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For Some, Pets Add to Sleep Disorders

For Some, Pets Add to Sleep Disorders A new Mayo Clinic study discovers our friendly fur-covered sleeping companions may be contributing to their owner’s sleepless nights.

Mayo researchers study presented their findings at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

A previous Mayo Clinic study published in 2002 reported that of patients who visited the clinics sleep center and owned pets, only one percent reported any inconvenience from their pets at night.

The new study shows a larger number of patients — 10 percent in 2013 — reported annoyance that their pets sometimes disturbed their sleep.

“The study determined that while the majority of patients did not view their pets intolerably disturbing their sleep, a higher percentage of patients experienced irritation — this may be related to the larger number of households with multiple pets,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and author of the study.

“When people have these kinds of sleep problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their sleep.”

Between August and December 2013, 110 consecutive patients at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona provided information about pets at night as part of a comprehensive sleep questionnaire.

Questions covered the type and number of pets, where the animals slept, any notable behaviors, and whether the patient was disturbed.

The survey showed that 46 percent of the patients had pets and 42 percent of those had more than one pet. The most popular pets were dogs, cats, and birds.

The disturbances by pets that patients reported included snoring, whimpering, wandering, the need to “go outside”, and medical needs.

“One patient owned a parrot who consistently squawked at 6 a.m.,” Krahn said. “He must have thought he was a rooster.”

Source: Mayo Clinic

 
Cat in bed with owner photo by shutterstock.

For Some, Pets Add to Sleep Disorders

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). For Some, Pets Add to Sleep Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/06/05/for-some-pets-add-to-sleep-disorders/70845.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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