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5 Surprising Reasons Why Dogs Wake Up So Easily (2023)

Why Do Dogs Wake Up So Easily

Tip, toe… tip, toe…

You’re leaving the house quietly, like a ninja.

After all…

You don’t want to wake up your dog. 

But as you get to the door…

Your pooch quickly got up. 

Goodness, why do dogs wake up so easily?

Let’s get the truth out of bed.

Continue reading to find out: 

  • 3 amusing signs that Fido’s in deep sleep.
  • 1 scientific answer why pups are light sleepers.
  • 5 surprising reasons why dogs wake up so easily (#3 and #5 will impress you.)
  • And that’s only the beginning…

Why do dogs wake up so easily – 5 reasons

#1: Dogs rarely go into deep sleep

Dogs seem like they sleep a lot. Yet they also wake up so easily. 

How do these Fidos even manage that? Well, that’s thanks to their nap schedules. 

You see, there are 3 types of sleep patterns, namely:

  • Biphasic.
  • Polyphasic.
  • Monophasic.

Now, most people follow the mono pattern. Which means they only sleep once a day. 

Meanwhile, dogs do the polyphasic way. That means Fidos doze off more than twice daily. 

And this brings us to an obvious fact…

Most dogs are light sleepers

But an exception applies to pups who are:

  • Old.
  • Sick.
  • Exhausted.

These Fidos tend to sleep deeper than others. 

Anyways, I’ll tell you why this info matters. 

You see, for dogs and humans…

There are 4 stages of sleep, according to science.

And I’ll explain each 1 level below:

Stage 1: Half awake

During this, you’re still conscious. It’s just like when you’re half awake. 

Basically, you know that you’re sleepy. 

But you can still feel or hear your surroundings. 

Stage 2: Light sleep

At this point, you’re already asleep. 

And your vital organs are slowing down. 

But you might still wake up easily at this phase.

Stage 3: Slow wave sleep

Now, you’ve reached SWS. That stands for slow wave sleep. 

And based on a study

This is the stage where the body repairs itself.

Stage 4: Deep sleep (REM)

Lastly, there’s REM. Or rapid eye movement. 

It’s the deepest stage of sleep for both you and Fido. 

But at the same time, your brain is still awake. And you might end up dreaming at this phase.

Fun fact: Science confirms that dogs can dream too. Though, it’s still unclear what pups see in their sleep.

That aside…

Your pooch often stays at stage 2: light sleep. 

That’s why your furry friend wakes up so easily.

“How would I know if my dog is in deep sleep?” 

For now, there’s only 1 way to confirm it with your eyes. 

Without using any tools…

You just have to observe the way your pooch sleeps. And find out if Fido’s having a dream. 

Next, check what professionals say:

Your furry pal might kick or make weird noises in their sleep. Some dogs even stick their tongue out while they’re dreaming. 

Other pups might breathe fast too.

Now, those are clear signs that Fido’s in deep sleep. 

But here’s the catch…

You see, dogs don’t always dream. Or at least, you won’t notice it all the time. 

I mean, you and I could relate to that. 

You don’t dream of something each time you sleep, do you? 

Now, that’s the same thing for your pooch. That’s why you won’t always see your pup in deep sleep.

But of course, I won’t leave you empty-handed.

So here’s an extra tip instead.

As per PetMD, there are 5 common sleep poses in dogs. And here’s what they all mean:

Your dog’s sleeping poseExpert’s interpretation
Sleeping with their head on top of their pawsFido’s most likely in stage 1 or 2 of the sleep cycle
Sleeping on their side, legs stretched outYour dog feels safe and relaxed. If it lasts longer, your pup might be in deep sleep
Curled up into a ballThey feel cold and want to keep warm. But it could also be a sign of fear 
Both front and back legs are stretched out (also known as the “sploot”)They’re just adjusting to the temperature
Sleeping next to you or your familyFido’s trying to stay warm. Or it could be a sign of separation anxiety

Note: Snoring doesn’t mean your pup is in a deep sleep. It’s just a common thing for Fidos. Especially if they’re flat-faced dogs.

Read next: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pet Dogs While They’re Asleep

#2: They sleep lighter in the morning

Dogs Wake Up Easily Because They Sleep Lighter In The Morning

Just like humans, dogs are diurnal. 

That means they’re more active in the morning. 

But why this specific time of day? 

Well, dogs are predators. And it’s easier to catch prey when the sun is out. 

Not to mention, 1 research adds:

Most adult dogs sleep more between 8 pm to 8 am 

Which means 60 to 80% of their naps happen at night. 

That’s why these Fidos sleep lighter in the morning.

