This is an older post that for some reason wasn’t published until now!
Apparently dogs can teach us to sleep better!
If you can hear a note of skepticism in my voice then you are not mistaken.
For I am writing this post during the afternoon of Tuesday last. Jeannie and I were going out to dinner with neighbours in the evening and I was wondering if I could squeeze in a siesta fairly soon. Why?
Well last night [Ed. Back in 2017] (as in early on Tuesday morning), at 3am to be exact, a wet nose belonging to a German Shepherd, namely Cleo, was gently pushed into my face. Even in the dark I could sense that Cleo had an upset tummy. I quickly got up and opened our bedroom door; the one that opens onto the deck behind our house.
Five minutes later Cleo was back in the room and a few minutes more saw me back asleep.
At 4am on that same early Tuesday morning I received the second greeting of the day from a wet nose. This time it was Oliver and, yes, he too had an upset tummy. Oliver is not so self-disciplined as Cleo and I had to put on my dressing-gown and take Oliver outside via the front door.
Do you understand why I was so tired that afternoon!
But according to a recent article over on the Care2 site dogs can help us sleep.
Your Dog Can Help You Sleep Better if You Follow These Simple Tips
By: Paula Jones September 18, 2017
We all know that dogs are the best of friends. They’re more than happy to greet you with excitement when you get home from work, and they’re thrilled to go on adventures with you, too. But dogs are more than just friends. They’re good for your health—in more ways than one.
First, good dog owners know that exercise is the name of the game. If you live on a small property or in an apartment, then it’s necessary to walk your dog regularly. And at the bare minimum, you most likely play tug-o-war inside or wrestle on the floor together. Your dog needs the exercise to stay happy and healthy—and so do you.
Second, your pup doesn’t just keep you active but she lowers your blood pressure. It’s hard to measure if you’ve never been one with blood pressure issues. But if you’re hypertensive, then maybe getting a dog isn’t such a bad idea.
Beyond keeping you active and your heart healthy, science shows that dogs help you sleep better. And sleep, as we know, is a huge part of being healthy. In a recent study of 40 healthy adults without sleeping disorders, scientists discovered that dogs aided in better sleep efficiency. That means you get more out of your sleep time with a fun-loving pet at your side.
And let’s not get this confused with sleeping with your dog in your bed. The same study indicated that people who let their pets sleep on the bed actually had worse sleep, not better. Which makes sense, right? If your pup continually crowds you out of the little space you have, you’re bound to be tirelessly stopping yourself from falling off the bed all night long. Not to mention if the dog needs to be let down for water or to use the bathroom. Your best bet for better sleep is to leave your pooch on the floor.
How to have the best night of sleep ever with your dog
As any dog owner knows, it’s not fun getting up the middle of the night to open doors, fill water bowls or take the dog out to pee. If you want to ensure that you’ll reap all the benefits of better sleep, then try these tips right before bed.
- Prepare your dog for bed: Welcome the dog into the room, snuggle for a bit on the bed or floor, and then place your pup on the floor in his bed.
- Open a door: Your pup might get restless at night, or scared. Leave a door open for the pup to roam or hide. Unless, of course, your pup can’t handle the freedom of nighttime roaming.
- Fill the water bowl: Be sure to always have fresh water nearby. It’s an easy and simple fix when you know your pup likes to get up for a midnight drink.
- Create space to borrow: Some dogs like to hide under the bed, in the closet beneath clothes or in the bathroom. The dog might be scared of thunder or lightning or simply find it cozier than out in the open. Ensure your dog’s comfort by keeping these options open.
- Don’t forget the dog: Bedtime is often a haze. You’re tired and just want to sleep. Before rushing off to sleep, make sure your dog hasn’t been left outside on the patio or in the backyard.
- Does Rocko eat dinner?: Make sure your dog eats a regularly scheduled meal in the evening.
- Unexpected events: There are some things you just can’t plan for, like vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs eat strange things when you’re not looking. Respond as compassionately as possible.
Dogs can help you sleep better by making you feel more safe and secure. But if you don’t prepare you and your loyal friend for a good night sleep, then you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night—more than once. Get the most out of your sleep by being prepared, and remember to put your dog on the ground not on the bed for the best night’s sleep possible.
Now I’m bound to say that since that night in September, 2017 we have not had a problem with our six dogs. I can’t remember since then one of our dogs having an upset tummy that kept us awake.
But I’m sure that there are dog owners who from time to time do have this problem and I hope you find this post useful and interesting, albeit three years late!