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Sleeping With Dogs

By Amy Fernandez

Preference in bed partners is normally not a topic for general conversation except in our little sector of the universe. When we get down to those “open and honest” confessions, it’s never a question of yes or no to allowing dogs in the bed. Usually, it’s how many.

After all those years of didactic advice about how to prevent dogs from developing that terrible habit, we don’t need to pretend anymore. Actually, we gave up a long time ago. Chihuahuas or Great Danes, they invariably hog the covers and we find ourselves clinging to a sliver of the mattress by morning. We complain but it goes on, nonetheless.

Finally, the bright light of scientific investigation has begun to examine this deep dark secret. Yes, the revered Mayo Clinic has been conducting clinical trials to determine sleep patterns of human and canine bedmates. The good-but not surprising news- is that the dogs sleep very, very well. Apparently, people in the bed don’t seem to disrupt their sleep patterns at all. In fact, Mayo researchers concluded that dogs seem to have no trouble zonking out anytime, anywhere. (They should have consulted CC readers and saved a lot of time verifying that one.)

So, on to the hard data. Ideally, you should sleep soundly for 85 percent of the night, technically known as “sleep efficiency.” The clock doesn’t start counting until the subject is verifiably asleep. The study’s authors found that canine sleep efficiency was unaffected by location. However, based on this study which consisted of 40 pairs of human/canine bedmates, the human half of the story rated only 80 percent sleep efficiency during the study. That parses out to approximately 14 minutes of sleep lost to dog related disturbances each night.

We sort of knew that part too. Obviously the study could not extrapolate any data regarding the mental and physical comfort derived from the arrangement. But there is abundant anecdotal evidence for that if you look at the remarkably long and diverse cultural continuity of this arrangement. There’s a sound practical basis for the time-honored “three dog night.”

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=217698

Posted by on Nov 30 2021. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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