Have you ever noticed that after spending time with your cat, you feel a little more tired than usual? If so, you are not alone. Many pet owners have reported feeling relaxed and sleepy after interacting with their cats. But why is this? Could it be that our feline friends are affecting us? Let’s take a closer look at the science behind cats and sleep and find out if cats can make us sleepy.
Do cats make you sleepy?
Cats produce a form of purr that can range between 25 to 150 Hertz, within the same frequency range as sounds known to promote sleep and healing.
Studies have tested the potential link between human contact with cats and sleep quality.
While we know that it can be relaxing to snuggle up with a purring cat – suggesting that they do make us drowsy — there is no conclusive evidence that cats can be used to actively help people fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
Ultimately, it might just come down to personal preference.
The Science Behind Cats and Sleep
Research has indicated that when people interact with their cat, their body releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes called “the cuddle hormone” because it is released when two people interact lovingly.
This hormone helps reduce stress, making people feel more relaxed and sleepy.
In addition to oxytocin, cats also produce a chemical called Fel d 1, which has been found to promote sleepiness in humans.
Another possible explanation for why cats make us sleepy is that they help us achieve REM (rapid eye movement) sleep faster.
Research has shown that sleeping next to a pet can help improve sleep quality by decreasing the time it takes to enter deep sleep cycles, such as REM sleep.
REM sleep is essential because it helps the body restore itself after a long day and helps clear away mental clutter before returning to waking life.
Cats may also make us sleepy simply because they are so calming and peaceful to be around.
Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress levels, and many people associate being around animals with being in nature – even if they are indoors.
Being around animals can be incredibly soothing, helping us relax and drift off into slumberland in no time at all.
Why do I sleep better with my cat?
As a cat behavior expert, I believe having a pet can benefit many aspects of your life. One of these is improved sleeping habits, as pets often serve as comforting companions for us at night.
Not only are cats calm and quiet, but they also provide warmth and physical contact, which has been proven to help people relax and sleep better.
The rhythmic purring of cats can also be very soothing, which helps promote restful sleep.
Ultimately, it’s easy to understand why other pet owners and I sleep better with their furry friends nearby.
In conclusion, there seems to be some scientific evidence suggesting that cats could make us sleepy after spending time with them due to the release of oxytocin and other chemicals produced by our furry friends. Additionally, sleeping next to our pets may help us achieve better quality sleep due to shorter times entering more profound states of restful slumber such as REM-sleep cycles.
Finally, being around animals can generally bring about feelings of relaxation, which could directly or indirectly contribute to feeling tired or ready for bedtime.