – Another reason you may not want to let your cat or dog into bed with you could be that they disturb your sleep.One reason for insomnia can be your partner’s (or pet’s) snoring. If this is the case, you might consider shutting the door to your bedroom and teaching your pet that they’re no longer welcome in your bed. As any animal lover will undoubtedly know, this is much easier said than done sometimes.

·         Dirt – I’m a softie, but the one rule I am adamant about is that the bed is for sleeping - no bone chewing, or dirty dogs in the bed. My dogs are pretty good about respecting this rule, but I’m sure that if I were to setup a webcam in my bedroom, I’d see them chewing a bone or two on my bed while I was away.



Beyond the odd toy I find in my sheets as evidence, it doesn’t cause me (or likely other pet owners) much of a concern. Adapting a more frequent cleaning schedule and changing of bed sheets is normally a sufficient solution to this problem.



So do my dogs affect my sleep? I’d say not really. They prefer to sleep on their own at night (perhaps it’s me disturbing their sleep), so for the most part my bed isn’t shared with animals at all. To anyone who knows me, they know I’m already an early riser. Most days I’m up earlier than the dogs or the sun. When they do join me in bed, I’m either cold at night or taking an afternoon siesta. Sometimes they just enjoy the comfort of being next to me - and I mean, who can say no to those big loving eyes?


How do you feel about animals in the bed? Has it ever caused disagreements between you and your partner? If you don’t share your bed with your pets, why not?


Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from pet owners who feel strongly one way or the other about sharing their bed with their furry friends.

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!
This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Your Alarm Clock Says About You



What Your Alarm Clock Says About You

Time to wake and start your day

That dreaded noise rings at the same time every morning. Why must I wake up? Can’t I snooze longer? Just 5 more minutes? At some point you might throw the alarm – hope it’s not your phone – bang the snooze button continuously or bury yourself under pillows, hoping it stops.

Do you have an alarm clock personality? How can you improve your use of the morning alarm? Don’t worry, Sherlock Spallone is once again ready to solve the alarm clock dilemma.  

If you hit the snooze button repeatedly…

You’re a snooze sneaker. The day could freeze if you had your way. You can hit the snooze button again and again “You wait until crunch time to get going, leaving only a few minutes to get dressed and out the door,” explains Dr. Linda Sapadin who specializes in time management.

If you bang on your snooze button every morning, it may mean you aren’t getting and adequate amount of sleep. You may suffer from insomnia or even sleep apnea. Pressing snooze because you can’t bear the thought of starting your day on a daily basis, could also be a pre-sign of depression or anxiety.

Restonic recommendation – Try planning out a sleep routine that forces you to get moving in the morning. Move your alarm clock away from the bed – so you have to get up to hit the snooze.

If you get up earlier than you really need to…

You’re a morning keener. A stereotypical, cherry morning person. You set the alarm early, no matter the circumstance and you’re never late. You make time to have a morning coffee, read the paper or watch the daily headlines. This can lead to a stress-free and productive way to start your day.

Another sign of morning keener is a highly orchestrated snooze button routine. You set the first alarm at, say, 7:30 a.m. so you can snooze for a half hour before you actually need to be awake at 8:00 a.m. Your body needs that wake-up period and you plan out each time you hit the snooze.

Restonic recommendationYou have it figured out! Gold star!

If you use more than one alarm clock…

You’re a snooze worrier. If you have a clock on your night stand, one across the room and the phone set, you don’t trust yourself to wake up in a timely manner. We’ve all been there, freaking out about being on time in the morning. We say to ourselves, “If there’s a clock ringing across the room, I’ll get up!” But does it happen? You need a back-up plan to feel safe. Try planning out a sleep routine and slowly only set one alarm in the morning.


If you rely on a person as your alarm clock…

You’re snooze dependent. Given the option, you love the idea of a gentle nudge in the morning to wake up. If your morning wakeup routine consists of a roommate or partner nagging and shaking you to wake up, there may be a deeper issue. What if they don’t wake up on time? Is it okay to be angry with them?

Restonic recommendation – Talk with your partner. Plan a few days to wake them up for a change or use an alarm.

If you don’t have an alarm at all…

You’re wake-up warrior. I applaud you! You’ve somehow shunned a mechanical device in favor of a natural wake-up call. “You trust your body to wake on its own,” says Sapadin.

Restonic recommendation Consistently rising on your own signals you’re getting the correct amount of Zzzzs each night. Good job!

Time to get better
After figuring out your alarm clock personality, you may have had an epiphany and ready to improve. Try these tips:
2.     Find the right alarm clock
3.     Try the R.I.S.E.U.P. method

Alarm clock fun facts
·         83% of 19-29 year olds use a phone alarm
·         About 10% of people ignore their alarm the first 3 times
·         The average time an alarm clock is set for is 7:04 a.m.
·         More than 50% of people over 55 wake up au natural
·         Men are more likely to forget to set an alarm clock than women

Time to strategize a routine with your morning alarm. Don’t let the clock rule your life! The time has come to be smiley in the morning and have a productive day.

Share your alarm clock stories and tips with us! We would love to hear from you!

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.