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Are your pets disturbing your sleep? You’re not alone, Mayo Clinic study finds

June 3, 2014

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PHOENIX — Rest assured, there may be a good reason you’re dog-tired.

While countless pet owners peacefully sleep with a warm pet nearby, a new Mayo Clinic study, presented this week at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, finds an increase in the number of people experiencing sleep disturbances because of their pets.

A previous Mayo Clinic study published in 2002 reported that of patients who visited the clinic’s sleep center and owned pets, only one percent reported any inconvenience from their pets at night. The new study shows a larger number of patients — 10 percent in 2013 — reported annoyance that their pets sometimes disturbed their sleep.

“The study determined that while the majority of patients did not view their pets intolerably disturbing their sleep, a higher percentage of patients experienced irritation — this may be related to the larger number of households with multiple pets,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and author of the study. “When people have these kinds of sleep problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimize their sleep.”

Between August and December 2013, 110 consecutive patients at the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona provided information about pets at night as part of a comprehensive sleep questionnaire. Questions covered the type and number of pets, where the animals slept, any notable behaviors and whether the patient was disturbed. The survey showed that 46 percent of the patients had pets and 42 percent of those had more than one pet. The most popular pets were dogs, cats and birds.

The disturbances by pets that patients reported included snoring, whimpering, wandering, the need to “go outside” and medical needs.

“One patient owned a parrot who consistently squawked at 6 a.m.,” Dr. Krahn says. “He must have thought he was a rooster.”

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About Mayo Clinic
Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.org, www.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jim McVeigh, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 480-301-4222, mcveigh.jim@mayo.edu.

How did the squirrels and rabbits feel about this? How will they emotionally cope as their habitat is being removed? Will they have to move to higher ground to survive . .only to find a new water tower coming to displace them again!! The saga continues. They should talk to the spotted owl . .or maybe not.

Appreciate the heads up. Growth is always exciting, but not always easy

Thanks for keeping us informed. A volunteer I spoke with yesterday said people are excited about the progress.

Our Dept uses the Alfred dock frequently for deliveries between building sites. It appears that the construction includes closing this dock. Is this correct?

Only three trees may have been removed for the new employee drop off area but the entire green space between Mary Brigh and Marion Hall is gone. Trees and beautiful hydrangea bushes are all gone. Will miss this green space to enjoy the outdoors.

I am excited to see the finished product — it sounds like all of the updates and new construction will be a huge benefit for our patients.

Only three trees? Some of them were spruces..why not just move them with a tree spade? Were they just destroyed? Considering how long it takes a tree to grow to that size then that is truly a shame. Green spaces are just as important as fancy marble floors and grand entrances and stained glass windows. More important since they are constantly the first to be sacrificed.

As sad as it is to lose green space, we have put buildings some where. I don't think just building on top of other buildings will work, nor will the neighbors appreciate that idea. If we tear down another structure to build something, the historians will be upset. We need to look at the positive of what we will gain; for our patients and their families.

@Emily, thanks for your question. I just heard back from Facilities — the Alfred Dock will not be closed.

Would it be possible to re-locate the West Lot pickup/drop-off here as well. It is almost embarassing to watch the Francis entrance completly blocked by employees causing the patients/visitors to have to fight their way through the door

In responds to Tom…. the rabbits can run fast, and the birds can fly, but the poor squirrels, have you seen how short their legs are??????

I agree with Elizabeth. If we want to continue to work for an institution that is worldly known for our cutting edge technology expansion is inevitable.

I saw the crew transplanting a tree from near Marian Hall, so think they try to do that and save as many as possible.

only some trees can be saved sadly…once a tree reaches a certain size or age they can not be relocated cause they cant survive 🙁

thanks for the updates – be nice to see updated pictures and progress !!! great time to be working at Mayo with all the progress

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