You got 99 problems… and apparently your dog has one too.
New research conducted by Hungarian scientists reveals that our beloved canine companions may experience disrupted sleep after a day filled with anxiety.
The study monitored the sleep patterns of pet dogs following both positive experiences, such as receiving affection from their owners and engaging in playful activities, and negative experiences, like being separated from their owner or facing a threatening encounter with a stranger.
Predictably, the dogs’ individual personalities influenced their responses, with more playful dogs exhibiting lower stress levels when approached by strangers compared to their more reserved counterparts.
Overall, dogs exposed to stressful situations exhibited poorer sleep quality, spending more time in REM sleep characterised by heightened heart rates and experiencing quicker awakenings. The study, published in October 2017 in The Royal Society scientific journal, highlighted a fascinating paradox: anxious dogs fell asleep faster than their more relaxed counterparts.
The researchers attributed this phenomenon to stress-induced quiescence, a protective sleep response triggered by stressors, akin to a human immune response during illness.
In light of these findings, it becomes even more crucial to bid a comforting goodnight to our furry friends, potentially contributing to a more restful night’s sleep for them.