Remember the restless nights when you spent hours lying on bed trying to fall asleep but the only thing you could think of was your next appointment to the local vet for your pup’s third Rabies vaccine shot? You will probably be jealous of how ‘sleep-able’ your pup is and perhaps question –
how do dogs fall asleep so easily?
The average dog spends around 12-13 hours sleeping/napping every day (this should not come to your surprise), but this number varies depending on several factors –
Just like humans, dogs can sleep for up to 20 hours a day when they are babies as they need sufficient rest to support growth at a young age. Older dogs also sleep for longer hours compared to middle-aged dogs, requiring roughly 18 hours of sleep a day.
In general, larger breeds sleep more than smaller breeds. Bulldogs and Mastiffs are large breed dogs famous for their ‘sleepability’. After all moving those heavy bodies requires a lot of energy! However, do not judge a dog’s ability by its size. Frenchies and Pugs can get comfortable in any position and doze off in all sorts of places.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but dogs that are more active during the day (especially ones that partake in labor) actually sleep for shorter hours than the lazier ones (pups that sit around all day doing nothing). Talk about the lack of justice.
In any case, do not worry too much if your dog does not sleep as much as other dogs,
as long as it is not exhibiting signs of extreme tiredness from lack of sleep.
Angus, being the usual him, napping on Sleep-on Hexagonal Bed
THE SCIENTIFIC WAY TO LOOK AT A DOG’S SLEEP
Like humans, dogs go through different sleeping phases. Once they start falling asleep, they enter Short Wave Sleep (SWS). This is the phase when their bodies begin to relax. If uninterrupted, it eventually proceeds to Rapid Eye Movement (REM), aka deep sleep. It is believed that REM is crucial for high quality rest and thus energizing the body.
Dogs enter REM a lot faster than humans. Research has shown that they could switch from SWS to REM within 20 mins. On top of that, they only spend 10% of their sleeping time in REM whereas humans spend 25%, resulting in much shorter sleep cycles.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
A shorter sleep cycle means that the cost of interrupting your dog’s sleep (still not recommended…) is lower than that for humans, as they can easily accumulate their deep sleep hours throughout the day.
However, this also implies a higher proportion of time spent on SWS. Coupled with dogs’ heightened senses (olfactory and auditory), chances are your pup gets awoken by stimulants a lot throughout the night.
DOES MY PUP DREAM?
A lot of pet parents think involuntary movements during sleep (for Angus, it’s the eye twitching) mean that your pup is dreaming, but a more correct interpretation is that your dog is in deep sleep, which is the only phase that dreaming can occur.
As matter of fact, scientists have recorded similar brain wave patterns between humans and dogs throughout their sleep cycles.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY PUP’S SLEEPING QUALITY?
So the big question is – after understanding the science behind a dog’s sleep – what can us pet parents do to improve our pups’ sleeping quality?
Apart from having enough exercise and establishing a sleep routine, creating a comfortable sleeping space enhances your pup’s sleep quality. You can start by providing a good dog bed!
Our premium Snug as a Hug Bed features thick sofa linen on the sides and polyester on the inside for maximum comfort. The bolstered frame is perfect for dogs that love curling up or resting their heads on a cushion. It’s like sleeping in a warm hug!
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