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A pet can affect their owner’s sleep, especially if they share the same room or even the same bed with their owner. Also, many pet owners are curious about how their animals sleep in general. Keep reading to learn more about pets’ sleep, and a pet’s relationship to their owner’s sleep.
Experts are uncertain about how pets affect their owners’ sleep. It used to be commonly accepted that people should not sleep with their pets because of perceived health risks, but this belief has evolved over time as culture has changed and those risks have proven to be very low for most people. Some recent studies even suggest sleeping with pets could provide benefits.
Studies have found that over half of pet owners allow their pets to sleep in the bedroom. Other studies have researched if having a dog in the bedroom affected their owner’s sleep by measuring body movement each night for a week. Pet owners who allowed their dog to sleep in their bedroom received normal amounts of sleep, suggesting that dogs do not disrupt sleep overall.
Like humans, both dogs and cats enter into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep each night. REM is a deeper stage of sleep in which the animal moves their eyes around. Humans experience most dreams during REM sleep. If animals do dream, it is likely they do so during REM as well. Even fish sleep, much like mammals, and even experience brain states similar to REM sleep.
Pets can have physiological effects on our bodies which in turn can change the way we dream.
The presence of dogs has been found to reduce anxiety in children. More research is needed to determine if pets can actually help with nightmares. Dogs can also lower blood pressure, which in turn can reduce the number and severity of nightmares.
Research suggests sleep is as important to pets as it is to humans, and animals can experience sleep disorders like humans do. Although not a lot is known about the nature of pets’ sleep, studies have found that dogs receive more sleep generally seem more relaxed, dogs’ sleep is related to their emotional experiences, and daytime activity level and sleep location affect dogs’ sleep.
It is likely that providing a good, sleep-conducive environment could help your pets sleep just like environment impacts human sleep. This might involve giving your pets a dark, quiet place to sleep, along with comfortable bedding. We’ve reviewed multiple pet beds and named what we believe are the best dog beds to help your pet get their best possible sleep.