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How can pets disrupt my sleep?

If you’re still scratching your head wondering why you’re not feeling as refreshed as you should in the morning, you may have overlooked a little furry sleep thief: your pet.

I get asked about pets in the bedroom pretty frequently, and it can be a hard to hear that pets in the bedroom can be problematic for sleep. Pets are like family members, and we don’t like to exclude them from snuggling with us when they show so much affection and beg to be with us at night. But they can be a major cause of poor and disrupted sleep.

Studies have demonstrated that a reasonable percentage of pet owners who allow their pets in bed have sleep problems.

For starters, cats are nocturnal by nature. They typically won’t snooze with you for 7 or 8 hours straight. Dogs aren’t quite so nocturnal, but because of their size, every time they move or begin to scratch and groom themselves they can wake the soundest sleeper. They can also snore as badly as a human -- ever listen to an old English bulldog?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.