Are you kept awake by snoring, whimpering, wandering, a need for fresh air or a health condition?
No, not yours, your spouse's or child's — your pet's.
One in 10 pet owners reports sleep disturbance from a pet, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.
That's a percentage that's increasing, according to study results presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
"One patient owned a parrot who consistently squawked at 6 a.m. He must have thought he was a rooster," Dr. Lois Krahn said.
Results presented at meetings have often not yet been peer-reviewed.
But the study, according to a Mayo announcement, builds on previous research published in 2002 that reported 1 percent of patients who had pets reported inconveniences caused by their pets at night.
"The new study shows a larger number of patients — 10 percent in 2013 — reported annoyance that their pets sometimes disturbed their sleep," Mayo reports. An increasing number of households have pets, which might be one cause of the increased report of related sleep disturbance, the researchers report.
Forty-six percent of human patients studied had pets, and 42 percent of those patients had more than one pet. Most common were dogs, cats and birds.
"A lot of the pets that you see nowadays are overweight. And that certainly is going to contribute to some snoring issues that you see," said Dr. Beth Wohlert, a Rochester veterinarian at the Animal Health Care Veterinary Hospital in Rochester.
Another issue related to pets snoring is dogs bred to have short faces and noses "so you see snoring because of that," Wohlert said.
She recommends "doing your research beforehand" when considering a new pet so you know what different breeds of pets are genetically prone to "so you're a little bit more prepared."
"People get into these situations where they happen to see these puppies and, oh, they're really cute," she said. "And they get one and bring it home and all of a sudden start realizing that there's other issues that go along with it, not just snoring, but allergies and irritable bowel and things like that."
Wohlert has suggestions for managing pet behavior to decrease sleep interruption:
• Don't allow your pet to sleep with you.
"That's not going to be possible for a lot of people. They like that companionship and they like that closeness with them," Wohlert said.
• Kennel-train so your dog is comfortable being in a kennel. The pet has its bed and its toys, food and water "so if they need to get up in the middle of the night and move around, it's not disturbing to people that are sleeping in the household." Take the dog out routinely each night so it won't need to go out during the overnight hours. Adjustments might need to be made if medical conditions occur or as the dog ages.
• Cats are a little more difficult because you won't want to constrain them to a kennel. But you can restrict access by closing the bedroom door so that they can't come in and wake you up.
"A lot of those kitties get into a routine, where, five o'clock, six o'clock, they're ready to be up," Wohlert said.
• For birds, "the easiest thing would be just covering them" and getting them into a habit of always covering the cage when it's time to go to bed and "they know that that's night and that's quiet time."
If your pet behaves in an unusual manner, such as needing to get up more often than normal, exhibiting behavior changes or developing vomiting or diarrhea, it's time to seek out an animal-health specialist, Wohlert said.
Take your pet for its annual exam, she said, and if you have concerns about your pet, never be afraid to call your vet to see if a clinic visit is warranted.