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How Much Do Dogs Sleep In A Day?

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Update: April 27, 2023
9 min read

Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Illustration Of Exercise For Good Sleep

Sleep is a natural behaviour in dogs that determines their welfare and adaptation to the environment. And apart from admirable traits such as being loyal, gentle, affectionate, and energetic, dogs also tend to be lethargic.

In fact, unlike humans, who sleep once a day, dogs sleep both at night and during the day. Which is an interesting fact that leads to the question, how much do dogs sleep in a day? Well, there is more than one answer to that question.

Unravel why dogs sleep in polyphasic patterns and learn how much do dogs sleep to understand your own dog’s sleep patterns and notice any changes or causes for concern.

How Many Hours a Day Do Dogs Sleep

Dogs essentially sleep 12 to 14 hours on average in 24 hours. But the total amount of dog sleeping hours in a day depends on size, breed, environment, activity level, and age. Of all, age is the most vital factor that impacts a dog sleep schedule. 

Like humans, dogs’ sleeping pattern is at nocturnal hours. However, unlike humans, dogs are polyphasic sleepers. This means a dog sleeps all the time in multiple bouts throughout the day and at night.

While it may seem like a dog is sleeping a lot, it is normal since the brief and frequent sleep-wake cycles may allow the dog sufficient and easy adjustment to changing routines. Besides, considering the age, how many hours a day do puppies sleep when compared to adult and senior dog sleep by age? 

REM Sleep in Dogs

Although, like humans, dogs too progress through different stages of sleep, the main difference between a dog and human sleep is how much time they spend in the different stages. Although dogs sleep all day, unlike humans with a typical sleep-wake cycle of 7 to 9 hours asleep, 15 to 17 hours awake, dogs experience sleep-wake cycles of 16 minutes asleep and 5 minutes awake. 

And according to a study, just like humans, dogs also experience REM sleep. Generally, in humans, the NREM sleep cycle accounts for 75% to 80% of total sleep time, around 4.1 hours. Whereas in dogs, drowsiness/NREM sleep accounts for 16-20 minutes long. 

And REM sleep of a human is approximately 1.9 hours respectively. Whereas in dogs, the scientists estimated 2.9 hours of daily REM sleep or dream stage. Furthermore, during the study, it is found that dogs are alert and wake up after completing a cycle of REM sleep.

In addition, a study underlines that during REM sleep, along with the alert brain activity, dogs experience a certain degree of twitching and vocalising (interpreted as dream activity). Moreover, it is also highlighted that dogs’ smaller muscles aren’t paralyzed during this time, unlike their major muscles, which cause twitching and moving. 

How Much Do Puppies Sleep

Puppies sleep a lot, which is about 18-20 hours a day. It is no wonder since little pups are primarily dependent on their mothers as they are born they have little control over their senses, just like babies. And as mentioned before, dogs’ frequent sleep-wake cycle allows them to adjust to their surroundings. 

Although research is limited, one study conveys that puppies sleep so much during the day, compared to at night. It accounts that puppies sleep for about 18 hours a day. And as they grow, puppies require less sleep and more time to explore their surroundings.

Especially puppies ageing from 16 to 18 weeks, this is their crucial stage of life, where they must get proper training and learn their routines.

How Much Does an Adult Dog Sleep

Adult dogs sleep for about 13.5 hours a day. According to a study, an adult dog sleeps 60% to 80% of the night. Generally, the time was accounted for between 8 P.M and 8 A.M. That depends on their activity levels, variation in routine, social interactions with other dogs and humans, and other emotional experiences. 

It depends on factors and strong evidence that time scales for dog’s sleep are set by the brain, not the whole-body and metabolic rate

Adult dogs sleep more during the night compared to puppies. Moreover, a physically active dog during the day has a different sleep structure than an inactive dog. An active dog during the day, primarily sleeps at night, which shows they follow a diurnal circadian rhythm

How Much Does a Senior Dog Sleep

According to Dr Rossman a senior dog can sleep for about 18-20 hours a day on the high end, or 14-15 hours a day on the lower end of the scale.

Just like senior citizens, senior dogs require more rest to help their bodies recover from daily activities. Besides, middle-aged and senior dogs wake up less often during the night and sleep later in the morning. They also tend to sleep more during the day. 

