Smith, Thompson, and Clarkson are psychologists, with specific interest and experience in cognitive psychology. The authors have experience in human and animal relationships. The term “co-sleeping” refers to any situation where adult caregivers share a bed with and infant. In this case, it includes sharing a bed with animal pets in Australian x-group. A majority of adults in Australia cite protection as a reason for animal co-sleeping (Smith, Thompson, & Clarkson, 2014). The sleeping habits of group x of Australians with animals affect the quality of sleep. Group x who share beds with animal pets experienced sleeping disturbances.
A number of risks face co-sleeping x age group (Australian group) that sleep on the same bed with animal pets. First, co-sleeping increases the effect on sleeping the daytime. The degree of co-sleeping differs in durations per night and frequency. Some x group who spend every night co-sleeping, normally experience more disturbances. Some who co-sleep one night per week exhibits fewer disturbances compared to those that co-sleep regularly. The prevalence is predominant among adults of age group 18 to 70 year old adults. Most of the aged adults experiences hallucinations of their co-sleeping pets. Examples include visions of dog’s barking or cats meowing. For younger adult aged groups, the prevalence rate revolves around 4 to 23 percent (Smith, Thompson, & Clarkson, 2014).
The Australian demographics of families who co-sleep includes the single parent families with fewer rooms for sleeping in at home. Another demographic reason for animal co-sleeping involves socioeconomic status. Lack of the parental company and increased family stress levels causes group x co-sleeping habits. Among the Australian group x, animal co-sleeping causes a higher level of nightmare and awakenings. This awakenings and nightmares associated with animal co-sleeping affects the x group’s quality of sleep. Quality of sleep is vital for the development of group x. However, Smith, Thompson, and Clarkson reveal the fragment sleep causes stress and impairs the nervous system (Thompson, 2012).
Additional effects of human-animal co-sleeping include disease infections and contaminations. A majority of the x group in Australia who co-sleeps with pets contact animal diseases like MRSA. Animals pass on lethal diseases when they lick owners or when owners kiss them while co-sleeping. Another effect among this group includes pets shedding of harmful hair and fur. Animals like dogs and cats often shed fur that could suffocate co-sleepers. They affect individual household hygiene.
Bed sharing dirties bed sheets and other sleeping fabrics, when they excrete on them or step on them with dirty limbs. Additionally, human-animal co-sleeping also emits toxic smells that contaminates the air. No matter how ‘clean’ an animal may be, they produce disturbing smells not suitable for aromatherapies. The children of co-sleeping families experience difficulties in sleeping at night. They have difficulties falling asleep, and they become accustomed to sleeping in the presence of their parents and pets. Children cannot sleep alone because they are used to sleeping alongside pets and their parents. Children of group x observe more independent sleep without pets. They have more steady sleep time as opposed to co-sleeping children (Herald, Andy & Charlie, 2013).
The average nightly wake after sleep (WASO) among group x is five times per week. Adult age groups often wake up more compared to young children. Children, on the other hand, frequently wake up twice per night during co-sleeping. Studies indicate children who spend time with co-sleeping parents often emulate their parents’ average wake after sleep. Therefore, co-sleeping parents influence their children to use transitional objects. On the contrary, the children end up using transitional objects less often than lonely sleeping children.
Anthropology includes one of the effects of group x’s co-sleeping habits in Australia. Studies show that human ancestry in Australian society associates with animal co-sleeping. Proponent scholars argue that co-sleeping among group x involves an innate nature of sleeping in human species. On the contrary, opposing scholars claim that Australian modern culture change has outdated this concept. The opponents contend that anthropological evidence supports co-sleeping as a natural phenomenon in Australia. This means that co-sleeping with animals among group x in Australia is instinctive. Historically, group x in Australia records a close association with animal pets like dogs and cats (Smith, Thompson & Clarkson, 2014).
Psychologically Related Risks of Group X Co-Sleeping Habits
Group x risks experiencing negative psychological and socio-emotional consequences. Co-sleeping group risks effects of proximity with their infants and other family members (Thompson, 2012). The risk of having bad dreams and illusions of dog’s barking. This group risks having insomnia as well as solitary sleep disorders. Another psychological effect on infants involves a moral dilemma about privacy. Children of co-sleeping parents risks having traumatic inappropriate actions. Sharing beds with animals may cause oedipal effects on witnessing children. It affects the continuity of parental and animal sexual relationships.
Adding a pet in the bed can distract a completion of attention of group x’s sexual partners. It may cause marital instabilities and sexual orientation distress (Herald, Andy and Charlie, 2013). Co-sleeping causes daytime behavior problems among group x. Co-sleepers experience difficulties in the daytime separation from pets away from home. Therefore, human-animal relations endangers Australian group x. It causes psychological disorders in sleep.
Smith, B., Thompson, K., Clarkson, L., Dawson, D. (accepted). The prevalence and implications of human-animal co-sleeping in an Australian sample. Anthrozoos.
Thompson, K., (2012). The ‘pet effect’: health related aspects of companion animal ownership. Australian Family Physician, 41, 439-442.
Herald, Andy, and Charlie Capen. The guide to baby sleep positions: survival tips for co-sleeping parents. New York: Potter Style, 2013. Print.