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Problems with Pets and Sleep

Who doesn’t love snuggling up to a fluffy dog or cat? While it is a well-known fact that owning pets can be beneficial to their owners’ health, sleeping with these furry friends can actually be quite harmful and make it difficult to get your best night’s sleep.

A recent APPA study found that more than half of dogs and cats sleep with their adult owners. That is a lot a pet hair getting caught in between the sheets.

Those with allergies to pet dander will find themselves much happier whenever they find an alternative spot for their furry friends to rest for the night. Most people will benefit from giving their sinuses a break from the strain of hair saturated air, but hypoallergenic pets can make this process less stressful.

Obviously, sleeping with pets increases the opportunity to have your sleep disturbed by an animal’s movement and natural disruptions in their own sleep cycles – after all, we can’t assume our sleep cycle is the same as our pet’s sleep cycle. Many animals experience a more active REM stage of sleep, which often times results in restless leg movements, growling or barking, and sudden waking. Some pets, especially dogs with a history of more aggressive behavior, may become more protective at night, especially when sleeping with their owner. Therefore, understanding your pets behaviors is an important factor when choosing whether or not you should be snuggling up with your pet pals.

Getting pets out of the bedroom once they have become accustomed to sleeping with you is a much more difficult problem than washing out pet hair. Most vets believe that pets should be kept out of the bedroom altogether if you don’t intend on them sleeping with you. Training dogs to stay off the bed is typically easier than with cats, but either animal can pose a challenge, especially when you are trying to get them to stay in the same room, but not on the actual bed.

Overall, it is important to understand both you and your pet’s sleep preferences and behaviors before making long-term decisions that can influence behavior and become habit.

http://pets.webmd.com/features/pets-in-your-bed

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-rosenberg-phd/sleeping-with-pets_b_2008808.html

What is a Sleep Center?

A sleep center, sometimes called a sleep clinic, is a facility used for diagnosing and treating sleep related disorders. These sleep centers conduct sleep studies, which aid your doctor in diagnosing any sleep disorder you may have.

They also measure how well you sleep and how your body responds to sleep disorders and problems, if you have any. These sleep studies are completely painless, although you may find it a little harder to fall asleep when sleeping in a new place or being hooked up to sensors. Sleep centers know this and most design their rooms to resemble hotel rooms for a more relaxing environment. You are encouraged to pack an overnight bag like you would for a hotel; you should bring comfortable pajamas, a change of clothes for in the morning, a toothbrush, and your favorite pillow if you have one. They will also adjust the thermostat to your liking, offer extra pillows and blankets, and supply reading materials and a TV to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the entire process.

Sleep studies can help diagnose a wide range of sleep problems, such as sleep related seizures, breathing disorders, movement disorders, and sleep disorders that effect your daytime functioning, such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea. Sleep centers use an array of test for sleep studies, but the most common are Polysomnogram (PSG), multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT), actigraphy, and home-based portable monitors. The majority of sleep studies are conducted in the sleep clinic over the course of an evening, however there are some that can be done during the day in the office. Some can even be conducted in the comfort of your own home.

These sleep studies allow your doctor to view your sleep patterns and sleep problems that you’re probably not even aware of since they are happening while you’re asleep. Results from the sleep study may include information on your sleep and wake times, sleep stages, breathing habits, movement during sleep, and your body’s vitals. Your doctor will take all this information along with your medical history to make a diagnosis and create a treatment plan specialized for you.

 

“UCLA Sleep Disorders Center.” Preparing for a Sleep Study. UCLA.edu. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://sleepcenter.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=59&gt;.

“What To Expect During a Sleep Study.” – NHLBI, NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institue. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/slpst/during.html&gt;.

Effects of Color on Sleep

In 1666, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light travels though a prism, it will separate into visible colors. He also found that every color is made up of a single wavelength and cannot be separated any further into different colors. This discovery led to a better understanding of what color is, and many more experiments. Today, color is defined as the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.

Our brains react differently to each color as each produces a varying sensation. These sensations are how color can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. Color can be a very powerful tool used in influencing mood or physiological reactions, and has even been associated with increased blood pressure and metabolism. If color is powerful enough to influence mood or increase blood pressure, then how much is color affecting our sleep? While there hasn’t been much research done in this area, there are some studies that give us valuable insights. A recent study conducted by Travelodge gives good insight on how much color can affect our sleep. Travelodge looked through the keyhole of 2,000 homes to investigate the influence of bedroom color schemes against the quality and quantity of sleep they are getting every night. Some major findings from the study:

  • On average people sleeping in a blue room are getting seven hours and fifty two minutes sleeps per night.The color blue also helped to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, which are essential in achieving a good quality night’s sleep.
  • The second most favorable color scheme for inducing a good night’s sleep is yellow. People who sleep in a yellow bedroom are getting an average of seven hours and forty minutes of shut eye per night. Yellow stimulates the nervous system which aids relaxation, while also creating a warm and cozy atmosphere.
  • A green themed bedroom is the nation’s third most popular sleep inducing color – with sleepers getting on average seven hours and thirty six minutes of sleep. Green creates a restful, calming environment which helps relaxation which is essential in inducing sleep.
  • A silver bedroom/decor is the fourth most popular sleep inducing color scheme – with individuals getting on average seven hours and thirty three minutes sleep per night. The metallic color makes a bedroom feel luxurious and glow like moonlight – this can trick the eye into believing it is night time.
  • An orange bedroom is the fifth most popular sleep inducing color – with sleepers getting on average seven hours and twenty eight minutes of snooze time. Shades of orange add warmth to the room and help create a stable and reassuring atmosphere and can even help digestion too – especially if you have eaten a large or late evening meal.
  • In contrast, the study also revealed the least favored bedroom color schemes for obtaining a regular good quality night’s sleep are purple, brown and grey resulting in about seven hours of sleep a night, or less. Using these colors in your bedroom are also more likely to promote vivid dreams or even nightmares; resulting in fragmented sleep and you feeling tired the next day.

This study is a good example of how room color can influence your sleep, mood, and even sets the tone for your living environment. Therefore, it’s important to choose a bedroom color and decor that will help you relax and induce sleep.

 

Elliot, Andrew J., and Markus A. Maier. “Color and Psychological Functioning.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16.5 (2007): 250-54. Web.

Travelodge. The Secret To A Good Night’s Slumber Is To Sleep In A Blue Bedroom.  [Press release] 17 May 2013. Web. 8 Oct. 2014.

Whitfield, T.W., & Wiltshire, T.J. (1990). Color psychology: A critical review. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 116, 387–412.