Do dogs sleep through the night? How long to get the maximum health benefits?



While many articles explore how much dogs sleep during the day, surprisingly little is said about their nighttime sleep.


Sleeping at night is not only essential for your pup’s development and health, but for yours as well.


You may want to know how much sleep is normal so you can catch potential health problems early on.

Or maybe your dog is just an early riser and you want to know how to get him to sleep a little longer.

As you probably know, dogs have different sleeping habits at night compared to humans.

However, we all share a great need for sleep, we just have different cycles and varying amounts.

My Rottweiler is an incredibly well trained sleeper. His sleep schedule is on par with ours.

She fit our sleep schedule perfectly, getting enough sleep to be ready for two 1-2 hour walks and playing every day, and sleeping through the night.

You’ll see why I personally believe a good sleep schedule is crucial.

Let’s dive into sleep 101 for canines.

Do dogs sleep through the night?

Yes, adult dogs often sleep through the night next to you in your bed, assuming your dog is healthy, potty trained, and on a proper sleep schedule.

My Rottweiler Amalia as a puppy sleeping upside down in her feeder.
Photo by Pawleaks

Sleep at night should consist of at least 6 to 8 hours. If your dog sleeps less, it should be compensated with sleep during the day.

However, if your dog easily sleeps for more than 10 hours at a time, you may want to investigate health issues.

Any time your dog deviates significantly from his usual sleep schedule, think about the possible causes.

  • environmental changes
  • Changes in diet or lack of nutrients.
  • Medical problems
  • Potty training problems
  • Old age
  • Disruption of the sleep cycle (ie, loud noises outside, female in heat, etc.)

These are all reasons why your dog’s sleep may change.

Sometimes your dog may hear something outside, come out of your room to investigate it, and may even stay awake for a while.

These types of isolated incidents are not a big deal, especially if your dog can regenerate the next day.

However, if you have a rescue or just general problems with a noisy environment or whatever, consider everything you can do to block light and soundproof your room, for example (it can be as simple as heavy curtains).

How long do dogs sleep at night?

Your dog should get at least 6-8 hours of sleep at night with another 4-8 hours of sleep during the day to add up to about 12 hours of sleep in a 24-hour cycle.

While it can happen that dogs sleep less than the usual 6-8 hours, that shouldn’t be the norm.

The dog sleeps on its back, which often encourages whining during intense dreams.

Unless your sleeping habits are completely different, your dog probably doesn’t have anything to do at night anyway.

The reason dogs manage to fill their night with many sleep cycles (where they go in and out much faster) is that everything is calm.

If your dog won’t sleep through the night, I have a couple of tips below.

Do dogs sleep a lot?

Dogs sleep a lot and spend about 50% of their time in pure sleep, 30% dozing or relaxing, and only 20% actually being active, leaving a sleep-like state for dogs at 19 hours.

That doesn’t seem like a long awake time. But really if you break it down, that’s enough.

While only 20% of your total 24-hour cycle is spent awake, that works out to almost 1/3 of your raw day to do whatever you want.

Going for a walk, playing, eating, just being silly – all of that easily fits into 1/3 or just 5 hours of your time during the day.

However, compared to humans, it’s a fact that dogs sleep a lot and probably also get more quality sleep without the rigid schedule that most of us have.

How much sleep do dogs need according to age?

While puppies need 18 to 20 hours of sleep, adults are fine with around 12 hours of sleep, which can increase with large breeds and especially older dogs.

Puppies outgrow the phase where they fall asleep pretty much everywhere pretty quickly.

However, let your pup enjoy the sleep (he’ll probably enjoy the free time anyway to keep the puppy blues at bay).

Sleep is a time for puppies to regenerate and get over what they have experienced during the day.

Plain and simple: sleep is crucial to a dog’s development.

Most freshly baked dog parents struggle to get their pup to sleep through the night.

The dog owner holds a sleeping black and white puppy in his left arm.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Trust me my Rottie pup didn’t want to sleep in his crate.

With that being said, we got through it and she is now fighting for the champion titles in the “deep sleep at night” category.

Crate training your dog and putting him on a schedule can really help with any behavioral or nocturnal disorders.

Why do dogs wake up so easily?

It is true that it is easier to wake up dogs than an average human.

But why do dogs wake up so easily?

Due to their shorter sleep cycles and ability to slip in and out of REM sleep faster, they seem to be in play every time you make a move.

Despite that, dogs have a natural instinct to wake up as quickly as possible.

Plus, dogs love to be a part of the action.

It’s really fascinating to me because my Rottweiler snores loudly, deep in his sleep somewhere far away… But once I move too slow or too fast, he’ll snap awake.

Walk like you usually do and my dog ​​won’t blink an eye.

Another reason why some dogs, especially rescues or breeds like wolf hybrids, may be that they spook quite easily when sleeping.

If you touch them and they aren’t expecting it, you might see them shoot up or even fall off the couch or bed.

I’ve seen it happen and if your dog is one of them don’t worry as it’s usually not a medical issue.

If you notice that your dog is having something like traumatic episodes or nightmares in which he then behaves differently, see your vet.

make the dog wake up later

If you want your dog to wake up later, you can try blocking out the light, soundproofing your room, introducing a sleep schedule, and tiring your dog appropriately throughout the day.

Sleep is not only important to you, but also to your pup.

Exercise is probably the biggest contributor to getting your dog to sleep longer.

If your dog was not physically exercised or mentally stimulated during the day, that can definitely be expressed by your pup being active at night.

Other than that, try to block out the sound and light in the room and keep everything quiet.

If your dog gets up, calmly redirect him to his bed and be sure to restrict exciting toys to that time.

Do dogs know when humans sleep?

Dogs know when humans are sleeping somehow, shape or form, but it could just be that they read rest and unavailable signals, so it’s not entirely clear whether or not they know we’re in a similar state. to sleep. .

I have seen this demonstrated in my own Rottweiler.

When I get up early and see my dog’s grooming routine, stretching in bed, etc., I’ve seen what she’s doing a couple of times.

Imagine my half-open eyes (which she doesn’t notice judging by her face in the mirror) and then imagine a clueless Rottweiler staring at me and wandering off.

The minute there’s a clear sign that I’m awake, she won’t leave the bed until she has her morning pet.

Sometimes we’re just getting changed and she’s filled with hope, but then immediately recognizes that she won’t be immediately followed by getting up.

So the dogs know something about us sleeping, but it’s not clear what exactly they’re thinking.

Dogs definitely recognize when we’re not available and can even read physical or environmental cues.

However, it is more about association than knowledge about sleep.

Think about it, have you ever played with your dog while you were sleeping? Probably not.

That means whenever your eyes are closed, you’re lying in your bed, it’s probably dark and around the same time every day, it’s never time to play.

This pattern will become established and your dog will recognize it in the future.

Unfortunately, there is still no reliable study exploring whether or not dogs know that humans are sleeping.

However, I have compiled a list of all the other sources I have used for this article.

Let me know if you have any questions, additional studies, or just anecdotes.


Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for veterinary care and is not intended to be. I am not a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet.



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