Study sets baseline for sleep patterns in healthy adult dogs – ScienceDaily

A new canine sleep study from North Carolina State University could serve as a baseline for research on chronic pain and mental disorders in dogs, which may improve the detection and treatment of these conditions.

“The study was necessary because research on dogs and sleep has gone beyond our basic knowledge of what a‘ normal ’sleep / wake cycle looks like,” said Margaret Gruen, associate professor of behavioral medicine at NC State and corresponding author her work. “The currently available surveys are older than 20 years, followed only small numbers of dogs or dogs that were not in a home environment, and did not capture data relevant to how dogs are living (and sleeping) now.We designed the study to refresh these findings and fill the knowledge gap.

“And for me, someone with an interest in how dogs develop and age, it’s a much-needed gap: we talk about a symptom of a related mental disorder to age in dogs as a disturbance in the sleep / wake cycle without properly understanding where the baseline is. “

The study followed 42 healthy adult dogs – 21 males and 21 females – ranging in age from 2 to 8 years. The dogs kept activity devices on their collars for two weeks, and the owners completed a questionnaire about the dogs’ sleeping patterns. Sequential modeling of the activity data showed that most dogs have two activity peaks during the day: a shorter window from 8 am to 10m, followed by a midday lull and a longer active time from about 5pm to 11pm. active on weekends or weekdays.

“Since most of the participants were pets of people working outside the home, we found that dogs are the most active when human interaction occurs,” Gruen says. “There were a few challenges from time to time – we caught some midday zoomies – but the pattern was true on average over 14 days for each dog. These decisions are not surprising – they are in line with many of the assumptions that we make. ‘has been done, but now the data has been identified and recorded. “

The research showed that stress and gender influenced the functional times; lighter dogs tended to be more active shortly after midnight, while female dogs appeared to be more active at evening height than males. Even in these healthy adult dogs, age had an effect; older dogs were less active during peak activity periods.

“Our hope is that this will be an introductory study for future work on the link between pain, depression and sleep disturbance, and as a study relevant to the way dogs live. now, “Gruen says.” By establishing norms, we can better identify anomalies and intervene earlier in the process. We can use this as a baseline to assess the development of adult sleep patterns in pups. “

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