Some researchers are out there asking the really important questions — the ones that keep us up at night — like, what’s the ultimate bedtime companion? Is it a human? A cat? A dog? An iguana?
That’s the question scientists from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York wanted to answer, publishing their findings in Anthrozoös, a journal that studies human-animal interactions. While it’s known that sleeping next to humans provides some positive and negative effects, much less is known about the benefits and hazards of sleeping with your pet. Until now.
The researchers surveyed over 962 women who reside in the U.S., gathering data on their sleeping patterns and partners, specifically looking for information regarding the relationship between pet ownership and sleep. More than half, 57 percent, of participants slept with humans, 55 percent of them with dogs, and 31 percent of them with cats. Dog owners demonstrated earlier bed times and earlier wake up times, surprising everyone but dog owners, because we’ve all been awoken by a stray paw in the face just before your alarm clock rings.
Compared to human partners, dogs provided more security and comfort, and also disturbed women less as they slept. Sorry boyfriends and girlfriends, dogs are cuter and also quiet. Cats got the worst end of the deal, with the study finding them just as disruptive as human partners and less comforting than any other companion.
Science now supports the fact that there are no better cuddlers than a sleepy dog. Dog owners have known this all along, now they just have the chance to show it off to their germaphobe friends, proving to them that there’s a reason why they’re always covered in hair.