Have you had an argument with your partner, the neighbor or your parents just before going to sleep? Or had a stressful day at work today? There is a good chance that you will lie awake at night or sleep very restlessly. Dogs also sleep worse after a stressful experience, recent research shows.
20 minutes less sleep
Sometimes we humans worry at night about stressful or negative experiences that we experienced during the day or just before going to sleep. Dogs also fall asleep less deeply after a stressful experience. Deep sleep lasts an average of 20 minutes shorter, and it is precisely this sleep that is the most crucial, this is the phase in which the body repairs itself.
In a recent study, researchers gave 16 different dogs of different breeds a positive experience and a negative experience to test the outcome. The positive experience involved playing with a toy before going to sleep, petting the dog and giving it a big hug before going to sleep. During the negative experience, it was separated from its owner and did not get to say goodbye before going to sleep. After this, the dogs went to sleep for three hours, and the dogs' brain activities were measured during these three hours of sleep.
Sleeping has a protective role
The dogs that were tested with the negative experience fell asleep much faster. According to the scientists, this became possible due to the coping mechanism; a protective form of sleeping in response to the stressful situation before going to sleep. Comparable to, for example, sleeping during illness; this is an immune system response to the disease.
Although the dogs fall asleep faster, they sleep less deeply. A poor night's sleep can be bad for the dog in the long term and can cause behavioral problems. So try as much as possible to provide positive stimuli to the dog just before going to sleep. Both you and your dog will sleep wonderfully!
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