Do Dogs Require More Sleep Than Humans Do?

Those of you who own a dog, what is your dog doing right now? Is he taking a nap at this moment? There’s a good chance that he is right now! Many dogs spend a large portion of their days sleeping and researchers and pet specialists have no idea why.

Unlike dogs, humans typically sleep once a day (during the night time) and are awake for the entire daytime, unless we need to take a daytime nap. Humans spend about 1/4 of their sleep in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is a lot more than what dogs get.


Dogs tend to sleep in short bursts. Dogs spend only 1/10 of their rest in REM sleep. As a result, some think that dogs need more hours of sleep than humans do in order to properly rejuvenate themselves.

What Amount Of Sleep Is Normal Behavior For Dogs?

Many dogs sleep for approximately 12 to 14 hours per day. However, there are some puppies who require up to 20 hours due to expending a great amount of their energy on their development and exploration.

Older dogs also typically require more rest. Both small dogs and large dogs are known to sleep long hours, but it’s usually the large fellows that are called “mat dogs” due to the length of their naps.

A Day In The Life Of A Dog

Dogs usually spend half of their days sleeping, 3/10 awake but lying around, and only 1/5 of their days active. However, whereas humans usually sleep best on a regular schedule (going to bed the same time each day, waking up the same time each day), dogs are more flexible sleepers. They can quickly interrupt their sleep to get up when needed (when someone knocks on the door) and resume their shut-eye afterwards.

Dogs who have more to do tend to be more active. Those who work, such as farm or police dogs, tend to be active more often and sleep less than house dogs do. It could well be the case that not all dogs require that much sleep and that the non-working dogs sleep more often due to being bored.

Should I Be Concerned?

While dogs are quite adaptable sleepers, it is a smart idea to be aware of any significant changes in their sleep habits. If your dog is suddenly awake all the time or asleep all the time, it’s a smart idea to take him or her to the vet to check up on any potential medical issues your dog could have. Hopefully, it can be quite a simple fix, such as adjusting his food intake. On the other hand, it might be a more major problem, such as with his heart or digestive system.



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