Tossing and turning

Rough night, didn't sleep.  Can you relate?  Most of us have those nights where sleep seems to be elusive.  I had one the other night and it is awful; you try to convince yourself that you are falling asleep all night long but it never happens.  Then you typically start to dose off just when it's time to get up; feeling like a bag of hammers as my hubby would say.  Sleep is essential, not just a little; we need a full night of great sleep to feel good.  Everyone is different as are their sleep requirements.  But what about dogs? 

Do dogs have sleepless nights?  In all my years of experience, dogs only have restless nights if something is wrong.  They don't suffer the results of having too much on their mind as we do.  They go to bed and go to sleep; that is if they have had enough exercise and are healthy.  Not enough activity during the day can make for a little bit of a restless night; but even then, they typically dose off after a while of wandering.  It is when there is something physically wrong that they will not sleep.  I remember when Jessie started stirring at night.  It went from a little wandering to full on walking in circles for hours.  It was dementia and it came on slowly but got consistently worse. 

Dogs just don't worry about things that aren't in the here and now.  Things that will keep us from enjoying an amazing night of sleep can be anything that we are dwelling on.  Once you are awake and start to think, forget it.  Trying to think "nothing" can lead to all sorts of other thoughts seeping in.  Tilley had many a sleepless night when she was first hit with Vestibular.  Being very worried about her I took up the floor to sleep on for the first few nights.  Then we put an exercise pen around her bed so that if she did get up and wander; she wouldn't fall and hurt herself.  This also allowed us to get the sleep that we needed. 

Of course there are those fly out of bed nights; you know when you hear the dreaded heaving?  I've had my fair share of those as well.   Unfortunately you are SO awake after the puking ends that it is usually hard to get back to sleep.  Sleep is so very important for both dogs and us.  Dog's have gone it down, they rarely have an issue with sleeping but we do.  There are times when we need to switch things up to get a good night sleep and that can mean moving a dog off the bed (like Miss Elsa), or moving a dog from your bedroom.  You cannot go without sleep and the old saying "taking one for the team," does not apply to sleep.  It is a sad time when it happens but happen it must.  After a week of sleepless nights when Jessie was hit with Dementia; it just had to happen.  I was so upset, but with no sleep I was feeling horrible.  It just had to be done.

Over the years I have worked with many people who could not have their dog in the bedroom.  It was enough to keep one of the people from sleeping and no sleep is not good.  So even though it is always best to have our dogs in our room; sometimes it just cannot be.  Having gone a full week without sleep, I get it.  I felt horrible and wish it on no one and no dog.  However you have to get it, you must get it.  Sleep is not a luxury, but an essential part of well being.  I need a lot of sleep, a good 8 hours a night to feel great.  So going without is horrible. 

Sleep is one of those things that can make or break you.  If you don't take care of yourself, you certainly can't take care of your dog.