Solved: Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?(Light Sleep VS REM Sleep)

Where is your dog right now? Is he off playing with his toys, eating his dinner, or curled up for a snooze in a comfy spot somewhere?

Why do dogs sleep so much? Dogs are naturally going to sleep more than us because they need to get enough sleep to make up for a lack of deep REM sleep which they hardly ever get as they naturally prefer to sleep lightly. They also need to rest up from a busy day, just like the rest of us. You shouldn’t worry if your dog spends around 12 to 14 hours asleep each day because of this.

There is a good chance that it is the latter because our dogs so spend a lot of time asleep. So why do dogs sleep so much and when should we worry about them sleeping too much?

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Our dogs must get as much sleep as they need to remain fit and healthy, especially when they are young or dealing with any illnesses. The amount of sleep that our dogs need can depend on their breed, age, and other lifestyle factors. But, we can’t ignore the fact that they require an average of 12-14 hours, which means a lot of naps to make up for a loss of REM sleep. It is also a lot easier for dogs to get to sleep whenever they choose.

Why Do Dogs Sleep More Than Humans?

There are a few possible reasons why you find that your dog sleeps more than you do. On a more serious side, we have to remember that the majority of a dog’s sleep is light, rather than REM sleep. REM sleep is the deep, more restful sleep that we aim for each night. We can enjoy an average of 8 hours of that a night and be refreshed the next day. Because dogs don’t experience this sort of deep sleep to the same extent, they need more light sleep to balance this out.

Then there is the fact that our dogs can fall asleep more easily than humans. Dogs have the enviable trait of curling up on their bed after a long walk or big meal and dozing off in a matter of minutes. We often wish that we could get into bed and drift off that easily. But, our physiology and our overactive brains stop this from happening. As long as a dog is fit and healthy, with no anxiety issues or any external stimuli disrupting them, they should have nothing stopping them from falling asleep whenever they choose to.

This leads to another important point about our pet dogs. They can sleep as much as they want to across the day because they have no other obligations. We schedule our bedtime at night once all our tasks for the day are complete. But even then, we might delay things if have issues to deal with, deadlines to meet, or just want to stay up and do something fun. We often get the bare minimum of sleep to fit it in around so much else. For dogs, they can relax after playing with their owners, going for their exercise, or eating their meal. If undisturbed, they can sleep peacefully for a while.

Related Post: Why Do Dogs Go To Sleep So Fast & Wake Up So Easily?

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much During The Day?

This factor of dogs being able to sleep whenever they want means that you will find them sleeping as much during the day as at night. They don’t share that same social construct that we do where night time is for sleeping and daytime is for productivity.

Also, any dog that needs 12 hours or more of sleep per day isn’t going to be able to get this much sleep in one stretch at night. If they did, they would be going to bed far earlier than you in the evening to be up at the same time as you in the morning. This could not only lead to a disruptive nighttime regime but also lead to the dog missing out on precious family time. Therefore, dogs need to take naps during the day so that they can catch up.

How Many Hours Does A Dog Sleep In A 24 Hour Period?

This is a difficult question to answer because it really can depend on the individual dog for a couple of important reasons. The first is that different breeds of dogs require different amounts of sleep. You can find some dogs that are fine with around 10 hours, which works out great with a lot of family schedules and for working dogs. But, then there smaller breeds that need between 12 and 14 hours. This is why it is so important to research breeds before choosing which one to bring into your family. If you are unsure if your dog is getting enough, your vet should be able to help.

Then there is the fact that dogs need more sleep at various stages of their life. Puppies need more sleep as they grow through crucial moments of their development. It is important to give them this time to rest, especially if they have spent a lot of precious energy playing with the family and getting their exercise. You may also find that your dogs need more sleep as they reach their golden years. This is part of the natural decline into old age and their decreasing energy levels. Additional health conditions could also play a part here.

Why Does My Dog Sleep All Day?

It is also important to take note of your dog’s sleep schedule, especially if you find that they are sleeping for far longer than normal. Dogs can start sleeping for longer each day if they are dealing with illness or depression. Many conditions can tire dogs or make them less inclined to be up and active. Talk to your vet and discuss any symptoms that you see. For example, in addition to sleeping for longer, your dog might struggle to get up in the morning or show discomfort as they sleep. Do your best to get to the root of the issue and give your dog the time they need as they get over the condition.


In short, dogs are naturally going to sleep more than us because they need to get enough sleep to make up for a lack of deep sleep. They also need to rest up from a busy day, just like the rest of us. You shouldn’t worry if your dog spends around 12 to 14 hours asleep each day because of this. If they begin to sleep longer or show signs of poor sleep or ill health, consult your vet.