Dog Tired: The Importance of Sleep for You & Your Pup
Is there anything more precious than watching your dog sleep? (Don’t even get us started on their dream-state tail wags.) Besides being super-cute, sleep is also vital for your pup’s health and overall wellbeing, just like it is for your own. Check out just how important sleep is to your and your pup’s wellness and how you can get your best Zs.
WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?
Although sleep seems like an inactive state, it’s actually quite the opposite. Quality sleep helps maintain a variety of important biological processes that regulate almost every type of system in the body—from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. Poor sleep (or lack thereof) has been linked to a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
Sleep has similar impacts on our furry friends, including revitalizing their immune system, processing a day of learning new skills, and helping their brain development. During a dog’s sleep cycles, their body is recharging and repairing from a day of play. A well-rested dog is an energy-balanced dog, which means they will be less reactive to stimulus and in a happier mood.
HOW MUCH SLEEP SHOULD WE GET?
In general, adults over the age of 18 should shoot for seven or more hours of sleep. However, the amount of sleep each pet parent needs varies.
For dogs, well… the answer is enviable. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the healthy amount of sleep for adult dogs is 12-14 hours a day, while puppies can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET OUR BEST SLEEP?
Just like dogs, each pet parent is unique and should find what works best for them. But we’ve gathered a few tips to jumpstart your ideal sleep routine:
- Create a sleep routine. Following the same steps in the same order at the same time every night helps signal our bodies to relax and wind down before bedtime. This can look like dimming the lights, drinking some chamomile tea, putting your phone away, and reading a book.
- Optimize your sleep environment. Invest in products that maximize the comfort of your sleep environment while minimizing the ability for disturbances, like a mattress suited to your needs, breathable linens, aromatherapy, white noise, sunrise alarm clocks, and blackout curtains as starting points.
- Cuddle your furry friend. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation, as we know our pets can disturb us with their own noises and movements. But according to a study from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine, most pet parents perceived their pets as unobtrusive or even beneficial to sleep.
Looking for a way to further prioritize your dog’s wellbeing in addition to their sleep? Find a Dogtopia daycare near you to help your pup improve their exercise, socialization, and skillset (and enjoy a two-hour naptime!) by enrolling them in regular daycare today.