Dog-tired? Blame Fido, Tiddles or Polly.
Growing numbers of people are being kept awake at night by their pets, doctors have warned.
The respected Mayo Clinic in the US says that while many people sleep peacefully with their pet curled up beside them, some are left so exhausted that they seek specialist help.
Snoring dogs, squawking parrots, wandering kittens, sick pets and animals with weak bladders are all disturbing vital shut-eye.
Pampered pooches may be a problem, as well as more people owning more than one pet. Some 10 per cent of pet-owners who attended the clinic’s sleep centre in 2013 partly blamed their animals for their problems.
This is up from just 1 per cent in 2002, a sleep conference heard.
The study’s author, Dr Lois Krahn, a psychiatrist, said: "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. When people have these kinds of problems, sleep specialists should ask about companion animals and help patients think about ways to optimise their sleep."
Dogs, cats and birds were the most popular pets and kept their owners awake by snoring, whimpering and wandering. Medical needs and the need to go outside were also problematic.
In some cases, pets acted as living alarm clocks.
Dr Krahn said: ‘One patient owned a parrot who consistently squawked at 6am.
‘He must have thought he was a rooster.’
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