"Best Friends" Make the Best Bed Partners

Photo credit: Stephanie Handley ’16

November 30, 2018

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According to recent research conducted by animal behaviorist, Christy Hoffman, PhD, women report that canine companions are better bed partners than human or feline companions.  

Hoffman, associate professor of Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation at Canisius College, explored the impacts pets have on human sleep quality.  Data collected from nearly 1,000 women across the United States found that dogs make the best bed partners.

Dogs' sleep patterns more closely coincide with sleep patterns in humans than do the sleep patterns of cats, which may explain why dog moms stick to a stricter sleep schedule.  Dogs who slept in their owners' beds were perceived to be less disruptive for sleep than human partners and cats. Additionally, dogs as bed partners scored higher on comfort and security than human and feline bed partners 

When it comes to sharing a bed with humans and felines, the results were far less soothing. Cats who slept in their owners' beds were reported to be equally disruptive for sleep as human partners and cats were associated with weaker feelings of comfort and security than both human and canine bed partners. 

Dr. Hoffman’s research was published in the November issue of Anthrozoos, a multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals. More than 100 local and national outlets have reported Dr. Hoffman’s research including People.com, ABCNews.com, CBSNews.com, Yahoo.com, PsychologyToday.com, TheNewYorkPost.comiHeartRadio.com, the DailyMail.com, Sciencedaily.com and HuffPost.com.