A new study found out that sleeping with a pet may lead to poor sleep quality.
In an interview with Medscape Medical News, Sowjanya Duthuluru, MD, lead author of the study from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, told how sleeping with a pet could affect a person's sleep quality.
Duthuluru and her colleagues recruited 298 participants and asked them to answer a survey probing into their pets and their sleep quality. Of the 148 pet owners, nearly 30 percent reported that they are often awakened by their pets during the night; 54 percent of the pet owners also stated that they share their room with their pets. Of those who share their room, 58 percent have dogs and 42 percent have cats. Fifty-seven percent, on the other hand, reported that they sleep in one bed with their pets.
The study also revealed that 75 percent of the pet owners share their bed with one pet while 25 percent share with more than one pet. Most of the participants admitted that they sleep one night per week with their pet while eight percent share the bed with their pet for at least four nights a week.
The researchers measured the sleep quality of those who sleep at least four nights a week with their pets. Based on the data of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, these participants have low sleep quality.
In addition, five percent of the pet owners found it difficult to go back to sleep after their pet awakened them.
"If someone has insomnia, check if they have a pet and where the pet sleeps. If the pet sleeps in the bed, it may be a contributing factor to their sleep problems," Dr. Duthuluru told Medscape Medical News. She also explained that previous studies were done to show how sleeping with children affected one's sleep quality but this was the first study to look into how pets affect a person's sleep.
The results of the study were presented the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.