Healthy Lifestyle Arena


Want Better Sleep? Get a Dog!

September 13
10:27 2017

As we get older, many of us find that getting a good restful sleep at night becomes more and more difficult. Sometimes, a good night’s rest is due to physical issues such as aches and pains of various injuries, illnesses or conditions.

Some people find it more difficult to get a good restful night’s sleep because they have put on too much weight over the years. The extra weight puts extra stress on our backs and internal organs, making it more difficult to sleep.

Americans are being told every day that they need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep, but many are too stressed or too busy or they a physical condition. This is one reason the sleep aid market is making millions of dollars every year.

I’ve heard from some older people say that after their spouse passed away, they find it difficult to sleep at night because they are so used to having the other person next to them in bed. There is a sense of completeness and security having you spouse sleeping next to you, especially after many years together. But when that security and completeness is gone, a bed can be a very lonely place, making sleep harder to get.

One recommendation is to get a dog and let the dog sleep in bed with you.

SHOCK! I know many people that would never consider allowing a dog to sleep in their bed with them. Many people don’t even let their dogs get on the furniture, let alone one’s bed.

Did you know that over 40 million American homes (house, apartment, condo, trailer, cabin, etc.) have at least one dog? Of these 40+ million households with a dog, around 63% of them consider their dog to be a member of the family but in many homes, the canine member of the family is relegated to the floor, a doggy bed, towel, blanket, etc. at night time.

A recent study conducted by the Arizona campus of the Mayo Clinic conducted a study and discovered that people get a better night’s sleep when they have their dog sleep in bed with them as opposed to having the dog sleep elsewhere.

“According to the study, sleeping with dogs helps some people sleep better — no matter if they’re snoozing with a small schnauzer or dozing with a Great Dane. There is one caveat, however. Don’t let your canines crawl under the covers with you. The sleep benefit extends only to having dogs in your bedroom — not in your bed. According to the study, adults who snuggled up to their pups in bed sacrificed quality sleep.”

“‘The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,’ says Dr. Krahn. ‘Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep’.”

Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep specialist at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Arizona Mayo Clinic commented:

“Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption. We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.”

So, if you are having trouble sleeping at night and possibly lost your long-time spouse, consider getting a dog to help you sleep. Besides, other studies have shown that petting a dog for just 10 minutes a day helps to relieve stress, which in turns helps you stay healthier. Some studies also suggest that dog owners may live longer. Having a companion in life is important for all of us and dogs make the most loyal and loving companions of any non-human animals.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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