Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much? Unlocking the Mystery of Animals’ Sleeping Pattern

Animal sleep is often viewed as a bizarre yet unique biological process because many species in the kingdom Animalia are capable of dosing off longer than humans do. Some animals can even fall asleep half awake with their eyes also half closed. For instance, wild animals like brown bats can snooze for almost 20 hours in a day and dolphins doze with half their brains turned off.

Wildlife is not the only one that prioritizes beauty sleep, even our pets such as dogs have been observed in the past, including by pet owners and experts, to be capable of extremely prolonged napping.

In fact, it has been reported that the average dog sleep time ranges between 12 and 14 hours per day. There were also reports that man’s best friend can fall into slumber all day.

Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

Animal Sleep: Why Do Dogs Sleep So Much?

(Photo : Photo by Irina on Unsplash)

Dogs tend to sleep so much and it often makes us wonder whether they are sick or just feeling lazy from time to time. Various sources indicate that our furry canids will sleep more even if they are relaxed since there is no motivation for them to be active.

In the context of the topic of dog sleep, Dr. Joan C. Hendricks stated that sleep improves a dog’s memory, learning capacity, and brain development, as cited by PetMD.

Although dogs do not have busy schedules like humans do, sleep deprivation of the ‘world’s most common household pet’ may result in health issues, such as being more prone to infections, according to Dr. Hendricks.

Also Read: What Animals Hibernate and Why Humans Cannot?

Animals’ Sleeping Patterns

Among animals, there is no “universal” requirement for the standard sleeping hours of each organism since species and groups vary biologically, in addition to the conditions provided by their environment. For example, mammals in terrestrial ecosystems in the tropics and subtropics regions have different sleep duration compared with marine mammals and fish in the world’s oceans.

Aside from dogs, and cats as well (both known in the household as long snoozers), there are wild animals that literally spend most of their day making drowse as their favorite activity. According to the University of Washington, the giant armadillo, North American opossum, and python have an average sleep duration of 18 hours each day.

The bottom members in the list of animals with the least duration of sleep are horses with 2.9 hours of sleep, African elephants with only 2 hours, and giraffes with 1.9 hours, the US university adds. The animal sleep database provided is based on observations of scientists and may vary with other records.

Humans Sleep Less Than Other Mammals

However, there is an animal in which health authorities are particular when it comes to the required hours of sleep: Homo sapiens. According to experts, humans sleep less but are more efficient compared with other closely related mammals.

This is based on a 2015 study published in the journal Evolutionary Anthropology, where researchers found that the sleep intensity, we see now among H. sapiens, is a product of evolution that allowed us to get better sleep in less time.

This has reportedly led to improved cognitive abilities among the mammalian primate animals, which unfortunately, does not include our beloved dogs, leading to the premise that this may also be the reason why they still sleep for so long.

Related Article: Sharks Are Not Just All Hunting, They Also Sleep With Their Eyes Wide Open

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