What were the findings of the pet sleep study conducted by the Mayo Clinic?
A study conducted by Mayo Clinic sleep researchers found more than half of the patients seeking consultations at their sleep clinic are pet owners complaining of nightly sleep disturbances by their furry, four-legged friends.
Over 41 percent of sleepy pet owners said the disruptions came from allowing their pets to share their beds, caused by things like cover-hogging, kicking and growling.
58 percent reported the problems stem from simply allowing their pets to sleep in the same room; 21 percent of the patients experienced snoring dogs, and 7 percent, snoring cats. The rest dealt with things like nocturnal prowling, barking, whining, requests for bathroom trips outside, licking, and tails being brushed, and flung, in the face.
If your dog hogs the bed and disrupts your sleep, you can:
• Create a small portion of the bed as your dog’s sleeping space, rather than allowing her to plop down and spread out wherever she pleases. The easiest way to do this is to clearly mark an area of your bed as her space by using a pet bed, towel or blanket. You might also add a few treats. Toys aren’t always a good idea, as she might think that means “playtime.”
Teach your dog to “target” this area and lie down there by practicing with the designated blanket on the ground first and gradually building up in length of time. If she wanders off the mat, gently guide her back on while saying “go to your mat.”
• Unfortunately, sometimes it just isn’t possible to co-exist so you’ll need to make the difficult decision to ban her from the bed. Make it a game, using plenty of praise, petting and attention when she’s off the bed—but none when she’s on.
• If you’re still having trouble, seek the advice of a professional dog trainer or pet behaviorist.