A recent American study found that having a pet at home, such as a cat or dog, may cause insomnia and trouble sleeping.
The study, conducted by a research team from Lincoln Memorial University in the United States, was based on data from the US National Center for Health and nutrition studies, collected during the period between 2005 and 2006.
Lauren Wisnieski, head of the study team and professor of Public Health at the University, found that having a dog at home increases the likelihood of sleep disorders and that having a cat is significantly associated with the occurrence of leg fibrillation during sleep.
"Previous studies on the relationship between pet ownership and sleep quality have come up with mixed results,” Wisnieski said in statements to the Medical Express website specializing in medical research.
The head of the study team explained that "on the one hand, cats and dogs are probably useful for enhancing the ability to sleep due to the social support they provide. They also give a feeling of security and good company to the person who acquires them, which hypothetically reduces disorder, anxiety, and depression; however, pets, on the other hand, disturb the sleep of the person who acquires them”.
The study, published by the scientific journal (Human-Animal Interactions), tried to identify the link between the acquisition of pets and some sleep-related problems; such as feeling restless, stressed, sleepy during the day, taking more than 15 minutes in bed before bedtime, and finally sleeping less than six hours a day on average.
The aforementioned researcher said that it is possible to conduct further studies to raise awareness about the dangers of sleeping with pets and put forward possible solutions to this problem; such as the manufacturing of dedicated places for animals to sleep at home or, preventing their entry into bedrooms at night.