One of the top changes doctors recommend for people to improve their health is to get more sleep. For some reason, it seems like we can never make enough time to get the right amount of sleep. This can have serious impacts on your health and overall mood. These concerns lead many of us faithful pet owners to wonder if our dogs can become sleep deprived as well.
This might sound like a crazy idea, since many of our pups seem to sleep the day away. But, their sleep demands are greater than ours. The normal recommendation for people is around seven to eight hours of sleep per night. For dogs, the expectation is closer to ten hours per night. The number does vary for all dogs, so don’t be too consumed with timing your dogs sleep!
Sleep Deprivation in Dogs
Just like humans, sleep is one of the most critical activities for a dog’s health. We know we want them to get enough exercise and not overeat, but enough sleep will directly add to their mental and physical wellbeing over time. Sometimes for humans, the solution is to get a nice soft mattress, which could help in a lot of cases for dogs. But, it’s always best to get to the bottom of what is affecting your dog’s sleep.
One of the biggest problems is dogs who don’t get enough sleep are more capable of picking up an infection or getting sick. Others feel sleep deprivation in dogs can lead to a decreased aptitude for learning or remembering certain cues they’ve been trained on. Believe it or not, some studies show dogs are actually learning while their sleeping.
Disruptors of a Dog’s Sleep
There are many things that can keep a dog up at night and they’ll certainly vary from dog to dog. Believe it or not, we can actually be a disruptor to dogs just as they can be to us. Sometimes your dog sleeping in your bed could be an issue, especially if you constantly move in your sleep.
One of the most common ones is constant noise. Often times, dogs who live in cities or near busy roads can have too many stimulants. The noises could do one of two things. It could either keep them from falling asleep soundly, by constantly rousing them as they begin to doze off. Or, it could randomly wake them up in the night, which would disturb their deep sleep. This can be a big problem in those dogs who are seemingly scared of everything.
Other causes of a dog missing out on their precious sleep could even be sleep disorders. There are numerous disorders that could affect dogs ranging from narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or a traditional REM sleep disorder.
Breeds with Prevalent Sleep Issues
One of the other sleep disorders is sleep apnea, which actually happens more often in specific breeds. Usually breeds with shorter snouts, like bulldogs or pugs, may have trouble breathing at night. This can lead to unfortunate health problems from the lack of sleep. Therefore, if you think this is occurring in your dog, you should certainly try to get it diagnosed and treated by your vet.
Sleep deprivation is just one more example of dogs being similar to us. Even though they seem to always be in such great moods, it’s still important to make sure the little things, like getting enough sleep, are being taken care of.