It can seem as though dogs have the best sleep in the world. They can lie down, be asleep in mere minutes, and spend a lot of their time comfortably dozing. This is remarkable for any human owner that has ever struggled with sleep.
Why do dogs fall asleep so fast? Dogs tend to fall asleep with a lot greater ease than we do because the process is less complex. While we lie in bed trying to get comfortable, thinking about the day or fretting over problems, dogs can allow themselves to rest without those obstacles. But, this doesn’t always lead to deep REM sleep. That’s why dogs can wake up with ease as well.
So, why are dogs able to sleep so quickly and how are they so awake when they get up?
Why Do Dogs Go To Sleep So Fast?
There are a few factors here that can play a part in a dog’s ability to fall asleep so quickly and awake so easily. Dogs work on a more simplistic schedule than us. They go to sleep when they are tired and get up when they are awake. Their daily activities and a good meal can be enough to have them dozing off. But, this doesn’t always lead to deep REM sleep. This is partly why our pet dogs seem to be alert so easily after waking up. But, we also have to consider how we compare our dogs to our own sleep habits and struggles.
Do Dogs Fall Asleep Immediately?
Not quite, but it doesn’t take very long at all. Part of this comes from that desire and physiological need for rest, which quickly takes over and brings dogs into a state of sleep. This could be quite a light sleep, as we will discuss below, making it easier to drift in and out.
It is easy to feel a little jealous of our canine companions for having this ability, especially when we toss and turn at night. Why can they just nod off so fast and we can’t? Well, our overactive minds could have a lot to do with it. When we can switch off and reach a calm state it is much easier to let the body get to sleep – as it wants to. But, we can’t help but overthink things about the day, worry about the day ahead, or become fixated on little things. Dogs don’t have any of this.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Fall Asleep?
On average, it only takes around 10 minutes for a dog to reach this light form of sleep. They can settle into their bed, close their eyes, and be out very quickly. Watch out for a sign of it taking longer or if they appear restless.
Why Does My Dog Sleep So Lightly?
You are sure to have noticed your pet in two very different states of sleep during the day. There are times when they can be dozing contently, maybe with the odd snore, but they will wake up at the slightest sound and be wide awake. Other times, they can enter a much deeper REM state of dreaming. You may see them twitching and hear noises as they do so. This REM sleep is much less common. It makes sense for dogs to enjoy lighter sleep, as long as it is still refreshing, so it becomes easier for them to switch to an alert state as needed. It all comes down to the dog’s instincts. You never know when the danger may occur, so it’s best to sleep lightly.
Why Do Dogs Wake Up So Easily?
As mentioned before, a lot of this comes down to the need to be able to switch to an alert state as quickly as possible. Wild dogs need to be able to run if they are woken by any danger or an intruder in the den. Working dogs need to be able to resume their duties after a quick nap. Domestic pets still want to be able to please their owners and be a part of whatever is going on. The ability to be wide awake and active so easily also goes back to that idea of comparing our own states to those of our dogs. If we struggle to get up in the morning, feel groggy, and would rather hit the snooze button, a dog’s enthusiasm for the early start is a little jarring. Again, they aren’t waking up with any sort of negative attitude or dread about the day
Why Do Dogs Wake Up So Early?
While this alert state isn’t that bad at a more sociable time of the morning, it can get annoying if your dog has a habit of waking up hours before you do. They may wake up well-rested in the hope of playing, getting some food or going out for their walk. They may also need you to let them out for a bathroom break. With some dogs, this could be a sign that there is a problem. Anxiety or illness may have woken them and kept them awake as they woke up to a quiet house. Dogs that develop bladder weakness in old age may wake up earlier too. But, you can still find healthy dogs waking up at 5 am simply because they have had enough sleep.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Waking Up So Early?
As long as there is no underlying medical issue, you can look at either working on your dog’s sleep schedule or encouraging them to go back to bed. Dogs that don’t get the attention they want in the morning can learn to be patient and you can train them to get up later. Dogs with a nice crated area with their bed and quiet toys can amuse themselves for a while. You could also change their bedtime so that their sleep schedule shifts to a more appropriate time.
Talking To A Vet About Your Dog’s Sleeping Habits
Of course, if there is any sign of your dog struggling with either falling asleep or waking up easily, you need to keep an eye on them. A dog that can’t fall asleep quickly and that stays awake showing signs of discomfort could be dealing with an anxiety issue or illness. Some pet parents struggle to get pups to sleep on their own for a little while. A dog that struggles to get up may also have some underlying condition causing them pain, fatigue, or leaving them in a depressed state. If you have any concerns, speak to your vet.
In short, dogs tend to fall asleep with a lot greater ease than we do because the process is less complex. While we lie in bed trying to get comfortable, thinking about the day or fretting over problems, dogs can allow themselves to rest without those obstacles. As long as they are happy and healthy, with a comfortable bed and a good routine, they should have no problem dozing off, getting the rest they need and being ready for a brand new day.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.