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Dogs can be trained to wake sleep-deprived commuters

Friday, 14th December 2012

Sleep-deprived commuters may never miss their stop again after a new report revealed that dogs can be trained to wake their owners.

Researchers in Belgium analysed the case of a 35 year-old woman with severe excessive daytime sleepiness, meaning she sometimes slept up to 16 hours a day.

Her sleep attacks limited her use of public transport as she usually fell asleep quickly after sitting down and would miss her stop.

After finding that medicine failed to help, she was put in contact with a charity that provides trained dogs for people with visual or hearing impairment. A dog was eventually trained to wake the patient up at every metro, tram, or bus station if necessary.

The authors praised the dog, who is no doubt regularly rewarded with dog food, for the positive effect it had on the patient's life.

"The intervention could benefit other patients with similarly extreme and treatment resistant daytime sleepiness," they concluded.