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Emailed on May 31, 2017 05/31/17

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

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"If I'm spending 20 minutes wriggling into these jammies, I'm gonna make it count..."

beddy bye @MochaSchnoodle via Instagram

Welcome to Cool Dog Science. We’re digging up our favorite funky dog facts and fascinating pup studies, marking them with our signature weirdness, and dropping them at your doorstep. This week's topic: Why do dogs sleep so much?

You know that feeling when you've got a nice long weekend to hang out with your dog, and they sleep basically the WHOLE TIME? You might wonder, "Why is my dog so sleepy? Is my company really that boring?"

Well we were wondering that too! (The sleepy part, not the boring part.) So we decided to delve a little into what makes our dogs seem to pick up a seemingly endless craving for their ZZZZzzzzzzs.

Some dogs just need more sleep

On average, according to the American Kennel Club, dogs spend up to 12-14 hours sleeping. For older dogs it can be even more, since everything seems to go a little slower and get a little more exhausting when you reach those golden years.

Corgi Mix 2@CheersForBigEars via Instagram

Puppies can sleep for 18 or even 20 hours a day, because they spend all their waking hours burning a ton of energy– running around, playing, exploring. Picture a baby who spends about four hours a day driving a 100 mph motorcycle, exploring as much of the countryside as possible. That's basically your puppy! And also kindof an insane image. You're welcome.

Sleepy dapper frenchieVia Giphy

Your dog's breed has something to do with how much they sleep, too. Working dogs, or dogs that were bred specifically to perform a task, are more active and alert; while other breeds are likely to spend more time on their cozy pillows or getting fitted for their jammies.

me so sleepy@PatRyanMusic via Instagram

And one more key difference: size matters. Larger dogs tend to be sleepier, which makes sense considering all that weight they gotta haul around. Smaller breeds can get by with about ten hours. Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more sleep they need.

Sleepy cloud@Acharya.Kaushika via Instagram

But WHY do dogs sleep so much? It's all about R.E.M.

Humans spend 25% of their sleeping time in REM, the deep sleep where you really recharge. Dogs only spend 10% of their sleeping time in REM- so they need more hours to get the same quality of sleep. If your ears and nose were as strong as a dog's, you'd probably have a harder time tuning out the distractions and falling asleep, too!

Corgi Mix 4@TheDogInABag via Instagram

Bottom line, dogs are more distractible than humans- they're flexible sleepers who fall asleep out of boredom, wake up easily and become alert immediately. You gotta admire a dog's ability to get a full day of tail chasing, jumping around, and staring at you, all without even needing a pot of coffee!

Corgi Mix 7@Hoyanlay via Instagram

So that's what's going on with your sleepy dog. And that's why, as they say, it's best to let sleeping dogs lie… because it's tricky enough as it is for them to really get that nice rest!

Are your friends wondering why their dog keeps hitting the snooze button? Share our story!

Do you pics and videos of your dog having the best sleep of their life? Share them with us! We'd love to see.


Email Archive
Emailed on May 31, 2017 05/31/17