Nothing in the world makes me feel more peace than watching my dogs cuddle up and snore away their afternoons on the couch. They are so cute and cuddly, and it always gives me this joyful feeling wondering what they are dreaming about.
But as it turns out, our sweet little pups are not always sleeping as peacefully as it may seem. A new study has shown that while we may think out dogs are lazy goofs who get to sleep so much more than us, they actually spend a lot of their time awake at night.
Not only are they awake, they are spending those moments awake stressed out, just like we do.
The study was published in the Royal Society Scientific Journal and it revealed that just like us, dogs are sponges for the things that happen to them in the day.
You know how sometimes you have a bad day and sleep really poorly? Well, the same thing can happen to your dog.
Stressful experiences affects a dogs ability to sleep just like it affects us. After experiencing negative situations like being separated from their owner or approached by a stranger, the dog's sleep ends up sleeping worse than those who had a positive experiences.
The study found the stressed out dogs tended to have more REM sleep, meaning their heart rates remained elevated for longer, and would wake up quickly should any noises happen around them.
The one thing that the researchers noticed stressed out dogs could do better than the non-stressed dogs, was that they actually fell asleep really quick. Even though they weren't getting good sleep, their bodies were trying hard to participate in what the researchers called "stress-induced-quiescence."
Stress-induced-quiescence actually happens in humans as well. It's a type of protective sleep response that a body has to stress, which is mirrored in humans when they fall asleep quickly when they are sick.
Dogs tend to have better, more restful sleep if they have positive experiences right before bed. So if you want your dog to sleep well, make sure you give them some love and attention right before bed so they can have sweet dreams all night.