Kick your human bedmate out and draft in your pet if you want a good night’s sleep. That’s what Queensland researchers have found in a new study — people sleep easier with pets in their bed rather than with a human partner.
The results come from an online study into sleep patterns, which more than 13,000 Australians participated in earlier this year.
Professor Drew Dawson from Central Queensland University says about 70 percent of respondents were regularly woken at night, but it was humans doing it far more than pets. “People reporting partners who snored and partners who got up to go to the toilet and therefore turned the lights on,” he said.
However, there are other reasons why you might want to avoid sharing a bed with a pet — it could make you ill, according to a study published last year.
“The risk of contracting something is rare, but if you’re that person who gets a disease from a pet, rare doesn’t matter that much,” the paper’s co-author Bruno Chomel, a professor at the University of California-Davis school of veterinary medicine and an expert in zoonoses, the transmission of disease from animal to human, said. “I know this will make me unpopular, but pets really don’t belong in your bed.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association takes a different view. Says AVMA president Larry Kornegay, “I’ve been in practice for 40 years and I see the bond between people and their pets and the positive effects pets can have on humans, which I believe outweighs any risk, whether you sleep with a pet or not.”
Kornegay admits his own teenage daughter sleeps with the family’s miniature Schnauzer.
Dog trainer Cesar Millan, of TV series “The Dog Whisperer,” also thinks sleeping with dogs is fine, although he believes the dog should be invited up each night, just to show it who’s the real leader of the pack.
“Then choose the portion of the bed where the dog sleeps,” he writes in his book ‘Cesar’s Way‘. “Sweet dreams.”
Picture by Jez Page