Do dogs have similar sleep time needs to us?

Difference between sleep patterns of dogs and humans

As dog owners ourselves, launching a Dog Bed website seemed a logical step for the Advisor Team.  Having invested in many dog beds between us, we were keen to find the best dog bed available in the UK.  One of the other reasons we chose dog beds, that you may not be aware of, is that we have spent 10 years studying human sleep and searching for the best pillows and more recently duvets for 2 of our other sites: PillowAdvisor and DuvetAdvisor.


So surely, man’s best friend needs his sleep and to be comfortable, just like us – right?  Absolutely.  This led us to look at the similarities and differences between human vs dog sleep time needs.


Dogs like humans have a diurnal sleep pattern in that they let the hours of daylight dictate when they sleep.  They also learn to adjust their sleep patterns to work with their owners, which is why dogs are such great pets as they operate similar hours to us.  From my first hand experience with Syrian hamsters, I can confirm this is not the case with all common household pets!   But that is not where our sleep similarities with dogs end.

Just like us, each dog is different and has different sleep requirements, for example, a puppy or an older dog may need much more sleep than a younger adult dog. Likewise a bored or sick dog may sleep more than an active, healthy one.  Larger dogs also tend to sleep more than smaller ones – although I’m not sure that applies to us too!  When choosing a sleep environment for your dog, it is also worth thinking about finding somewhere quiet, dark and warm – it sounds perfect to me.  Just like we take time to choose our mattress, pillows and duvets, we feel it is also so important for our dog’s well-being to find the best dog bed and bedding for our pooch.

Of course, there are some differences that we have discovered – dogs tend to have lots of naps and  need more rest overall.  This is  because they need it.  They get far less REM (Rapid Eye Movement) or deep sleep than humans, in fact only about 10% of a dogs sleep time is in REM whereas for humans it is closer to 25%.  So when we think they are always sleeping they are often just napping to make up for the lack of deep sleep.