How Does My Dog Fall Asleep So Fast?
Truly a superpower.
If you’ve ever noticed your dog snoring loudly within two minutes of closing her eyes, you’re probably totally jealous, but you also may wonder how she does it.
Seriously… how do dogs get to sleep so fast?! And can you get some of that superpower?
We reached out to Dr. Corinne Wigfall, a veterinarian working with SpiritDog Training, and Aaron Rice, an animal behaviorist at Stayyy, to learn more about your dog’s super amazing sleepy trick.
How do dogs fall asleep so fast?
Dogs need more sleep than humans do, usually around 12–14 hours of sleep a day depending on their age (puppies need even more sleep and may sleep up to 20 hours).
So since your dog needs to sleep so much, she’s able to fall asleep much faster than you are (we know, we’re also envious).
And, dogs are light sleepers, given their ancestors were always on watch for dangers. So while she’s able to fall asleep quickly, she can also wake up just as fast.
It’s her natural ability
“Dogs prefer to sleep little and often and will spend a shorter amount of time in REM sleep (which is when your dog enters the dreaming phase — twitching, moving, vocalizing, etc.) compared to humans,” Dr. Wigfall told The Dodo.
When it comes to sleeping at night, dogs have a very short (and pretty predictable) cycle. “They go to sleep when it gets dark and wake up when it gets light,” Rice told The Dodo. “The body clock of dogs is affected by the amount of light they are exposed to.”
She tires herself out
Aside from it being natural for your dog to start snoozing quickly, active dogs and puppies will also just tire themselves out after a long day having fun.
Because of this, your pup will need to be able to quickly recharge with sleep so she can have energy for the next adventure with you. Have you ever noticed that your dog is literally down for a walk at any time of the day or night? That’s her natural ability to wake up and perform quickly.
“Unlike humans, who sit and think about their day, a dog will simply decide it's time to sleep and get on with the task,” Dr. Wigfall said.
What should I do if my dog’s restless at night?
There can be times when your pup isn’t falling asleep — or is very restless at night — and this is something you should talk with your veterinarian about.
“Some dogs have a hard time falling asleep because of anxiety, so they might need help from a human or animal companion to fall asleep,” Rice said.
So if seeing your dog knock out in just a few minutes always shocks you, just know it’s totally normal and that’s just another amazing thing about being a dog.