Dogs and Their Sleeping Habits
Those of you who own a dog have probably seen your dog sleep for 12 to 14 hours a day before. Some dogs even sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Science shows that dogs do have dreams like humans do.
When dogs dream, they sometimes move their bodies slightly as a result of using their brain muscles and as a reaction to the dreams they are experiencing. Dogs sometimes twitch their noses, bark, snap, growl, and can even get up and start running around. I bet you wonder what the dogs are dreaming about if they spend more than half of their days asleep.
Dogs and Their Dreams
There have been studies disabling the muscle-paralyzing portion of the brain stems in dogs called the pons. The pons paralyze the large brain muscles of the dogs (humans have pons as well) in order to prevent dogs and humans from acting out of their dreams. Scientists were able to have a look at the dreams dogs are having by temporarily disabling their pons.
The scientists found out that the dogs dream about “doggy things.” They often dream about birds, chasing other animals, playing and running around. Some of their dreams can be quite complex if they are about their own real life experiences. Dogs can even have nightmares as humans do.
While dogs are dreaming, the physical movements that they perform are often the events that are occurring in their dreams. If a dog is dreaming about reaching out his paws to grab a ball to play with, chasing a bird, or picking a fight with another animal, the dog could be acting out those motions physically during his sleep time.
Some dog owners can figure out what their dog is dreaming about by watching what the dog does during dreams. The physical movements the dog performs typically match the ones he is performing in his dreams.
Do Dogs Encounter Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is a common sleep problems for humans, but do dogs face this as well? It turns out that dogs do not suffer from sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis occurs when human brains turn on, but their muscles can’t move and results in these humans being awake, but unable to move their bodies. This is often caused by sleep deprivation, which is seen very rarely in dogs. Fortunately for the dogs, this common sleep problem seen in humans, they manage to escape it.