Does Sharing a Bed with Your Pet Affect Sleep Apnea?
November 4, 2022
Do you have a furry friend? Most people do. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that dogs can be found in roughly one-third of homes in the United States. Of that statistic, more than half say that they allow their pets to sleep in the bedroom with them. However, researchers found that snuggling up with your pet at night can have surprising effects on your quality of rest, especially if you have sleep apnea. Read on to learn what you should know about pets and sleep apnea.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans each year, causing the repeated cessation of breathing for ten seconds or more throughout the night. If you wake up feeling groggy or tired after a full night of rest, you may suffer from sleep apnea. Some other common symptoms include loud snoring, waking frequently at night, gasping for air while sleeping, and irritability. Fortunately, there is a range of treatment options available to help you breathe easier and get a good night’s sleep.
The Link Between Pets and Sleep Efficiency
Do you allow your pet to sleep in your bedroom at night? Most pet families do. Unfortunately, many don’t realize the effects this habit can have on the quality of rest.
A study by Mayo Clinic researchers found that sleep efficiency (the amount of time asleep versus awake in bed) was highest when a human slept with a human partner and a medium-sized dog (21-50 pounds) in the room. On the other hand, efficiency was lowest when there was no human partner but a small dog in bed.
All in all, the average sleep efficiency rating for humans was 81 percent. Even though this percentage is considered normal, the ideal outcome is 90 percent for good sleepers.
Should You Share a Bed with Your Pet If You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sharing a bed with your pet shouldn’t affect sleep efficiency too much. However, you may want to reconsider doing it if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Although it’s comforting having your beloved pet to snuggle with at night, they’re keeping you from having the best sleep possible.
Their movements and sounds can prevent you from falling into a deep, restful sleep. Additionally, there’s a higher chance that you’ll wake up from every motion and sound if you suffer from sleep apnea. Since patients with a sleep disorder must do everything possible to increase sleep efficiency, that may mean having to leave the furry friend outside of the bedroom at night.
Do you wake up feeling tired after a full night of sleep with your pet in the bedroom? You may want to leave your furry friend out of the room at night. And if you haven’t sought treatment for sleep apnea yet, make sure you see your sleep dentist right away. They’ll help you get a good night’s rest in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Ronan Freyne works with patients to decide which treatment path is right for them. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and is a member of the American Dental Association. If you are interested in sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Freyne is ready to provide relief in the form of a custom oral appliance. Schedule an appointment on his website or call (301) 986-0700.
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