WASHINGTON - If you enjoy the comfort and companionship of your furry friend sleeping with you in the bed, your not alone, according to a recent survey released this week for Pet Appreciation Week.
In a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), almost half of the respondents (46%) say they sleep with their pets in the same bed compared to only a smaller group of people (19%) who say sleeping is worse with their four-legged family member.
Younger Americans also surveyed by the AASM say they enjoy the presence of their pets in the bedroom. Fifty-three percent of Gen-Z respondents say they almost always or sometimes sleep with their pet compared to only 36% of older Americans polled.
FILE-A man sleeps in the bed with his dog. ( Holly Hildreth / Contributor/Getty Images)
"Healthy sleep looks different from person to person. Many pet owners take comfort in having pets nearby and sleep better with their companion by their sides," Dr. Andrea Matsumura, said in a statement on AASM’s website. Matsumura is a member of the AASM’s Public Awareness Advisory Committee and a sleep specialist in Portland, Oregon.
"For most adults, whether you sleep with a pet or not, it is important that you get seven or more hours of restful sleep each night for optimal health," Matsumura offered.
While snuggling with a pet in bed is comforting for some, it can be a nuisance for others if your pet sleeps erratically in the bed.
And if you're in this predicament, the AASM has some helpful tips to follow to enhance your sleep routine for you and your pet.
Tips to boost better sleep habits for pets and owners
- Create a separate, comfortable sleeping space nearby for your pet as an alternative.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. Factor in your pet’s routine as well, including their walking and eating schedule.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings and turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.