Does Your Dog Know When You’re Sleeping?

@sid.the.border with their Home Is Where… Personalised Dog Cushion

We all know how intuitive our furry fur-iends are! They can tell when you’re sad or stressed. Sometimes, they can even predict the weather with their instinct for meteorology! But, does your dog know when you’re asleep? Since sleep remains one of science’s greatest mysteries, we bet you’re curious to know just how much insight your pooch has about the paw-zzling phenomenon…

Read on to discover whether your pup can tell if you’re taking some well-deserved shuteye!

So, does your dog know when you’re asleep?

The short answer is yes. Since dogs are highly attuned to their owner’s habits, routines, and behaviours, they can sense when you’re asleep, almost as well as they can sense that dog treats are close by…

The ways that dogs know you’re asleep are fur-scinating, as they mainly involve their superior senses and keen observational skills. These include:

  • Visual cues

  • Sound

  • Touch

  • Smell

  • Sense of time

We’ll now go through each way that your pup can tell you’re catching some beauty sleep!

Visual Cues

Our furry friends make use of their sight to determine things about their environment. Since a dog’s night vision is five times better than ours, they’re able to clearly pick up on visual signs that you’ve drifted off. If they’re not tucked away in a dog bed, they’ll be able to notice these signs. When your eyes are closed and you’re lying down, your pup is sure to take this as a sign that you’re asleep! Also, your pup may associate your fluttering eyelids with the REM (rapid eye movement} stage of sleep.

Dogs also observe your chest slowly rising and falling to indicate that your breathing and heart rate has slowed down. When asleep, our muscles also relax, and we stop making the small movements that we do when we’re simply sitting and resting. Since your mutt is attuned to these little changes in behaviour, they’ll begin to associate these visual cues with the knowledge that you’re in deep slumber (and hopefully they’ll leave you be)!


Since our hounds’ hearing is much more sensitive than ours, they can detect when you’re asleep from sounds. Perhaps the most obvious indicator of sleep is when the house is completely silent, and the working day is over. However, if your dog sleeps next to you, they’ll notice the subtle shifts in your breathing. They’ll hear that your breathing has slowed and become more audible.

If you don’t want your pup to hear you breathing in your sleep, consider getting one of our cosy dog beds, you’ll both be sleeping soundly in no time!

Fascinatingly, if you set your alarm at the same time each morning, your dog will link the sound of your alarm with you waking up. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, pups will begin to connect the repeated alarm sound with your response to wake up and get out of bed (obviously only if you feel like it)!

@archibald_pup sleeping on their Yappy exclusive Personalised Dog Bed: Paw Prints


Dogs use touch to detect all kinds of things. If your canine often snuggles up to you whilst you’re taking a nap, they’ll sense that your temperature drops by one or two degrees whilst you sleep. They’ll also feel your body begin to relax and your muscle tension easing. Yet, if their looking for something cosier to sleep with, our blankets and cushions offer snuggly alternatives!


Did you know that your dog’s strongest sense is its smell? It’s not too surprising considering how well they sniff out their dog treats. Dogs are estimated to have a sense of smell that is 10,000-100,000 times better than their human counterparts! Therefore, bodily chemicals and hormones that are odourless by our standards, are potent to dogs.

As our melatonin levels rise in the evening, dogs can smell this increase and understand that it’s nearly bedtime. Our bodies also release the hormone cortisol, just before waking up. Therefore, your dog is likely to smell this and know that it’s time to wakey wakey!

Also, if you think it’s just pups who drool in their sleep, you’d be mistaken! Since we also drool whilst sleeping, dogs can smell these changes in our saliva production.

Sense of Time

Surprisingly, dogs may also be able to tell when you’re asleep from their sense of time. Although your pup won’t be watching the clock, counting the minutes until beddy-byes, your pooch most likely has a general sense of time. Most living beings possess a circadian rhythm which informs their sleep schedule. This 24-hour cycle gives your dog a general idea of when it’s time for shut-eye and time to be awake. However, experts believe that it’s not just your pup’s circadian rhythm that informs their sense of time. 

Some scientists believe that dogs can tell time through their amazing sense of smell. For instance, by the time your scent has nearly dissipated, they know it’s nearly time for you to come home from work. So, if your canine can’t smell your scent strongly when they’re tucked in a dog bed away from your bedroom, they may know it’s sleep time! Ultimately, their association of certain smells with different times may help them to know when you’re asleep.

Sleep gifts at Yappy

To help your pup feel comfortable and happy during nap times and bedtimes, get them a super comfortable dog bed from Yappy!

Enhance their comfort with a paw-fect dog blanket to keep them cuddled up at night. You could also throw it on the sofa so they can sleep right next to you during your movie night. 

Cushions can also provide more comfort and a pleasing aesthetic feel to your home. And, if they’re ever staying out for a sleepover somewhere else, or you’re heading away for the weekend together, pick up an overnight bag to carry all their essentials.

If you’d like to know more about what Yappy offers, don’t hesitate to contact us on

Share this article


How to Use a Dog Whistle for Recall


How Soon Can I Walk my Dog After Neutering?