Throw out your man because a new study has found that women sleep better next to a dog than they do with a human partner. Woof!
Dr. Christy L. Hoffman, a professor in the Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation department at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and a team of researchers sought to explore the impacts that pets have on human sleep quality. They surveyed 962 adult women in the United States and found that 55 percent of participants shared their beds with at least one dog and 31 percent shared their beds with at least one cat. In addition, 57 percent of respondents shared their beds with a human partner. For More Stories Like This, Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Though Hoffman writes that their "findings did not show a strong relationship between pet ownership status or bedsharing conditions and sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index," they did find the following:
- Women who share their beds with a dog reported better, more restful sleep. They also said that their dogs were less disruptive than their human partners and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.
- Participants reported that bed-sleeping cats are just as disruptive as human partners, and were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both dog and human partners.
- Dog owners went to bed and woke up earlier than people who only have cats.
Hoffman told Broadly that the "keyword here is perception, this [study is based on] individuals self-reporting how they feel their sleep is affected" and it's "important to note that this is based on aggregated data and an average of responses, so getting a dog won't solve everyone's sleep problems." She added that individual differences factor into participants' responses, offering the example that some dogs snore in their sleep.
A 2017 study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that everyone who slept with a dog had better sleep, but Hoffman's study recommends further research into the subject. She told Broadly that she also hopes to research whether men's sleep is affected by pets in the same way as women's.