Ensuring quality sleep is crucial for overall health, and recent research from Canisius College in New York State brings a surprising finding – women sleep better next to dogs. The study, led by animal behaviorist Christy Hoffman, Ph.D., surveyed nearly a thousand women in the United States, revealing that dogs make better sleep companions than humans or cats.
According to Hoffman, 55% of participants shared their bed with at least one dog, while 31% shared it with at least one cat. The study also showed that dogs’ sleeping patterns more closely align with humans compared to cats, potentially contributing to improved sleep quality. Hoffman suggests that dogs may adapt more readily to their owner’s sleep schedule, reducing disruptions caused by differing sleep patterns.
Moreover, the study highlights that dogs, with their need for routines like morning walks, can help their owners maintain a consistent schedule, positively impacting sleep quality. The research also found that dogs tend to stay still during sleep, providing a more stable sleeping environment compared to fidgety cats.
One significant factor contributing to dogs being preferred sleep partners is the sense of security they provide. Hoffman notes that dogs may offer psychological comfort by alerting their owners in case of emergencies or deterring intruders with their bark, a role less likely assumed by cats.
However, it’s essential to recognize that the study’s findings are based on participants’ perceptions of their pets’ effects on sleep quality and duration. Factors like snoring or bed warmth may vary among individual dogs, and the benefits are subjective. While the research provides intriguing insights, more objective studies are needed to definitively establish dogs as superior sleep partners.
Hoffman emphasizes the importance of continuing research in understanding the contexts in which pets positively or negatively impact sleep quality. As many households in the United States have pets, further studies could shed light on the nuanced relationship between pet companionship and sleep.