Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping? Explained

Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping? Explained

Most of us humans are barely alert when we fall asleep. But it’s different with dogs. They can easily fall into a deep slumber and be fully focused as soon as they wake up. You might be thinking whether dogs know when humans are sleeping or not. Therefore, we thought discussing about it.

So, do dogs know when humans are sleeping? Yes, they do. Their senses are much smoother and sharper than those of us. There are a few ways they determine whether you’re sleeping or not. We have discussed those in detail in this post.

So, let’s get started!

Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping? 

As I mentioned before, dogs have sharper senses and instincts. Although they have somewhat the same sleep cycle as humans, they can enter REM sleep easily.

But these cycles have shorter increments than us. Thereby, they are alert and understand every motion of their master and whether they are sleeping or not.

When guards sense that we have fallen asleep, they know not to make a commotion or disturb our sleep. Let’s see how they understand that his mom/dad is sleeping or awake.

How Does Your Dog Know You’re Asleep?

Again, a dog’s senses are five times sharper than ours. Let me tell you how your fluffy pet uses these senses to determine whether you’re sleeping.  

  • Sight

Your dog is always in need of your attention. In fact, they don’t want you to go to sleep. They would rather prefer if you stayed up and pet them all night.

But don’t worry, they are brave enough to know not to wake you up when you’re sleeping if not for special occasions. If your doggo is in the same room as you, he’ll watch you and check if you’re starting to wake up. 

Your pet is very cautious about eyelid movements, breathing and chest movements, and limb movements. Thereby, they know if you’re ready to wake up, or in this case, not.

And it’s helpful for them that dogs have better sight than us when it’s dark.

  • Touch

This is more applicable if your pet sleeps next to you. Such that he’ll feel your body relaxing as you drop down into a relaxed deep sleep.

Then, your body’s tension will lift off, and movements will slow while your breathing becomes steady. The doggo sleeping next to you will feel these vibrations.

They can even feel the very smallest movement of your body. So it’s fair to assume that dogs know when humans are sleeping.

  • Through smell

The scent ejected from your body says so much about you. That’s thousands of times better than humans, especially for a dog with a razor-sharp nose.

They can even smell your mood. Never doubt that your pup can’t smell if you’re angry or sad; he smells everything.

And when you’re sleeping, your body exudes several chemicals and hormones that dogs understand as you’re sleeping.

  • Sound

No matter if your dog sleeps in the same room as you or not, they can hear you from yards away.

Your movements around the bed, rusting of sheets, and creaks never go unnoticed by your best friend. So, do you think he won’t hear you waking up?

Why Does My Doggo Wake Me Up While I Sleep? 

Now ten years old, my doggo sleeps on the floor on his bed next to mine. But sometimes, to my biggest annoyance, he wakes me up in the middle of the night.

He makes a fuss around the room, to which sound. Or else he’ll lick my hand or face forcing me awake. In each instance, his intention is different.

Sometimes my dog needs to go to the washroom outside. Or needs something to eat or is thirsty. Even though it’s annoying, the doggo is expressing his needs.

So, it’s fair, and you should not scold him. When you figure out why he awoke you, tend to his needs and let him into his bed again.

Dogs are like our own children. Just the same way you must wake up whenever your infant cries at night, it’s the same with your pet.

But he’ll wake you up at times just because he’s bored and needs some pats. You can pat him for several moments when he does that, and he’ll be satisfied.

Or else, as I do most of the time, let him on your bed. Then he’ll sleep soundly cuddling next to you. I understand if you do not let him on your bed, so a simple pat-down would also do.

A moment before, I mentioned that your best guardian is alert and is always cautious even though he’s sound asleep. This instinct will catch up to any danger in mere seconds.

The need to protect you is always on their mind. So, if he thinks that something bad will happen to you, they’ll wake you up.

Also, your doggo understands you’re vulnerable when asleep. So, he’ll check on you from time to time to make sure you’re okay. 

So do dogs know when humans are sleeping? Yes, they know when you’re asleep, awake, or even when having mood changes. It makes them so much more adorable.

Could You Let Your Dog Sleep With You?

Sharing your bed or bedroom with your doggo is not a modern practice. Many cultures have histories of co-sleeping with their pets. Sleeping with your pet has many advantages.

Also, it helps dogs know when humans are sleeping. It should not be left out that it also has a downside. If you have hidden allergies, sleeping with an animal can aggravate them.

Also, the transmission of each other’s deceases is possible, although rare.

But the bright side of co-sleeping with your doggo is much heavier than the downside. Let me elaborate. 

Other than making it easier for dogs to know when humans are sleeping, we have many rewards. For a start, it reduces depression and stress.

Moreover, sleeping quality and the comfortability of your sleep, too, increase. If you’re an insomniac, your doggo will relax you enough for you to fall asleep.

Knowing that you’re getting the maximum security possible while sleeping increases your sleep quality.

We hope you’ve received the full answer to your question; do dogs know when humans are sleeping? You’re now one step ahead of being a doggo-expert and learning interesting facts about dogs. 

And we’ll see you the next day with another answer to one of the frequently asked questions. So, until then.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. See you again!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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