More Americans kept awake by fido, fluffy

More americans kept awake by fido, fluffy
Reports of pets' interference with sleep rose 10-fold between 2002 and 2013, researchers say.

(HealthDay)—Dogs whimpering that they need to "go outside," cats with medical needs, even pets that snore— it's all adding up to sleepless nights for many Americans, a new report finds.

Overall, the percentage of people reporting sleep-time trouble with their pets rose from 1 percent in 2002 to 10 percent by 2013, according to a small study by Mayo Clinic researchers in Phoenix.

"While the majority of did not view their pets intolerably disturbing their sleep, a higher percentage of patients experienced irritation [and] this may be related to the larger number of households with multiple pets," study lead author Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, said in a clinic news release.

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

The study, slated for presentation at this week's annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle, involved 110 patients treated at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona between August and December 2013.

The patients answered questions about their pets and how they behaved at night. The patients also provided specific information on the number of pets they had, the types of pets they owned and where the animals slept at night.

The researchers found that 46 percent of the patients had pets. Of these people, 42 percent had more than one animal. Most of the study participants had dogs, cats or birds.

Among the behaviors that caused the patients to be disturbed during the night:

  • snoring,
  • whimpering,
  • wandering,
  • wanting to "go outside", and
  • having medical needs.

"When people have these kinds of , sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their ," Krahn said.

More information: The U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides more information on the health effects of poor sleep.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Are smartphones disrupting your sleep?

Jun 03, 2013

Smartphones and tablets can make for sleep-disrupting bedfellows. One cause is believed to be the bright light-emitting diodes that allow the use of mobile devices in dimly lit rooms; the light exposure can interfere with ...

Many pets are too plump

May 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—Much like their human companions, many of America's pets are overweight.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

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.