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Dogs can help wake sleepy patients on public transport

Date:
December 13, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Researchers in Belgium show in a new article how dogs can help patients with severe sleep problems.

Researchers in Belgium show how dogs can help patients with severe sleep problems, in an article on bmj.com.

They describe a 35 year old patient with severe excessive daytime sleepiness. She suffered sleep attacks up to six times a day and sometimes slept up to 16 hours a day.

Until recently, this severe sleepiness considerably hampered her social life and limited her use of public transport, as she usually fell asleep within a few minutes of sitting down.

She'd then wake up at the end of the line and have to fight sleepiness on the way back. Sometimes she'd forget where she started from.

Medication had only a limited effect, so the patient was put in contact with a charity that provides trained dogs for people with visual or hearing impairment.

A dog was first trained to wake the patient in the morning at the sound of an alarm clock, even if this sometimes required 30 minutes of gentle biting. The dog then learnt to wake the patient at the sound of the mobile phone ringing. Eventually, he learnt to wake her up, if necessary, at every metro, tram, or bus station.

This animal companionship has allowed our patient to move around the city efficiently and carry on a social life, say the authors. "The intervention could benefit other patients with similarly extreme and treatment resistant daytime sleepiness," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. O. L. Bon, P. Linkowski. A shaggy dog story. BMJ, 2012; 345 (dec13 8): e7751 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e7751

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Dogs can help wake sleepy patients on public transport." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193145.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, December 13). Dogs can help wake sleepy patients on public transport. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193145.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Dogs can help wake sleepy patients on public transport." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193145.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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