The proverb Do not wake up sleeping dogs is also a good advice in a literal sense. Have you ever wondered how much sleep dogs need? When and where they like to sleep and, above all, why sleep is so important to our four-legged friend? These questions and more are discussed below.
The importance of sleep
Sleeping for dogs is, just like for humans and other animals, necessary to survive. There are still many questions about sleep. Below are a number of points about the importance of sleep that most researchers agree:
The body recovers during sleep. Sleep is therefore important to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
Furthermore, the brain recharges itself, as it were. Past experiences and information are processed and arranged. Sufficient sleep improves memory and makes learning easier.
Sleep reduces stress. When we wake up, the stress hormone adrenaline rises under the influence of everyday events, emotions and efforts. This hormone drops again during sleep. In case of too little sleep, this happens insufficiently, so that chronic stress can occur. A high level of stress also makes it more difficult to sleep. A vicious circle. Because stress makes people more sensitive to anxiety, sleep is important to prevent or reduce anxiety. Stress in dogs is one of the main causes of behavioral problems. Poor sleep can therefore cause (co-) behavioral problems.
Adequate sleep ensures alertness. Sleep improves attention, concentration and coordination. Being alert means being able to think carefully and make the right choices. For a survivor if the dog is extremely important.
With energy you have to handle economically. It is smart to save energy when it is dark, so that during the day, just when you need it, enough of it. For a dog, this means that he has the energy to hunt for example and respond to danger, but also to ensure that social contacts are peaceful.
Sleeping behavior of dogs
In contrast to cats, dogs are associated with activity, while dogs require almost as much sleep as the well-known head: the cat. Cats spend about 20 hours per day asleep. There is enough information about sleeping behavior of animals, but the dog seems to forget when it comes to that very important sleep.
Dogs need much more sleep than people: at least 15 hours per day. Puppies and old dogs do 18 to 20 hours per day. There are big differences between the animal species. Although it is not always true, you can generally say that small animals sleep longer than large animals. An elephant sleeps only 4 hours a day, while a sloth with 20 hours a day honors his name. One of the explanations is that due to the slower metabolism of large animals, the brain suffers less damage when they are awake than with smaller animals, which have a faster metabolism. The more damage sustained, the longer the time needed for recovery.