But why do dogs sleep during the day and stay awake at night?
There are a number of reasons why dogs don't sleep at night, and whatever the reason, there are a few things you can do to help your dog sleep through the night.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the reasons why dogs don't sleep at night and also share some tips on how you can help it get much-needed snooze time.
Reasons Why Dogs Don't Sleep At Night
A dog's sleep cycle is much shorter than a human's, so it can be difficult for them to sleep for long periods of time.
There could be a number of reasons why your dog is not sleeping at night, and these include a possible medical condition, a change in environment, as well as stress, and anxiety.
Certain medical conditions and disorders can lead to increased restlessness at night, such as restless leg syndrome, canine epilepsy, narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea.
In addition to becoming more lethargic during the day or appearing more disoriented when doing routine chores, dogs with sleep disorders may also whimper, cry, or frequently wake up during the night.
Dogs with sleep disorders may also become more aggressive or experience other behavioral issues since sleep loss can lead to a buildup of stress chemicals.
In addition, a dog's immune system may become less robust from lack of sleep, making infections more likely.
Aches and pains
Many dogs experience aches and pains due to age, arthritis or other conditions.
If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis or other painful conditions, you may have noticed that he seems more lethargic and less active than usual.
In addition to being less active during the day, a dog experiencing pain may also have trouble sleeping at night because of the discomfort.
Change Of Environment
A dog's sleeping schedule may be disrupted by changes in its environment or routine, such as when they move from a house to a new home or when its family members go on vacation.
This is also possible when there is a new family member, including other dogs, or the loss of one too.
Dogs are very much similar to humans in that they like routine, and if there are changes that disrupt it, they can feel uneasy, leading to insomnia.
Stress And Anxiety
If your dog is anxious about something, it's not uncommon for them to stay up late at night worrying about it.
They may also be acting out because they have no other way to express themselves.
This could be due to something that happened during the day, a recent vet visit, or simply loud noises around the house.
You might notice this especially if you've just moved into a new home or adopted your pet from an animal rescue/shelter.
Lack of daytime activity
Another reason for nocturnal activity is boredom or excitement.
Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical exercise.
If you work all day, it's important to find ways to keep your pup occupied during the day so that they don't become bored and stir themselves awake at night.
How Can I Get My Dog To Sleep All Night?
Dogs are natural den animals and prefer small, cozy spaces.
This is why many dog owners try to get their dogs to sleep in their beds at night (we discuss if you should do this in the next section).
Besides that, here are some other ways that can help your dog to sleep well at night.
Establishing a nighttime routine
Giving your dog a routine from the beginning will help you both have a better night's sleep by teaching him that the night is for sleeping.
Limit its consumption of food and water in the hours before bedtime.
Take him outdoors to relieve himself, play with him, and give him a hug before you turn in for the night.
Make sure that your dog has a comfortable bed
Choose one that is soft, fluffy, and fits well in your room or wherever it is sleeping.
A dog with a soft, fluffy bed will sleep better than one who has to lay on hardwood floors or other surfaces that don’t provide any cushioning.
Keep the environment quiet and calm
The more peaceful your home is, the easier it will be to get a good night’s sleep.
Turn off all lights and electronics at least an hour before bedtime, and keep noise levels down by telling family members to whisper instead of talking loudly when they are close by.
If there are other pets in the house, make sure that they are not making a lot of noise at night.
The same goes for children: if you have any, try to keep them from being loud after bedtime so as not to disturb your dog or wake him up when he needs sleep most.
If possible, keep the room where they sleep dark and cool.
Use a calming supplement
After taking a calming supplement at least 30 minutes before bed, a dog who experiences periodic restlessness or general anxiety may have better sleep.
Calming soft chews can serve as a bedtime snack and contain active components like melatonin and L-tryptophan that may help calm an anxious dog.
You may also want to consult with a veterinarian about whether there's anything else you can do to help your dog get restful sleep.
Plenty of exercise
If your dog is having trouble adjusting to a change in habit or from a general lack of activity, burning off extra energy is a guaranteed way to help him get exhausted.
High-energetic breeds require a way to release their energy, and adding a new sport, going for an extra walk each day, or playing entertaining dog walking games can help.
Play white noise
White noise can help to create enough background noise to put your dog to sleep deeply and peacefully.
It also helps to keep them from being disturbed by other loud noises if they were to sleep in an entirely silent space.
You can either use a mobile device for this purpose or get a white noise machine.
Should You Let Your Dog Sleep In Your Bed?
Many dog owners struggle with getting their dogs to sleep all night and choose to let their dogs sleep on their beds as a solution.
While it might work well, there are some benefits and disadvantages you should be aware of.
Ultimately, it is up to you to balance the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in your bed.
A good alternative would be to set up its bed in your room instead.
Win-win for both!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many hours do dogs sleep each day?
Most dogs, on average, sleep for roughly half of the day, or around 12 hours in a 24-hour period. Small-breed dogs and working dogs may sleep less, whereas puppies, large-breed dogs, and senior dogs may sleep more.
Do dogs like to sleep in bed with their owners?
Dogs generally want to sleep next to their owners. In fact, according to several research, dogs would rather sleep with their owners than with other people or animals, mostly because it gives them a sense of security and comfort.
In Conclusion: Why Dogs Don't Sleep At Night?
There are many reasons why dogs might not sleep at night, but there are also ways to help them get a good night's rest.
Dogs need exercise during the day, a comfortable place to sleep, and a consistent bedtime routine.
If you're struggling with your dog's sleeping habits, talk to your veterinarian about things you can do to help.
Zack Keithy is the Chief Editor at Daily Dog Drama. He was formerly a certified vet tech for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, he is still heavily involved in dog parenting duties with his two dogs, Molly and Bella. At the same time, he is busy creating lots of useful resources for dog parents on his blog just like this list of dog essentials all dog owners need!
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