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Sleep Health: Sleep with pets, children may sleep better

People are increasingly recognizing that pet companionship provides a health benefits similar to interpersonal relationships, such as reducing stress and improving cardiovascular function. Adults and children usually report that their pets pay more attention than most people in life, and often regard their pets as family members. Children have a strong attachment to pets and believe that they are the source of social support, affection and comfort. Pet owners like to be with pets as much as possible, including sleeping at night. In addition to occupying space, noisy scratching, or causing allergies, the most common is that their furry partners will disturb your sleep. Many health professionals suggest that pets are not allowed to enter the bedroom at night.

A new study published in the magazine of Sleep Health. Researchers at the Pediatric Public Health Psychology Laboratory at the University of Concordia have found that the number of children shared with pets with pets is surprising. There is no difference in children who sleep alone.

The data used by the researchers was found in a larger health heart project. This is a vertical study funded by the Canadian Institute of Health, which discusses the connection between children’s pressure, sleep, and day and night rhythm.

Children and parents answered questionnaires about norms before bedtime and sleep hygiene: Maintaining the same time before bedtime, there is a relaxed bedtime routine, sleeping in a quiet and comfortable space. In two weeks, children wearing wearable devices (wrist behavior) and filled in daily logs to track their sleep. The children were also installed with a specialized home multi -directional sleep instrument, allowing researchers to record their brain waves (EEG signals) when they were sleeping.

After this discovery, they checked the content of the same document in the existing literature. They discovered some research on adults, but almost no research on teenagers.

The same bed with pets is what many children are doing, but we don’t know how they affect children’s sleep. “Therefore, from the perspective of sleep science, we think this is an important issue we should study.

Researchers divide them into three groups according to the frequency of children and pets: never, sometimes or often. Then, they compared these three groups in a series of different sleep variables to see if there were any obvious differences between them.

Children show similar time (bed/wake -up time, mid -point), duration and onset period, regardless of the frequency of pets sleeping. Sometimes children who sleep with pets often wake up less often than those who never sleep with pets, and do not spend more time to stay sober at night. Among all three groups of people, the score of sleep quality is also equivalent.

The research results show that the existence of pets has no negative impact on sleep. In fact, we find that children who sleep with pets most often report to the higher the quality of sleep, especially among teenagers. Children are more likely to treat their pets as their friends and get comfort from their sleep. These findings also make us think more clearly about how to improve the technology of sleeping.

Although we lack sufficient causal evidence to claim to sleep with pets are beneficial, it does not seem to harm children’s sleep. In general, sleeping with pets seems to be a neutral activity, which has no significant impact on objective measurement of sleep. However, children who often sleep with pets have better sleep quality; this is consistent with the discovery of adults in the past, that is, sleeping is related to the improvement of sleep quality. Many wearable devices such as Apple Watch and Fitbit have accelerated meters in the smartphone itself, which can detect motion to decode a person’s sleep. Considering the number of people with the same bed with partners or pets, developing a setting for the same bed for the same bed to adjust to define the algorithm used to define sleep invasion or awakening, which may make sleep evaluation more accurate.

文章参考:Hillary Rowe, Denise C. Jarrin, Neressa A.O. Noel, Joanne Ramil, Jennifer J. McGrath. The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime: The effects of pet-human co-sleeping and bedsharing on sleep dimensions of children and Adolescents. SLEEP Health, 2021; Doi: 10.1016/J.SLEH.2021.02.00

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