Dogs can also help wake sleepy patients on public transport

Researchers in Belgium also show how dogs can help patients with severe sleep problems.

They describe a 35 year old patient with severe excessive . She suffered sleep attacks up to six times a day and sometimes slept up to 16 hours a day.

Until recently, this severe sleepiness considerably hampered her social life and limited her use of , as she usually fell asleep within a few minutes of sitting down.

She'd then wake up at the end of the line and have to fight sleepiness on the way back. Sometimes she'd forget where she started from.

Medication had only a limited effect, so the patient was put in contact with a charity that provides trained dogs for people with visual or .

A dog was first trained to wake the patient in the morning at the sound of an , even if this sometimes required 30 minutes of gentle biting. The dog then learnt to wake the patient at the sound of the mobile phone ringing. Eventually, he learnt to wake her up, if necessary, at every metro, tram, or bus station.

This animal companionship has allowed our patient to move around the city efficiently and carry on a social life, say the authors. "The intervention could benefit other patients with similarly extreme and treatment resistant daytime sleepiness," they conclude.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Hot flashes linked to increased risk of hip fracture

2 hours ago

Women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have lower bone mineral density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers who do not have menopausal symptoms, according to a ...

Core hospital care team members may surprise you

2 hours ago

Doctors and nurses are traditionally thought to be the primary caretakers of patients in a typical hospital setting. But according to a study at the burn center intensive care unit at Loyola University Health System, three ...

Malnutrition a hidden epidemic among elders

4 hours ago

Health care systems and providers are not attuned to older adults' malnutrition risk, and ignoring malnutrition exacts a toll on hospitals, patients, and payers, according to the latest issue of the What's Hot newsletter ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.