Helpful Tips for 5 Common Sleep Problems in Dogs

7th March 2018
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sleep problems affect millions of people every day, but did you know that millions of dogs are also affected?

sleeping problems in dogs

I noticed this for the first time in my own fur baby, Aires.

One evening we were laying around watching our favorite show, and then suddenly I hear an awful noise from the corner of the room.

Aires has always snored, but this was something different, it sounded like he sucked his tongue down his throat.

I reached out to my vet after making sure he was ok.

She told me that apnea is not just something that occurs in humans, but also in our beloved pets.

I was taken aback, she gave me some information on apnea in dogs, but after reading it, I only had more questions.

With many hours of research and a whole lot of discussion, I have come up with the 5 most common sleeping problems for dogs and some helpful tips to help overcome them.

Apnea may be Aires’ problem, but there are some other sleep problems that may be putting your pooch’s health and wellbeing at stake.

1. Apnea

Like millions of people, millions of dogs suffer from sleep apnea.

Snoring is the most common sign of apnea, but not normal snoring, exceptionally loud snoring followed by a stop of breath and the sufferer waking up.

Apnea is when the tongue blocks the airway and forces normal breathing.

If this happens a lot during a dog’s rest period, it can lead to interrupted REM sleep and a super sleepy pup.

Apnea is commonly seen in overweight dogs and can be treated by getting some of the excess weight off.

A great tip I received was about steam.

Steam can help open airways and promote healthy breathing during your dog’s sleeping times.

Peppermint and Eucalyptus are also excellent for opening airways and keeping your pooch sleeping soundly.

2. Insomnia

Illness, anxiety, and pain can lead to insomnia, which is a very common sleep problem for dogs.

If your dog is well past his or her prime, sleep problems like insomnia can be caused due to digestion problems.

Digestion problems can occur by the increase of urination frequency, or joint pain.

This problem can show in two forms.

First, the inability to fall asleep, waking up at unusual hours, and not being able to go back to sleep.

These issues can lead to a lethargic and unhappy pet.

There are many things you can do to help your pet including increasing the amount of exercise they are getting, and helping burn up excess energy.

There are also natural herbs and flower essences that can help get your pet to the deep sleep they need for continued happiness and health.

3.REM Behavior Disorder

I love when my little dog is sleeping and his little paws are flitting here and there in addition to the little whooping noises he makes.

I can practically see him chasing a cat in his dream.

While this type of behavior in dogs while sleeping is completely normal, some pets may run into objects or bite, causing harm to themselves, and possibly to you.

During the REM stage of sleep, your dog’s body should stay mostly still.

However, dogs with REM Behavior Disorder lack the limited muscle movement that keeps them still, and potentially act out in unexpected ways.

Treatment for this disorder is difficult but not possible.

You will want to consult with your veterinarian, and you will likely want to have some neurological exams done.

In the meantime, a therapeutic diet of food containing Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and one that is full of antioxidants may help your pooch sleep comfortably through the night.

4. Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is not as common as some of the others that we are discussing, however, we believe it is exceptionally noteworthy.

Narcolepsy symptoms in dogs include what many calls, “sleep attacks”.

Sleep attacks are when your dog experiences sudden muscle weakness and possible paralysis while remaining awake.

This can be very dangerous depending on the situation your dog is currently facing. Some find that it is triggered at times of great excitement, such as when it’s time for dinner, heading out for a walk, or even playing.

What do we do for the narcoleptic fur baby?

Naturally, you will want to discuss treatment options with your vet.

In addition, you can make sure to keep your pup safe by keeping your dog near you, and keeping them away from busy streets or a body of water.

The decreasing stimulus may also help, because a calm dog is a happy dog.

Feeding your dog away from other animals and trying to keep the excitement to a minimum may also help your suffering pup.

5. Canine Dementia

Dementia is devastating whether in a person or in a pet.

It has a reputation for throwing sleeping patterns off.

Better known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, this sleep problem can have your dog awake all night and sleeping most of the day.

This causes distress in your pet and may lead to vocalizing, getting lost in your home, being stuck in corners, and forgetting that they need to use the bathroom outside.

There is ongoing research for solutions to doggy dementia and your vet may have some excellent suggestions.

You can also try treats that include ingredients like gingko, coca cola, and lemon balm.

These are rich in antioxidants and may enhance all brain health.

While we know it is difficult to watch your pup get older and lose some of the things they once knew, there is hope that with advancing knowledge and a great amount of love you can help your pet keep their sleep patterns and brains healthy.

These are some of the most common sleep problems for dogs, and hopefully these are some excellent tips to help you and your fur babies stay happy and healthy.

In addition to keeping them calm and comfortable at home, make sure to reach out to your veterinarian for diagnosis and other treatment information.

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to learn more about solutions that may help you with your own sleep wellness, check out this article, The Best Cooling Mattress Toppers!

This article was wriiten by Barbara Green who is the Chief Editor and Customer Relations guru at

Sleep Titan.

She is responsible for all the exciting content that goes live on the blog.

She also comes up with innovative ways to review rest and relaxation products that differ from the same ol’ outdated guides and that people have to sludge through online!

She is passionate when it comes to a good night’s rest and believes you deserve a good
night’s rest as well.

You Might Also Like

  10 Tips To Help You Sleep Faster At Night
  3 Tips That Will Help You Get A Better Sleep Tonight
  5 Common Causes of Stress In Your Life
  12 Step Routine To Help You Reliably Switch Off By Bedtime
FREE Weekly To Do List Printable
Free gift for you, just fill in your email address to get your Weekly To Do List Printable and updates on our new articles.
  Save Save Save