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Does Emotional Support Dogs Add Value to Treatment For Sleeping Disorders?

37% sleeping during the day.

50 out of every 100,000 people have obstructive sleep apnea.

40% report to have a short sleep duration.

And approximately 70 million American adults have one or the other type of sleep disorder.

Whether we agree or not, it is apparent that there are a lot of sleep issues growing in our society.

Sleep specialists work on a combination of treatments that’s not precisely dependent on just medications. Rather, understanding the choices that affect the sleep patterns of the patient.

And guess what, even the specialists agree that patients could use dogs as a part of their decision-making process as a guide and direct treatment therapy alternative.

In fact, co-sleeping with pets is garnering a lot of attention in Western countries.

But, why is there so much discussion about emotional support dogs being the part of animal-assisted therapy for patients with sleeping disorders?

Dogs and Humans- The History Goes Back to Centuries
Our association with cats and dogs in terms of empathy and a co-habitant is centuries old. We share an incredible anthropological history.

That is why humans see dogs as family members not from other species or as a threat.

A detailed study on the human-dog relations conducted by the University of Central Lancashire found that more than 40% of the pet owners consider dogs as their family member that helped to improve their social compatibility.
Also, they are immensely attentive and somehow have some innate ability to sense the next move of their handlers.

It’s magical that they understand the emotions in such a clear way. They completely decode your expressions simply like an expert.

But, does that make emotional support dogs or service animals an effective treatment therapy for millions of patients suffering from a range of sleeping disorders.

Well, let’s figure that out ourselves in the next section of this article.

Sleep Disorders- Can Dogs Help?

Unlike what most of us think, sleep disorders are just not limited to insomnia. There is definitely more to that.

There are more than 80 types of sleep disorders that might affect your natural sleep patterns. Here we will be discussing some of the major types and do emotional support dogs play any role in alleviating the condition in any way.

Insomnia

It is primarily the inability of any person to fall or stay asleep. This is probably the most common type of sleep disorder faced by Americans.

And, to your relief, dogs have an amazing ability to make you feel secure. Thereby promoting relaxation and mental peace. This is somehow missing in people with frequent sleep deprivation issues.

And not only that, having dog co-sleeping by your side gives the necessary warmth to help your mind calm down within that instant.

Things that make emotional support dogs excellent cohabitants include- wagtail, hugging, licking. And the things that make them super sleep partners are- snuggling, guarding, and rhythmic breathing.

It’s like having a pooch around a person who is anxious about falling into sleep will be assured of someone next to them and feel relaxed. Thus, falling into deep sleep consequently.

Sleep Apnea

It is a potentially debilitating condition where breathing repeatedly starts and stops. If you also snore and sleep full night ending up being tired the next day.

Then, you might be affected by sleep apnea.

And, again, dogs are helpful in waving off the triggers that might result in patients failing to breathe properly. Just a paw touch and the patient gets back to the natural routine without waking up.

It’s like the dog gives the necessary cues to the patient. One can try the masking technique where a patient wears one but a slight change in the position notifies the dog that something is wrong.

Nightmares

More than 50% of the patients affected with PTSD have an acute issue of nightmares.

The fear of dreams makes the patient crazy when they try to sleep. And, yet again comes the magic tough of emotional support dogs.

Dogs help to mitigate the anxiety which causes mood swings, takes you away from the normal sleep cycle. Also, they help to alleviate stress factors that bring out the best in you. Hence, enabling to sleep peacefully.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a condition where a patient is unable to control sleep cycles, which sometimes even result in loss of muscle controls.

It is often seen that people with narcolepsy have symptoms of extreme fatigue which might result in anxiety or depression.

Dogs are helpful in using pressure therapy tactics and those sloppy kisses and hugs.

So, it lowers the heart rate and blood pressure thereby allowing quick recovery mode. Having a partner by your side makes it possible for you to mitigate any stressful barriers altogether.

Sleep disorders are something that makes you go crazy as you are unable to concentrate over anything. Making you less productive.

Having an emotional support dog by your side will help to alleviate a range of symptoms associated with sleep disorders making you reach the right amount and quality of sleep effectively.

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