Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Monday mornings are tough. Some days it takes the strength of Zeus to haul me out of bed. Even though I am at my intellectual and energetic best in the morning, it’s still a drag to leave the warmth of the blankets. Of course dogs, at least my dog, don’t suffer from Monday-itis. No matter how early it is Shiva is bursting to get going every morning. I am convinced I could take her for a walk at three am and she would be just as jubilant as she is at six. I don’t know if that is inspiring or just exhausting.

Which brings me to something else dogs, and cats, do better than humans: sleep. Shiva sleeps with the same drive she has for an agility course. Like everything else, she gives resting her all. After our hour long walk each morning, she passes out beside me on the couch for a nap while I attempt to write something remotely entertaining. This is pretty much what our house looks like at seven am every week day.

Proof! The freak of nature does indeed sleep!

This doesn't look all that comfortable to me either

Something else I envy – Shiva is such a master at the nap, she can sleep anywhere. On the floor, on the couch, on her dog bed (though only once a decade), in the car, in her crate, on the chair, on the stairs. I bet she could sleep on a train and maybe even on a plane. Her sleeping abilities would fit very well into a Dr. Seuss book.

It’s not even just the fact she takes advantage of every opportunity for a snooze. Shiva also seems to get the full benefit of the rest. We humans have a lot to learn from our pets in this area. I know I only get about six or seven hours every night. That would be fine if I slept straight through those hours. Inevitably I will wake up several times throughout each night and it always takes a bit of time to fall back asleep. I toss and turn and try to get comfortable. Sometimes I wake up more tired than when I fell asleep. That can’t be healthy.

I’ve read all the expert tips and warnings about how important it is to get a full night’s sleep. I know I am supposed to cut caffeine, avoid alcohol, create a pre-sleep ritual, remove distractions from the bedroom, exercise more, and eat better. All of those things are supposed to help. But it’s hard to cut out the coffee when I can barely keep my eyes open by ten o’clock in the morning. I notice the article I linked to also recommends sleeping without pets in the bed. While that may be possible for some, I can only imagine the sounds my cat would make if we closed the door on him.

Cut me out of the bedroom? I think not. I spend more time sleeping here than you do.

The key to me seems to be tapping in to whatever it is that helps Shiva get her rest. When it comes to getting the most out of life and out of sleep, dogs do it better than humans every single time. Am I the only one who is more than a little jealous?

21 thoughts on “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

  1. Haylie can sleep anytime and anywhere. She is like Shiva – she gives it her all when she sleeps. Haylie is like a human – she likes a pillow and snores louder than any human I have ever met. Haylie rarely wakes up due to a sounds.

    Fred I swear he never sleeps. He is always sleeping with one eye open. He is a night walker too. He loves to go out in the early morning (1-3am) and cruise the backyard and sleep for a bit on his outside bed and then come in and sleep on the couch. Ive recently looked into using melatonin on Fred to allow him to sleep since he now has epilepsy I heard that this would help him really get to a deep sleep which I dont think Fred ever goes into unless he is drugged!

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  2. No ma’am you aren’t! I am super jealous of the dogs and their sleeping habits. I sleep like you do, tossing and turning, waking up and falling back to sleep, get up to use the bathroom….oy. I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired.

    Delilah is awake a whole lot more than Sampson. He gets up and eats, maybe he will go outside and then comes in and curls up on the couch. This morning he was on the couch when I left (Delilah as usual was scouring the floor for crumbs.) I left the house and realized I had forgotten something and turned around. I had been gone from the house for no more than five minutes and Sampson had already headed back to the bedroom. 🙂

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  3. Tahsis loves to sleep! Around 8:30 every night she gets restless, because she wants us to go upstairs to bed. She also gets excited to go back to bed in the mornings when we go to work, or if it’s a weekend and we’re being particularily lazy. Silly dog.

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  4. Y’know… what irks me more than anything is when the dogs wake me up early… ask to go out… then when I can’t fall back asleep they are snoozing away within a nano-second of laying down. I long for their ability to go from wide awake to dead asleep in a blink of the eye!

