What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Sleep

What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Sleep

You both sleep, but how similar to a human’s sleep is a dog’s? In many ways, they are no different but in others, they couldn’t be further apart. Your dog needs sleep for the same reasons you do. However, there are few key differences of which you need to be aware along with some ways you can make sure your best furry friend gets the rest he needs.

How Your Dog’s Sleep Cycle is Just Like Yours

Dogs and humans go through the same five sleep stages, including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If you’ve ever seen your dog paddling through the water or barking while asleep, it’s because he’s in REM sleep, which is the closest in activity to being awake of any cycle.

These stages serve many of the same purposes for dogs as they do humans. It’s while he sleeps that his brain cleanses, muscles repair, and moods are regulated. Dogs get cranky when they’re tired like people do. If your dog has been unfriendly or grumpy, it could be that he’s not getting enough sleep. There are also ways that dogs are completely different than people.

And How It’s Not

While a dog’s sleep performs the same functions as humans, how they get that sleep is very different. People sleep for seven to nine hours at a time, passing through all the of the sleep stages during five or six, sixty to ninety-minutes cycles. Dogs, on the other hand, sleep in short bursts. Their sleep cycles last about 15 or 16 minutes, after which they wake up for five minutes. They may fall asleep again or they may be active before snatching another nap. Your dog naps throughout the day because that’s how he gets in all of his sleep time.

How You Can Help Your Dog Get Better Sleep

If you want a happy, healthy dog, adequate sleep has to be an integral part of his care. Some of his sleep requirements might be slightly different than yours but not as much as you’d think.

Designated Sleep Space

You need a pillow that addresses neck pain; your dog needs a correctly sized dog bed in a location that’s away from all the hubbub of the house. Your dog’s sleep space should be relatively private and quiet so he can grab a nap whenever he feels like it. He also needs to feel safe like you do in your bedroom. If he’s worried about a child or other pet jumping or tripping on him, he’s probably not going to be able to doze off.

Don’t Wake Him Up

As tempting as it might be to wake your dog during the day, let him nap. Sleeping in short bursts allows your dog to be ready at any time for predators. But, don’t be a predator and let him sleep.

Make Exercise the Norm

A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise may have weight issues and may not sleep as much as he should simply because he’s not tired. Exercise is good for everyone and can help your dog maintain a healthy balance of active versus resting time. Plus, it’s good for his heart and muscles. How can you go wrong with that?

Feed Him Right

The right dog food that’s aimed at your dog’s size, age, and activity level can help keep him happy and healthy. If he’s feeling good, he’s going to sleep better. And, of course, if he’s sleeping well, he’ll be ready for anything.


Though your dog’s sleep cycle might look different than yours, it’s just as important. Make sure he’s set up for success so he’ll always be able to put his best paw forward.