Being a mum means having errands to finish, children to feed, housework to do, and careers to pursue — the list simply goes on and on. Because your focus is divided by so many things, it can be very tempting to sacrifice sleep in favour of doing everything else. What’s worse, even on nights you do manage to fall asleep, your evening is filled with tossing and turning, making your mornings feel worse than the night before.
It turns out that as much as 70%of the British population are unhappy with the amount and quality of the sleep they get, according to the 2017 Great British Bedtime Report. Around 27% reported experiencing poor quality sleep on a regular basis, with only one-third feeling productive and happy upon waking up from a night’s sleep. Moreover, the study also reveals that women are more likely than men to feel that they don’t get good rest.
We previously shared a recipe for a great night’s sleep here on Vivacious Mum, but a surprising new study suggests that there’s something else that can help you sleep aside from food: your dog.
The NY Post relayed a Mayo Clinic Study showing that people tend to sleep better when they let their dogs sleep in the bedroom. The initial notion is that sleeping in the same room with your dog can have a similar comforting effect as putting on a pair of warm, fuzzy socks or placing a pillow under your knees, which Leesa identified as effective ways to quickly slip into a blissful sleep. But that’s not all there is to it.
Regardless of size and breed, a dog’s presence gives owners a sense of security, which in turn, helps them sleep easy. The researchers, however, caution against letting them sleep on your bed, as this can disrupt sleep and reverse the comforting effects of having a dog in the bedroom. Thus, the more viable options are to have them sleep in their own beds or on the floor.
The study’s findings come in light of growing worry over the slew of harmful effects of regularly not having quality sleep. The UK’s National Health Service warns that lack of good sleep can cause difficulty in thinking clearly, weight gain, and greater risks of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and dementia. All of this doesn’t even mention the problems in daily activities you could face when you’re sleep-deprived. And the worst part is that your family may get affected as well.
All things considered, it seems that helping humans get better sleep is just another gift from man’s best friend, along with improving our overall mental wellness like we explained in another Vivacious Mum post. In the presence of so many health risks, it’s good to know that your dog can improve your sleep quality, on top of alleviating stress and boosting self-esteem for everyone in the family.
The benefits of restful evenings make it crucial for busy mums to prioritise sleep. At the end of the day, good, restorative sleep can help you take on the challenges that lie ahead.