Though, just how much rest do pups need? 

As per vets, most dogs doze off for 12 to 14 hours daily. 

But don’t forget what I said in reason #1:

Pups follow a polyphasic routine. And that’s why they have shorter sleep cycles. 

Typically, 1 round of rest for Fidos only lasts for 20 to 45 minutes.

Compared to most humans that sleep for 7 to 8 hours a day…

Your furry pal’s rest is very short. 

And that’s why dogs hardly stay in the deep sleep phase.

Though, you might catch them fully asleep around 8 pm or later.

#3: It’s part of their instincts 

As I mentioned in reason #2… 

Dogs still have some of their wild instincts. 

Now, here’s something related to that. And I’m talking about wolves. 

As active hunters, these big, wild dogs are always on the move. 

In fact, research states:

Wolves often travel 30 miles (48 kilometers) per day. And that’s because they’re usually hunting for prey. 

Though, finding food in the wild isn’t an easy task. 

So, to save their energy… 

Wolves take plenty of naps during the day. This way, they’re always ready for a chase. 

And that’s why waking up easily is common for these animals. 

Though, wolves might doze off less than doggos.

You see, these wild pups only sleep for 4 to 10 hours per day. Meanwhile, dogs could rest for 10 to 12 hours.  

But why the difference? 

Experts suggest an idea: 

Dogs adapted to their safer lifestyles

After all, dogs don’t need to hunt like wolves. That’s why they can sleep much longer.

Also, a study found that wolves stay longer in the REM state. And that’s stage 4 of the normal sleep cycle.

With that, it seems like wild Fidos dream more often than your furry pals.

But what’s the reason for this difference? 

For now, no one knows.

#4: To guard against threats 

Even though dogs or wolves are top predators…

It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be careful. 

You see, they still have plenty of foes too. Namely:

  • Bears.
  • Lynxes.
  • Bobcats.
  • Coyotes.
  • Red foxes.
  • Wolverines.
  • Mountain lions.
  • Siberian tigers.
  • Honey badgers.

Fact: In rare cases, wolves might attack each other too. Especially when they’re hungry. Or fighting over territory.

Aside from that…

Humans can also be a threat to dogs. That’s why Fidos often bark at strangers

After all, it’s their way of being protective. 

You can also check out this clip…

A wolf pack drives a black bear away. All to keep their pups safe:

See? That’s why dogs wake up so easily. They always need to be ready for any threats.

Suggested read: 19 Signs Your Dog Is Protective Over You (Check Out #7) 

#5: Dogs have great senses

Aside from being alert…

Dogs also have strong senses. Mainly, it’s their powerful noses. 

Take it from what this journal reveals: 

Fidos has over 300 million scent receptors. 

With that, they could even smell your pheromones. Those are chemicals that your body releases. 

And that’s something not every animal can catch.

But wait. 

How’s this related to your dog’s sleep, you ask? 

Alright, here’s the kicker: 

Since Fidos have sensitive noses… 

It’s easy for them to get distracted. Or sometimes, they just get too curious. 

With so many flavors or aromas in the air, they just can’t help it. 

Though, it’s not always about food for dogs. 

You see, pups could even detect the next weather. 

Here’s an example: 

Let’s say Fido was sleeping outside. 

Suddenly, they woke up. And the next thing they did was sniff the air

Moments later, it started raining. 


Through the smell in the sky, your dog knew what was coming. 

And this gives them an advantage. Especially when they live in the wild. 

So next time your pup wakes up so easily… 

It might be due to any scent that they pick up. 

“But what about their sense of hearing?” 

As you can tell…

Fidos have soft ears that move around. That’s because they can hear things very well, too. 

Moreover, a study claims: 

Dogs have a hearing range of 67 to 45,000 (Hz). And Hz means Hertz. That’s the unit used for measuring frequency.

So when your pup hears anything unusual…

Then they might wake up easily and be on alert.

Find out more: 13 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell 

Do all dogs wake up easily?

Not all dogs wake up easily. As I said in reason #1, exceptions apply to certain Fidos. 

Specifically, I’m talking about doggos who are: 

  • Sick.
  • Seniors.
  • Puppies.

But why do these Fidos sleep deeper than the rest? 

Here’s an answer from the AKC:

As puppies, they sleep more since they’re still growing. By resting, their bodies can develop faster. 

Thus, these fur babies might sleep for 18 to 20 hours daily. 

But what about seniors? 

Well, as they grow old… 

These Fidos need more rest. After all, the body gets weaker as time passes. 

Now, as for sick dogs, the answer’s already clear. 

Since they don’t feel well, these pups need to sleep more than healthy Fidos.