It goes without saying that getting enough sleep is good for you. That’s why a lot of people are interested in finding the best way to sleep. But don’t drink chamomile tea or meditate before bed.

A new study says that women sleep better with dogs next to them. In fact, a study from Canisius College in New York State found that dogs sleep better with people than with cats or people.

Animal behaviorist and study lead Christy Hoffman, Ph.D., said, “We found that women generally rate dogs as better bed partners than cats and human partners and report that their dogs improve the quality of their sleep.”

It has been found that women sleep better next to dogs.

In order to come to these conclusions, Hoffman polled almost 1,000 American women. 55% of the people who took the survey shared their bed with at least one dog, and 31% shared it with at least one cat. Also, 57% of these women slept with a human partner, while the other 37% did not. [1]

Hoffman also found out why dogs seemed to be the best pets for sleeping. The first reason is that dogs sleep more like people do than cats do.

“The difference between dogs and cats is not surprising because dogs’ major sleep periods tend to coincide more closely with humans’ than do cats,’” said Hoffman.

Though, these similar sleeping patterns might be good for you, we need to do more study to be sure. Haynes, on the other hand, thinks this might work.

“In comparison to human bed partners, dogs may be better at accommodating their human’s sleep schedule,” she said. “It’s not uncommon for human bed partners to go to bed at very different times and wake up at very different times. Such differences in partners’ schedules can certainly disrupt sleep. It may be that dog bed partners adapt more readily to their owner’s schedule than do human bed partners.” 

In addition, dogs need routines and duties, like going for a walk in the morning. This kind of habit helps their owners stick to a schedule, which leads to better sleep.

Safety and Stillness

Dogs also tend to sleep with their backs straight. Anyone who has slept with a partner who moves around a lot knows how annoying it can be. But the women in the study said that their dogs slept on the bed most of the night instead of their cats, who came and went during the night.

“This suggests that cats may be more likely than dogs to create disruptions by moving on and off the bed during the night. In addition, we found that dog owners kept to more consistent bedtime and wake time schedules than cat owners and also tended to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier than cat owners,” Hoffman said.

Finally, the third and most important reason is that dogs make their people feel safe. Even more so than with cats or even with people.

“Some dog owners may take comfort in the thought that their dog will alert them in the case of an intruder or other type of emergency; furthermore, a dog’s bark may deter a potential intruder. A cat is less likely to take on this role, and so, may not provide psychological comfort in the same way a dog might,” said Hoffman.

The Best Partner for Good Sleep

However, even though the study says that dogs make great bedtime companions, their benefits depend on the person. Like, a dog might snore or make the bed too hot. There are also many cat lovers who say their cats help them sleep.

Remember that the study was based on how the volunteers thought their pets affected the quality and length of their sleep. So, more objective study is needed to say for sure that dogs are better sleeping partners. Hoffman, on the other hand, thinks that these studies could be useful because many American homes have pets.

“It will be valuable to continue this line of research so we can develop a clearer picture of the contexts under which pets and their presence in their owner’s bed may positively impact sleep quality, and the contexts under which co-sleeping with a pet may be detrimental to one’s sleep quality,” she said.

For example, studies have shown that women sleep better when they are alone than when they are with a person. However, a lot of people think the opposite. In the future, researchers might use devices like Fitbits to objectively track how well people sleep in a variety of sleeping circumstances.

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