Breed of Dogs That Sleep the Most

Ever wondered why is an adult dog sleeping all day? One factor that determines a dog’s sleep schedule is its breed, since the dog’s sleep may be related to breeding. However, the relationship between breed and sleep structure or duration has not previously been explored in depth. Therefore there isn’t much data regarding this.

That being said, the Wagg research of 1,000 British dog owners revealed the chances of varying sleep patterns of different breeds. For which Dr Robert White-Adams commented: “When you look at the statistics for which dog breeds are most likely to be up and around at night, and/or causing mischief, it is largely the breeds that we associate with being more intelligent, and closer to their working heritages, like collies and spaniels.

“Many believe these breeds have a higher cognitive ability than some of their canine counterparts. Because they learn quicker and are easier to train and work with. As little as we understand about consciousness and dreaming in dogs, we do know it requires significant mental ability, therefore, more intelligent breeds are most likely to experience dreaming when asleep.”

Below are the five breeds of dogs that sleep the most.

  • Bulldogs: They are known for their commendable habit of sleeping throughout the day. Bulldogs are generally not active and tend to spend their time napping and lounging. They spend 50% of their time sleeping.
  • Mastiffs: They are large and affectionate, however, they tend to be lazy and need daily exercise. They generally spend most of their time sleeping and can sleep up to 18 hours in 24 hours.
  • Greyhounds: They are known to be gentle, noble, even-tempered, affectionate, and athletic. However, greyhounds love their sleep and can spend around 18 hours of the day sleeping.
  • Saint Bernard: They are another giant breed that is friendly and lively. But they are naturally a lazy breed that likes to sleep. So Saint Bernard generally needs more than the average 14 hours a day to sleep.
  • Great Dane: They are recognised as the largest dog breed in the world. Great Danes are playful and affectionate and are considered gentle giants. However, they are notoriously avid sleepers and can sleep for 12 to 14 hours daily.

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much

A dog’s sleeping pattern depends on many factors and traits. These factors include their breed, personality, diet, activity level, climate, and age. However, apart from the above factors, there are reasons why do dogs sleep all day, some of which are mentioned below.

  • Dogs are more receptive to sounds and visual motion which makes them excessive vigilance, even during REM sleep. Therefore to get sufficient REM sleep, dogs tend to sleep more.
  • When dogs feel under the weather they tend to sleep more, since frequent naps strengthen dogs’ immune systems.
  • Sleep restores the energy that tends to replenish after running, hounding, chasing, and being proactive.
  • Sleep helps with brain function, and the ability to learn and retain memories. 
  • Any emotional events, such as any negative experience, make the dog fall asleep more quickly. 
  • Dogs have short sleep cycles ranging from 35 – 45 minutes, which urges them to rest more.
  • Sleep helps dogs to easily adjust to a changing environment and routine. Changes in the environment may affect a dog’s sleep.
  • As aforementioned, puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep longer than adult dogs. puppies require the additional vitality to grow robust and agile, whereas senior dogs require sleep to recover their bodies.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Sleep All Day

Although it is perfectly fine for dogs to sleep all day long, that is an average of 12 – 14 hours a day. However, if there are significant or sudden changes like the dog sleeping much longer or less than normal. Then it’s time to investigate more into the situation since a change in sleep pattern can be the cause of underlying health conditions.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder in dogs. Dogs with short muzzles, such as bulldogs are prone to obstructive sleep apnea. The common symptoms of sleep apnea in humans and dogs include excessive daytime sleepiness and loud snoring or choking noises during sleep.

Moreover, lethargy is a common symptom of diabetes, parvovirus, arthritis, narcolepsy, and hypothyroidism in dogs. As aforementioned, bad experiences or any emotional events, such as the death of a loved one or anything more drastic, can also cause the dog to feel more or less sleepy.

When to Seek Medical Advice

As discussed before, sleep supports different aspects of a dog’s health, including their immune system, brain function, and ability to learn and retain memories. Therefore, if the dog is sleeping more than usual, then it might be feeling under the weather, and needs sleep to recover. 