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  5. What I wouldn’t give for a full night’s sleep. It only gets worse as you get older. I even saw a sleep specialist, who gave me a light visor for the mornings (to wake me up) and told me to listen to talk radio or podcasts to help fall asleep. The problem, as you point out, is STAYING asleep. I’m at my wit’s end with exhaustion, and coffee doesn’t even help me stay awake in the morning, though it keeps me up at night.

    Our Best Friend moves around all night, but like Shiva, I bet he’d be all gung-ho at 3:00 if I showed him a leash. He doesn’t need a full night’s sleep, though– unlike me, he’s allowed daytime naps!

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  6. Okay, that is a ridiculously adorable photo of your cat! Ours would also not take kindly to being banished from the bedroom.
    Moses is also a hard sleeper – and a very loud snorer. He can go from wide awake and playing to comatose and snoring in no time.

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  7. Totally jealous. I think it’s because they live only in the moment. No regrets about yesterday or worries about tomorrow. If only we could shut off our brains at will.

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  8. You are so not alone! I wish I could sleep as sound as the boys and in some of the very crazy positions that they do. I wish that I could tune it all out like them to.
    I wish I could snore half as loud as they do too!!

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  9. Great post. I too am OK in the mornings, it’s just the whole getting out from under the blankets. Barley is smart and as soon as he hears the alarm go off, he knows it’s time for me to take him for a walk. He opens his eyes, but still lays for a while if I don’t move. After about 10 minutes, he’ll finally hop up onto my bed and sniff my face (morning breath-itis?) and roll around until I’m up and at-em. He’s my little snooze button.

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  10. Yes, I agree – in many ways, dogs and cats are vastly superior beings to humans, and this is but one example. That sleeping anywhere thing? An extremely valuable tool to have in one’s arsenal, and one which I know I will never be able to master.

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  11. I feel like our dogs never really sleep, they always have one eye open if we try to sneak up on them. Or maybe it’s because we’re always trying to sneak up on them…

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  12. I am so grateful neither of my pups are morning dogs. Ziggy in particular would lay in bed as long as he’s allowed. He only wakes up for a quick hug and breakfast before we leave in the morning and then it’s time to go back to bed!

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  13. I hear ya! I am super jealous of Our dogs’ exceptional commitment to sleeping well. I’m a night owl, so they usually turn in before me. Last night, I actually picked Felix up, moved hom out of my spot and cuddled him for a while – all without waking him. That’s sleeping skills. I wish I slept even 1/10th as good. And giving up coffee? Heck no. I tried that last summer. On day three my other half brought me a Starbucks and begged me to drink it. Apparently, I was a little cranky ;0)

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  14. Total envy here! Bunny can get up, go outside for a quick break, and then go back to bed and sleep like the dead, in a matter of minutes! Of course, she doesn’t have to fight for a spot on the bed or the blankets. :/ She’s lucky she’s cute!

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  15. I can totally relate. Nothing is worse than waking up during the night . .for some reason, my BRAIN is ready to go and it is almost impossible to get back to sleep. I’ve tried a variety of techniques and the thought of keeping the cats out of bed makes me laugh 🙂 They would definitely revolt and there would be no sleep for anyone!

    I am often jealous of how much they sleep during the day and how comfortable they always look. 🙂

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  16. Having Beryl on the bed now is the main reason I don’t get a good nights sleep any more! Apart from the fact that she hogs most of the room on the bed, she often gets me up once or twice a night to go outside. Sometimes she just wants to eat grass for 10 minutes! The other night I learnt that it does pay to take her out when she demands it as after ignoring her I discovered in the morning that she had pee’d on the carpet:( I have fond memories of the nights when it was just me and Frankie, but Beryl really does love sleeping on our bed and I can’t banish her back to her crate just so I can get a good nights sleep … can I? Of course not, lol!

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  17. I went through some insomnia a while back and remember being thoroughly jealous of the critters. They don’t even need good sleep hygiene – the nerve. (BTW, a purring cat in my ear always helps me nod off. Your kitty, however, looks too stressed to purr. 😉

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