Little girls are often taught the path to a happy life involves marrying someone and sharing a bed with them. But according to a new study, women sleep better with four-legged partners.
Dogs, specifically. Scientists at Canisius College found that dogs are a women's best friend when it comes to getting rest — humans and cats just aren't as good. The study looked at 962 women in the U.S. to find out if and how well they sleep with their pets. The study found 55 percent of the women shared a bed with a dog (well, at least one) and 31 percent slept with a cat. That seems super high to me, but Americans do love their pets.
Women who slept with dogs also fell asleep earlier and got up earlier than women who slept with cats.
"Compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security," the researchers wrote. "Conversely, cats who slept in their owner’s bed were reported to be equally as disruptive as human partners, and were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and dog bed partners."
“Dog ownership and its associated responsibilities may cause individuals to adhere to a stricter routine,” the researchers continued. “Keeping to a consistent sleep schedule may be beneficial to dog owners.”
Of course, this is all based on survey data. Scientists have yet to actually hook up participants to machines and figure out if their perceptions are accurate.
But in any case, if you're sleeping without a human but with a dog, don't worry that you're not getting the kind of rest you're supposed to be getting. Humans are great, but sometimes, you need a break from them.