However, apart from this, there are other reasons why pet owners should seek medical advice. Seek medical advice:

  • When playing, running, or during any other physical activity, if the dog falls asleep, then wakes up abruptly and proceeds as if nothing happened.
  • Although, it is fine to twitch and move a little sleep. However, if there are high limb movements or any significant change in sleep patterns or habits such as positions or reduced sleep cycle.
  • When it’s hard to wake the dog up in the morning.
  • The waking schedule, like eating and playing, is distorted.
  • If the dog seems inactive, even during the time of their favourite games.
  • If the dog ignores their favourite treats and prioritises sleep.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Increased appetite and thirst can be a sign of diabetes.
  • A sudden increase in urination.
  • Fainting or zoning out randomly.

How to Make a Dog Go to Sleep

Most of the time, dogs are unable to fall asleep, and it is the pet owners’ responsibility to ensure that the surroundings are set up to help their dogs sleep comfortably. Here are a few tips to ensure the dog’s good night’s sleep.

  • Create a routine: if the dog is struggling to get the much-needed rest, then setting up a schedule for each day and activity may help them relax on time.
  • Set up an environment: it may help the dog to sleep with a warm blanket if the night is chilly, or a fan if the weather feels warm. The pet owner can also use a white noise machine or play the radio softly to lull the dogs to sleep.
  • Sleep separately: most people like to sleep with their pets. However, this could disrupt the sleep of the owner and the dog.
  • Make their bed feel comfortable: this does not only entail the beddings or blankets. Most of the time, pet owners unconsciously mistrain the meaning of “kennel” or “crate”. So, when encouraging the dog to use their bed, use a positive tone when saying “kennel” or “crate”, and not make it sound like a punishment.
  • Keep the sleeping area dark and quiet: dogs have a similar circadian rhythm as humans. Therefore, keeping the area dark or dim may help them relax.

4 Natural Sleep Aid for Dogs

Although insomnia is rare in dogs, there are other reasons for them to be awake at night. And until a solid reason is diagnosed, there are four natural sleep aids pet owners can try to help their dogs rest.

1. Herbs

Some mild herbs influence a calming and relaxing effect. Anti-anxiety herbs like bach flower, passionflower and valerian are said to be effective remedies for sleeplessness. The easiest way to use them is to add one or two drops of the remedy to the dog’s water or food. However, consult the uses of herbs with a veterinarian. 

2. Massage 

Massaging, stroking, or simply brushing the dog can help them relax. This can also help when the dog seems a little depressed or out of its usual self.

3. Exercise

Exercises are good for dogs. It will help the dog burn excess energy, reduce anxiety, and release stiff muscles. This will promote better sleep.

4. Orthopaedic Bed

The reason for not being able to sleep could be an uncomfortable bed. Changing the bed to an orthopaedic bed that is comfortable and well padded can promote better sleep. Also, remember a bed that is too near to draughts or heat sources will cause your dog to lose sleep.

Final Thoughts

That being said, a dog sleeps an average of 50% of the day. And certainly, the sleep schedule is disrupted by a change in dietary patterns, and climate, along with other factors. Nevertheless, pay attention to the dog’s sleep cycle and routine when they start acting randomly and make sure to contact a veterinarian if things seem out of place. 


Is my dog depressed if he sleeps all day?

If your dog has been acting off lately, sleeping a lot, not eating or drinking as much and has lost interest in things like going for walks or car rides, it might be true that your dog is depressed.

Which dog breed sleeps the most?

Bulldog, Shih Tzu and Mastiff breeds sleep the most. So, if you’re looking for less active dogs, these may be your best options.

Why shouldn’t you sleep with your dog?

Long-term close proximity to dogs exposes people to pet dander, which can cause respiratory issues. However, co-sleeping with a dog might worsen allergic symptoms in people who do not have pet allergies. Dogs outside attract dust and pollen, which can make people’s allergies worse

Why do dogs sleep with their tongues out?

Many dogs relax so much that they sleep and repose with their tongues sticking out. Often, it is an obvious indicator of unadulterated joy. That has a fairly straightforward explanation. A healthy dog will stick its tongue out while sleeping to control body temperature.


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Written by

Payal Singh
Content Writer
Bachelor's in English Literature and Health Sciences Previously wrote blog articles for various Doctors for their websites Familiarity with various content management systems and SEO best practices

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