There is no denying the love for our furry friends, and most dog and cat owners will attest to their company at night. While they bring much-needed comfort, for the disturbed sleeper suffering from sleep apnea, navigating the experience of sleeping with a CPAP mask, pets can feel like the last thing you want to have around you at night. In this article, we discuss the value and disadvantages of letting your pets sleep on your bed, specifically addressing how it affects those with sleep apnea and the possibilities of exacerbating the condition.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
For every sleep apnea sufferer, sleep hygiene is one of the most crucial lifestyle aspects to establish. Sleep hygiene involves regulating lifestyle habits that impact your sleep; this can be anything from adequate exercise, modified diet, or creating a bedroom set-up that induces sound sleep. Pets, however, often don’t fit into proper sleep hygiene in the bedroom, as they add an uncontrollable factor to manage during the night. Such nightly events can be simply moving around the bed, disturbing your sleep pattern or even waking you for bathroom breaks or alike needs, disrupting your sleep cycle.
Creature comfort advantages
As animals provide creature comfort, providing a sense of relaxation, stress relief, and emotional support, sleeping with our pets can help the sleep process. Some owners find having the animal near them provides the comfort we just mentioned, and can easily forgive any mild disruption to their sleep hygiene.
Pets owners who co-sleep with their animals often find changing their routine, after their diagnosis of sleep apnea and CPAP machine prescription, can be counterintuitive to their sleep routine. As they have co-slept with their animals for so long, changing the routine would play havoc with their night time cycle.
Disruption to CPAP machine
Playful animals, especially cats, are known for chewing on cords, and clawing and scratching furniture, and your CPAP machine is not immune to these attacks. While you may enjoy their company as you sleep, some animals should be kept away from your CPAP machine, protected accessing it to avoid damage, excess dirt and grime build-up, and potential mishaps where the device is at risk.
Healthy Pets for better sleep
If co-sleeping with your pet isn’t up for negotiation, it’s essential your pets are healthy and clean. Especially for sleep apnea sufferers, prioritise regular bathing for your pet, adding in more routine vet checks, and increased attention to clearing litter trays and hair removal around the bedroom.