Why Do Dogs Fall Asleep So Fast? (is it bad?)

by Stuart | Last Updated:   October 4, 2021

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Dogs have a lot of reasons to fall asleep so fast. Just like humans, their sleep can be affected by external and internal factors, such as:

  • When dogs are at home and feel secure, they fall asleep faster and overall spend more time asleep.
  • Dogs’ sleep patterns can also change depending on their environment. Dogs who sleep indoors spend around 80% of the night asleep, whereas the dogs sleeping outside spend only 60% to 70% of the night asleep.
  • Sleeping patterns change as the dog ages. Puppies and senior dogs usually sleep faster and spend more time sleeping as compared to young adults.
  • Dogs can easily adapt their sleep cycle to your lifestyle. When they aren’t doing something they will sleep instead.
  • Certain breeds are predisposed towards sleeping more and faster.
  • Overweight and sick dogs may also sleep faster and more than healthy dogs
  • Dogs don’t experience as many mental stimuli as humans. While we might toss and turn in bed at night worrying about things going on in our lives, dogs don’t have the same sleep barriers. When they are tired, they will sleep quickly.

Is there anything sweeter than your furry companion when it’s sleeping? Sometimes, you might hear a little snore during their perfect peaceful sleep.

Since most dogs don’t have smartphones, jobs, don’t go to school, it’s common for them to be bored and alone all day. Sleeping is normally the best way for them to spend long, tedious hours.

Huge dog of Dogue De Bordeaux breed is lying upside-down to sleep on her back on the bed with handmade patchwork quilt

Related Reading: Dog Sleeps With Their Tongue Out? Here’s Why!

Related Reading: Can Dogs Sleep with Their Eyes Open? (Yes and No)

Is It Bad to Wake a Sleeping Dog?

Just like humans, dogs need uninterrupted sleep for the health of the mind and body. It’s better not to wake up a dog without any solid reason. 

Dogs certainly love the rest, and can lazily sleep for many hours. Even if your fur buddy seems to be having a bad dream, it’s best to let them sleep it off.

Dogs deep in sleep may be startled if suddenly awakened. This may lead to nipping the hand that shook them awake. To avoid a reactive response, it’s best to use a gentle cheerful voice to wake your dog. Keep in mind that while sleeping, they can preserve their energy and can give us lots of love later.

Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping?

Dogs have been domesticated for more than 10,000 years. They are well known for their loyalty and incredible senses.

Your furry companion will know when the human family is sleeping from their own understanding of sleep. These cues involve breathing habits, the shutting of eyes, and lying down in bed. Dogs might sense temperatures and other chemical reactions that are produced during sleep. These cues can help them understand if a human is sleeping. 

How Much Sleep Does a Dog Need?

Like any good dog parent, you must be concerned about your dog’s wellbeing and sleep requirements. Well, every dog has its own sleep pattern and preferred time to doze off. Sleeping is the main event in most dogs’ daily lives.

  • How much does an adult dog sleep? Adult dogs usually sleep around 15 hours a day. This sleep time is a combination of naps throughout the day in addition to sleeping at night.
  • How much does a puppy sleep? Puppies can tire very easily. They usually sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day.
  • How much does a senior dog sleep? Senior dogs and sick dogs often require more sleep than healthy adult dogs. They will nap on and off throughout the day for a total of 16 to 18 hours.

What is REM Sleep for Dogs?

Like us, dogs go through several sleep cycles. They include REM or rapid eye movement and SWS or short-wave sleep.  There are periods of wakefulness, followed by Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and short-wave sleep. Dogs spend only about 10% of their sleep cycle in restorative REM stage sleep

REM sleep typically begins 20 minutes into a nap and lasts for two-to-three minutes. REM sleep is the period responsible for the most memorable and vivid dreams. It’s during REM sleep that your dog dreams most heavily. This is when you might notice your dog twitching, paws running, or even making sounds.

All dogs require some recumbent rest each day. Without this REM sleep spent lying down, a dog can suffer and become sleep deficient.

Pet parent tip: if you feel like your dog’s sleep pattern has drastically changed over a short period of time then please visit your vet. It might be a symptom of an underlying health issue.

Why do Dogs Want to Sleep With You?

If this ever happened to you, you’re not alone!

Dogs are pack animals and love laying by your side all night. Here are some reasons for your dog wanting to sleep with you. 

  • Most dogs like to sleep with you because they love you. It’s a sign of affection and closeness
  • Your dog might want to sleep with you because he just loves smelling you
  • They want the inner warmth that comes from snuggling up with you
  • They might invade your bed because they are lonely and want someone to cuddle up 
  • They like your company and consider you a member of the pack
  • Sleeping with you also proves their loyalty, trust, and willingness to protect you
Dog sleeping on floor with tongue out

Final thoughts

It’s always amazing how fast dogs can fall asleep. One minute they are awake and alert, the next, their eyes are closed, and they begin to snore.

Dogs don’t sleep in the same way that we do. Its sleep needs and patterns are very different from a human’s. Dogs sleep longer than people, but they spend less time in REM sleep. This means that they are often easy to wake up and often ready to deal with a threat.

Happy napping!

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.
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