It seems that all our dogs need to do is close their eyes if they want to sleep. It’s as if they have a sleep switch in their brain. Why can’t it be that easy for us humans, hey? That’s a question for a sleep expert. That, I am not. However, I am a dog expert. So today, I’m going to tell you why dogs have such an easier time getting some well-needed shut-eye.
So, why do dogs fall asleep so fast? Dogs fall asleep quickly due to an innate ability to easily pass through the slow-wave sleep stage. This is likely an evolutionary-driven adaptation. Without strenuous or voluntary effort, their heart rate will slow, and their blood pressure will lower, allowing them to drift off naturally.
Additionally, the irregularity of dogs’ sleeping patterns means that they find it much easier to hit the hay at any point and fall into a lovely night sleep or afternoon snooze.
But you likely know that already.
You’ve probably seen your dog sleeping at all hours around the clock.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the day and immensely bright outside.
But how are dogs actually able to do this?
Let us continue to explore and investigate whether all dogs are the same.
We will even be looking at if dogs ever enter a deep sleep due to their ease of dropping off.
So keep reading until the very end.
It’s fascinating, I promise!
How Do Dogs Fall Asleep So Fast?
Dogs fall asleep fast due to their innate ability as well as the nature of their sleep patterns and their intervals.
Most dogs are pretty keen on sleep.
Some more than others, of course (not naming any breeds).
Unlike humans, dogs will sleep at several different points throughout the average day.
Ok, unlike MOST humans!
Dogs are more into the whole little and often routine.
Consequently, they find it much easier to fall asleep quickly at any point.
Most dogs can fall asleep within ten minutes or less.
I’m sure you know some humans who can do the same, but trust me, in this modern age, dogs will generally beat us in the race to sleep.
Dogs also sleep differently from us in terms of how much time they spend in certain stages of sleep.
Whilst they may get to sleep quicker than us, they don’t spend as much time in the REM stage of sleep.
Humans spend 25 percent of their night’s sleep here, whilst dogs will only spend 10.
The result is that dogs will make up for this time by napping in the day.
So, I guess practice makes perfect.
Dogs have plenty of attempts a day to fall asleep, whereas we humans usually only try once!
And they actually know when humans sleep; which they will often align their own schedule to!
Perhaps the other angle to take on this is why do humans take so long to fall asleep?
It comes down to the differences between us and canines.
We think a lot, us humans. It’s one of our flaws.
How many times do you lie there at night, and you can’t stop your mind from racing?
Well, guess what? I don’t think your dog is worried about what it’s got to do tomorrow.
Humans are stressful creatures, whereas in most cases, dogs are not (unless something is wrong, but more on this in due course.)
Therefore, they generally fall asleep quickly because they don’t sit up at night worrying!
Do All Dogs Fall Asleep Fast?
Generally, yes! The sleep a dog gets will depend on its breed as well as its personality. Some dog breeds are more alert and therefore slower to hit the hay, whereas others find that all they have to do is close their eyes.
Dogs that are used for high-level activity, such as Dobermans, Huskies, and Great Danes, are bred so that they can perform the task asked of them and only fall asleep once this is done.
When it is time to get their rest, they will fall asleep incredibly quickly because they have exerted so much energy.
Then there are hyper dogs with energy levels that just don’t seem to fade.
If you have one of these, then they probably won’t fall asleep quickly because they love being awake so much!
Puppies often struggle to get to sleep due to their high energy levels.
Whatever breed your dog is, the chances of it falling asleep quickly can be impacted by your behavior as an owner.
Every dog needs a good sleep schedule.
If this is interrupted, then they’ll find it more difficult to fall asleep.
Do Some Dogs Suffer From Insomnia?
Although insomnia amongst dogs isn’t all that common, some dogs find it harder to sleep than others. Older dogs, younger dogs, and dogs who have endured past abuse may struggle to get comfortable so that they can fall asleep.
Generally, dogs don’t suffer from insomnia. However, there are some cases.
A dog with insomnia will pace around the house all night, which could obviously be a disturbance for you and your family.
Most of the time, the cause of insomnia in dogs is actually physical.
