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How to Sleep Like a Dog

woman sleeping in cozy bedding with her french bulldog
Written By
Ollie Pets
Photographs By
Jessica Schramm for Parachute
@parachutehome
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Have you ever walked by a dog dozing on the sofa or foot of your bed and envied their deep, unapologetic slumber? Sleep may be a science, but our pets seem to have napping down to an art. Sure, having unlimited free time and zero responsibilities is a big part of it, but there’s a lot we can learn from our pets’ sleep style. Ollie Pets unleashes their best tips on getting a restful night sleep that your dog probably already knows. 

Stick to a schedule

Dogs and humans—we’re both creatures of habit. Establishing and following a consistent schedule can help pets and their people find their rhythm and ultimately get better sleep. Aiming for the same bedtime every night can be a challenge, but once you’ve made it through a week or two, your internal clock should quickly adapt. 

Do a temperature check

While dogs are known to nap in some pretty strange places, they often choose spots that help them balance their body temperature. It’s not uncommon to find your pup snoozing under a bed or splayed out on a cool tile floor in the summer, then transition back to their cozy dog bed as temp drops. Many sleep experts agree that between 60 and 67 degrees is the most optimal temperature for (human) sleep. Before you touch the thermostat, consider switching up your bedding seasonally to help regulate your room’s temperature. Kelly Murray, a certified sleep consultant, recommends taking a warm bath or shower before bed, “Not only is it great for muscle relaxation but it also helps to lower your body temperature to prepare for sleep as our body temperature needs to lower by 2 degrees in order to fall asleep.”

Give your gadgets a rest

Dogs shouldn’t bring their toys to bed and neither should we! Powering down devices and ridding your sleep space of any unnecessary distractions before bed helps prevent the over-stimulation that leads to restlessness or sleep disruption. Make it a rule that your bed is reserved for sleeping — avoid reading and watching movies in bed if you can. Putting boundaries in place helps train your body and mind to relax every time you get into bed, much like a dog learning to go to their “place.”

Get a move on

The best way to sleep like a dog is to play like a dog. Regular exercise and physical activity go hand in hand with good sleep. Going for a daily run, bike ride, or walk around the block can help burn excess energy that often translates into tossing and turning. But be careful not to save all of your cardio for just before bed—too much exercise too close to bedtime can have the reverse effect and leave you pumped up instead of calmed down.

Go on a sleep diet

Similar to exercising, eating late at night can fuel restlessness for both humans and dogs. On top of giving you energy when seeking rest, midnight snacking can have you and your pup running towards the bathroom when you should be heading to dreamland. Experts recommend eating no less than three hours before bedtime to allow for proper digestion. That being said, certain foods can actually promote better sleep. For example, fatty fish and fish oils and rice contain vitamins and minerals that help trigger sleep-friendly chemicals like melatonin and serotonin in humans and dogs alike. You can also rest easy knowing your dog is in good hands. Our friends at Ollie make fresh, vet-formulated food made only with high-quality ingredients—no fillers, by-products, or artificial flavors. Tell them all about your pup, and Ollie will create a custom meal plan just for him or her!