Pets May Cause Sleep Disturbances

August 16, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. snuggle /ˈsnʌg əl/ (v.) – to be close together in a comfortable position
Example: My puppy snuggled into my arms while I was sleeping.

2. sleep deprivation /slip dɛp rəˈveɪ ʃən/ (n.) – a situation in which one experiences lack of sleep
ExampleHe had no energy because of sleep deprivation.

3. blame /bleɪm/ (v.) – to accuse someone of being responsible for a wrong act
Example: The man blamed the veterinarian for his dog’s death.

4. whimper /ˈʰwɪm pər, ˈwɪm-/ (v.) – to make low sounds or voice to express sadness, pain, or fear
Example: My dog whimpered when he tried to walk with his injured leg.

5. annoyance /əˈnɔɪ əns/ (n.) – the feeling of being irritated or slightly angry
Example: The customer expressed her annoyance with the store’s poor service.


Read the text below.
Snuggling with pets might not be as comforting as it sounds, according to a recent study presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The Mayo Clinic study revealed that some people who snuggle with their pets suffer from sleep deprivation because the animals disturb them at night.

In 2002, researchers from Mayo Clinic’s Sleep Center reported that out of the 300 patients they interviewed, one percent blamed their pets for their sleep problems. Recently, Mayo Clinic conducted a similar study on 110 patients from August to December 2013.

The participants of the recent study answered questions about their sleeping patterns and their pets’ behavior. The questionnaire also asked about the number of pets the owners have, the types of pets they own, the sleeping place of their pets, and the overall behavior of their pets at night.

Results showed that around 46 percent of the patients owned pets and 42 percent of them have at least two animals in their home. In addition, the authors noted that dogs, cats, and birds were usually the pets owned by the participants.

Many of the pet owners also admitted that they let their pets sleep beside them on the bed. However, they complained that their pets usually whimpered, walked around, snored, and felt the need to eliminate waste during bedtime.

According to Lois Krahn [LOH-is krahn], a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic, many of the participants, especially those who have multiple animals, expressed their annoyance at their pets during bedtime. From just one percent in the 2002 study, researchers noted that 10 percent of the participants in the new study had trouble sleeping because of their pets.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Should pets be blamed for the sleep disturbance the participants complained about? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think some pets are well-behaved while some are not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the benefits of having pets? Kindly discuss.
·         Can you think of some disadvantages of having pets at home?

August 16, 2014