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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep if You Have Animals

How much is a dog worth in sleep? If the adoption agency told you you'd be losing 2-3 hours of sleep per week thanks to your furry friend before you signed on the dotted line, would you still do it? I love my fur babies. I also love sleep. Here are 5 ways to get more Z's when your best friend (or aloof dictator) thinks it's time to get up:

  1. Move meal time to later in the morning Waking up is about going outside at our house, and when the dogs come back in, it's time to eat. If we miss mealtime by more than two hours, one of the dogs will puke - it's inevitable. If you're able to move your animals' meals closer to lunchtime, you'll be doing yourself a favor on weekends when you want to sleep in. (My dogs eat three meals a day, so this wouldn't work for us, but this has worked for others, so I'm including it as a first option.)

  2. Lots of exercise before bedtime Toys, bones, and those cool fishing poles with feathers - whatever your pet likes. Run them ragged before bed. Our boys like to wrestle with each other. They get loud, but they're so fun to watch.

  3. Stick to the routine Vacation makes this hard, especially when you want to break the "up at 4 a.m." routine. Stay as close as you can to your wake-up time. Even on vacation, I don my outside gear each morning and walk around the yard with them, no matter how deep the snow or how cold the temperature. Don't forget your nightly routine, either. Sticking close to your usual bedtime and running them ragged beforehand will improve your mornings.

  4. Earplugs When all else fails, invest in some good noise-blockers. No matter what kind you get, it probably won't block the unique sound of your animal puking in the middle of the night. There's nothing that gets me out of bed faster.

  5. (After even that fails) Let them in bed with you Our dogs have their own beds, so they whine when they think it's time for us to wake up. Sometimes, that's 3:30 a.m. on a weekday. Mostly, it's 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday. If, after the first five attempts of "go to bed," we're still dealing with a couple of whiners, we invite them to sleep on the bed with us. This usually buys an hour.

I'd love to hear your ideas - please let me know your tricks to get pets to sleep! We stick to the routine well enough on weekdays, but when we get to the weekend, sleep is a memory we miss dearly. I would still sign on the dotted line, though. I love my boys.

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