When Animals Sleep With Humans

Most humans in a study published in the Proceedings of the Mayo Clinic report that sleeping with their pets in the bed or at least in the bedroom helps them sleep.

I could have told them that!

The study, “Are Pets in the Bedroom a Problem?” found that about half of the 150 humans surveyed sleep with at least one pet in the bed or in the bedroom. Of these, more than half find the arrangement pleasant or at least neutral. Only 20 percent found the presence of companion animals during the night disrupted their sleep.

Humans who sleep “alone,” as the researchers put it, are more likely to enjoy the company of pets while sleeping. Of course, if cats and dogs are around, the human isn’t really alone, right? Some humans take in a cat or dog to help them relax. Some feel safer with pets in the room with them while they sleep. Some want us around for warmth (isn’t that what they say cats want from humans, too?)

The study surveyed people who were patients at the Mayo Clinic’s, Center for Sleep Medicine, so they might have specific considerations that wouldn’t apply to other humans. Also, 150 isn’t a very large number of humans, so these findings should be examined further. The researchers think humans may under-report sleep disturbances caused by beloved animal companions. (Like Reggie yelling at night around here for the past couple of weeks after he slipped outside and spent a night on the streets. Idiot.)

We have an ENORMOUS bed that has room for a lot of us, and Robin likes us to be with her. She says having us sleep with her is her favorite thing about winter.

About the picture: That’s Bleu and me in beds Robin made (like the beds you could buy!). We have beds, blankets and pillows on the big bed and a nice big, rectangular bed in the window. I’ll show you the big bed another day.

4 thoughts on “When Animals Sleep With Humans

  1. I sleep with Mom but Kaspars prefers to sleep on his heating pad on his perch up high, so he can be sure to know if anything or anyone might come after him. He hasn’t ever gotten over this constant awareness and fear even though it’s been twelve years since his feral days surviving on his own. I was abandoned on the streets too but luckily not for too long before a kind human rescued me. Mom says she doesn’t blame him for feeling this way, as she would too had she spent the first two years of her life alone.
    Mom doesn’t feel we disturb her sleep except when I wake her at 5, 6, 7 AM hungry and demanding breakfast. This may be true but she isn’t so innocent herself waking me up because she has the audacity to try and move her leg or arm I am on!


    1. I don’t use an alarm because the kitties like to eat at the same time every day. Sometimes when I travel, I get up before they do, which is funny.

  2. Mom likes us to sleep with her. Candy always sleeps with mom. EK and I only sleep with her when we’re cold. The only ones who get their sleep disturbed is us kitties when mom gets overheated and starts kicking off the covers. MOL

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