Does your dog lose sleep?
The weather has been a little crazy here in Minnesota this past week. Thunderstorms, crazy lightning, high winds, downed trees and power lines, and flooding – you name it, we’ve had it (well except maybe for tornadoes, and trust me, I’m good with that).
As a result, we’ve been a little sleep-deprived here at Casa del Mel. All the storms hit in the middle of the night or in the very early morning hours which meant every deep sleep was interrupted by a dog jumping up on the bed and shaking like a leaf. Daisy.
There are two things that terrify Daisy ore than anything – thunderstorms and fireworks. Usually her Thundershirt calms her and allows all of us to get some sleep, but these storms have been so violent and loud that even it didn’t seem to make a difference. The only other way to calm her was to lie down next to her and rub her belly, but of course that meant I had to be awake to do so. No sleep for me. No sleep for Daisy and no sleep for Cupcake and Jasper either. Their nightly sleep patterns were interrupted so they were out of sorts too.
As it turns out, the sleep deprivation had an effect on all of us. Usually my dogs like to keep to a schedule (up at 5 AM), but this time they slept in. I wasn’t the only one moving slowly the past few mornings. They were too.
Maybe that’s why this piece I saw in Psychology Today (“Do Animals Worry and Lose Sleep When They’re Troubled?”) resonated with me so much. As it turns out, we humans aren’t the only ones who lose sleep when we are worried or stressed. Animals do too.
“There’s plenty of research that shows clearly that nonhuman animals (animals) worry about various events that are happening in their lives and that they lose sleep when they are uneasy, anxious, distressed, troubled, or on edge.”
Dogs who lose sleep can appear to be more groggy in the morning.Certainly, my dogs seemed to demonstrate that. I just thought they appeared so because they were reacting to me. (Watching me stumble around the house in the morning could very easily have exhausted them. It’s not a pretty sight to see.) But, as it turns out, they were just as tired as I was and this became more evident on Sunday when I realized that they were less motivated to go outside every few hours. In fact, they spent a majority of their Sunday just lying around the house, sleeping. Go figure.
This article has me kind of curious if anyone else has witnessed this behavior in their own dogs. Have you ever noticed your dog losing sleep over a stressful or worrying situation? If so, what was the situation and how did you know? And while I am at it, have you noticed your dogs acting more tired the day after a bad storm rolls through town?