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Barking In Your Sleep?

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Is your neighbor's dog keeping you up all night from their incessant barking? Or maybe it's your dog that likes to bark at night.

More often than not, people with pets or kids will lose some amount of sleep during the night. But what happens to you when your sleep is interrupted every night, or you just simply can't fall asleep? This can become far more serious than just feeling sluggish the next day.

Sleep: The Facts

It is recommended that the average adult gets at least 7 hours of sleep each night to be fully rested and functional during the day – this also helps to prevent health issues caused by lack of sleep.

It takes 4 days for your body to fully recover after losing 1 hour of sleep. Many Americans lose sleep every night, which makes it essentially impossible to recover. In America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. (Source: sleephealth.org  ) This allows sleep deprivation symptoms to set in.

Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation Include:

  • Stress
  • Weight Gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Failure
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke

In fact, when you are not sleeping at all, you can even begin to have hallucinations after about 72 hours. If this is the case you should consult your physician or a sleep specialist right away.

But There's Hope!

Sleeplessness and incorrect sleep habits don’t have to define your life – you can improve your sleep health overtime with small changes to your daily activities. Following these easy steps can drastically improve your physical and mental health. (Source: sleepfoundation.org  )

  • Limit daytime naps to no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine in the second half of the day.
  • Exercise during the day, but not right before bed. Exercising too soon before bed increases your body temperature and heart rate which can make it harder to sleep. However, exercising early in the day will allow you to feel tired later at the appropriate time, as well as keep your body healthy – which improves sleep.
  • Limit screen time before bed.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Sleep in a cool and comfortable space. It is recommended that the room you sleep in be between 60–70° F, and that it be dark with minimal light.

Don't Forget Your Pets

Pets can also disrupt your sleep more than you might think.

Cats typically sleep 16–20 hours a day, but are nocturnal so they are far more likely to be active during the night. Puppies need about 18–19 hours of sleep, and will stay awake 1 hour per every 3 hours they sleep. Adult dogs will sleep on average 12–14 hours, with bigger dogs needing to take power naps. (Source: southbostonanimalhospital.com  )

However, creating a strong nighttime routine with your pet can help ensure they are sleeping at the same time as you, and therefore cause less sleep disturbances.

  • Give your dog or cat lots of exercise during the day.
  • Provide enrichment activities to avoid boredom. Boredom in dogs and cats can lead to destructive and bad behavior.
  • Boredom can also lead to excessive barking in dogs, but if they are adequately stimulated throughout the day this will be minimal or even non-existent.
  • Feed them in the evening, or purchase a time-release feeder which will encourage them to wait by the feeder instead of waking you up.
  • Take them out for a potty break right before you go to bed.
  • Adjust your pet’s sleep area in your bedroom. Pets who sleep in the bed are more likely to disrupt their owners' sleep.
  • Don’t reward your pet’s bad behavior at night — ignoring their whining, meowing, barking, or scratching at the door will teach them that it is not the time. If you give in it will reinforce these behaviors and they will continue them while you are trying to sleep.

And the Neighbor's Pets

If your neighbor has a noisy dog that likes to bark in the middle of the night that can be much harder to control. But there is a device that can help with this problem: The Dog Silencer® MAX. This item uses an ultrasonic sound that humans can’t hear, so there is no worry that it will disrupt you or your neighbors. The dog will learn that if they do not want to hear the sound, then they should not bark – saving you your sanity and giving you back your peace and quiet!

We believe that everyone deserves to be well rested (including pets) and we hope that this provides you with enough information so that everyone in your family can get a full night of sleep.

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