Dr. Christy L. Hoffman is a professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York in the department of 'Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation' - dread to think how big her name badge must be! Her study was catchily called, 'An Examination of Adult Women’s Sleep Quality and Sleep Routines in Relation to Pet Ownership and Bedsharing', and looked into the effect that sleeping with a pet had on human's sleep.
Yep, monitoring how people sleep with animals, heck it's hard work but someone's gotta do it
They collected survey's from 962 adult women in the U.S, and although Hoffman writes, 'Our 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 (PSQI)', there were some interesting results including:
"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."
The study also reports:
"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," and, "Dog owners went to bed and woke up earlier than people who only have cats."
I mean, if anyone has ever had a cat it's no doubt you know that they can be freakin' disruptive sleepers... or just generally resentful of when any human is sleeping when they could be showering them with attention!
" keyword here is perception, this individuals self-reporting how they feel their sleep is affected, 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."
Although, I choose to hear that getting a dog will help my sleep, because that's my right as an adult and justifies me getting a puppy so there!
As interesting as this study is, it's not the first time that the topic has been looked at, there have been previous studies looking at the effect that having a dog has on human's sleep back in 2017.
And while that study found that people who have dogs have better sleep, to me the whole area seems to be a bit vague. I mean, some dogs and some cats are freakin' restless and others aren't, so it surely just depends on the type of cat or dog you have? I don't have a long impressive title to back up my ideas though...