Any painful gum disease or tooth decay can negatively impact sleep.
Dogs with arthritis, bowel, or bladder issues as well.
Or even if a dog has difficulty keeping its body temperature warm at night.
Dogs can become anxious at night if they have poor night vision or a bad sense of smell.
An anxious dog is not a sleepy dog, that’s for sure.
Sadly some dogs can be burdened with the dog equivalent of Alzheimer’s, which will produce sleep disturbance issues for your dog on a nightly basis.
Dogs with insomnia issues will pant heavily at night and experience hot body temperatures as well as anxiety.
So, how can you help a dog with insomnia? A nice environment for them to sleep in with a cozy and comfortable bed would be a great start.
But it’s also been proven that quality time spent with the human family before bedtime can help dogs with insomnia.
If you are concerned, however, visit your vet, who can help you with more advice.
What Can Make Dogs Fall Asleep Faster Than Usual
Many factors contribute to how fast a particular dog can sleep. These factors, most of which are similar when looking at human sleep, include age, breed, personality, diet, and activity level.
Just like humans, dogs need exercise. We know that.
And just like humans, dogs will become more tired at the end of the day if they’ve been very active.
Consequently, dogs will fall asleep faster at the end of an active day.
Additionally, active dogs will spend more time in REM sleep!
Sleeping in their regular bed will also help any dog to drift off into sleep quickly.
This is due to them feeling safer and more secure, subconsciously entering a deeper state of sleep that could be described as vulnerable.
If a dog isn’t sleeping in its regular bed, perhaps a friend is looking after them for a night or two (or they are put in the kennels), then they won’t fall asleep quickly, nor will they sleep relatively well.
As they are not as comfortable sleeping in an unfamiliar location, then they will also wake more during the night.
This is because that unfamiliarity means they won’t enter a deeper, more vulnerable stage of sleep.
Just because your dog is sleeping at home doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will fall asleep quickly and stay asleep either.
If your dog sleeps outside, then the chances are they won’t sleep as well as your neighbor’s dog who sleeps inside.
A Healthy Diet & Meal Timing
A healthy diet also contributes to a dog’s ability to sleep quickly.
So make sure your dog is getting their nutrients, but also ensure that they eat their last meal in the evening.
You won’t want to feed them too late, as any issues with their digestion will hinder their ability to drift off in record time.
Personality is a factor too.
Hyper dogs will struggle to fall asleep quickly, whereas more relaxed dogs will have an easier time doing so.
Do Dogs Ever Fall Into A Deep Sleep?
Dogs do fall into a deep sleep if the relevant conditions are in place. The difference between their deep sleep and ours is their impressive ability to adjust to reality quickly.
The conditions that allow a dog to fall asleep quicker are also applicable when wanting to let your loyal best friend hit the hay all night long.
They need a regular, comfortable bed indoors.
They need to have a healthy day that includes plenty of exercise. They need to eat a healthy diet. And so on.
All of these conditions may be present; however, some dogs just won’t be able to enter deep sleep.
Perhaps because of their age, personality, or breed.
Some dogs, who may have been abused previously, will really struggle to enter this stage of sleep.
Those dogs who can enter deep sleep will wake up as if they were merely resting their eyes for a second.
Compare that to us, humans, right? If we’re woken during deep sleep, for whatever reason, we will be dazed and confused.
Our vision is blurry, and our reactions are delayed.
Dogs, on the other hand, can snap out of deep sleep and avoid all of the hindrances humans experience.
Dogs have an innate ability to fall asleep quickly.
Why – well, it’s likely the consequence of evolution.
An adaption that served a purpose and provided benefit – such as getting much-needed shut-eye around the clock, allowing them to stay awake during more challenging times.
Whatever the reason behind it, it is shared across dog breeds. It’s not, therefore, a cause for any concern.
That being said, if you are worried about your dogs sleeping habits, behaviors, or if they are showing other worrying signs, do check in with your vet.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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- Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails In Their Sleep? [Is It Normal?]
- Will A Dog With Bloat Sleep?
- Do Dogs Get Cold At Night? [This Is What You Need To Know]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.