sleep

7 Tricks To Sleep Like A Dog

Ever wonder why it seems your dog is in a good mood all the waking hours of the day?  Perhaps adopting a dog’s sleep habits might help you emulate the feeling.

A bad night’s sleep is the worst when it comes to getting things accomplished and feeling good during what should be a great day.  The effects due to lack of sleep on mood, productivity, creativity, and even the quality of our relationships take a bigger toll on our health than most realize.

Anyone who does have trouble sleeping most likely have read all the “regular” things to do in order to get better sleep.  The concept becomes nothing more than a repeated set of rules that get ignored, similar to the simple rules of training a well behaved dog.

Finding a new outlook and different perspective is the answer to changing any sort of habit you’ve developed.  Sleep is no different.  That being the case here are some ideas that may just be on the level of an “ah-ha moment” and getting some quality sleep along the way.

Sleep Like a Dog

Dogs may not have the same stress and anxiety as we do, but they do have certain routines you can practice that prepare you for a great night’s sleep.

Eat Several Hours Before Going To Bed

Following this rule of the paw is much easier when you are dog, generally because dogs get fed only twice a day and they have no other choice.  Getting up off the couch and wandering over to the fridge to aimlessly snack isn’t an option.  Maybe eating like a dog is in order for better health!  Eat at meal times and don’t snack just before going to bed.

 

Don’t Drink Alcohol

The beverage of choice for a dog is water, again, simply because it is the only thing available.  Taking alcohol out of the picture would most likely find large numbers of people wagging more.  Not such a bad idea, yet we still willingly tip those unwanted calories with bad side effects regularly.  If you have trouble sleeping this may be one to give a serious try.

Reduce the Bright Light of the Computer Screen

Computers, Blackberries, iPhones, the television… we live in a digital age and much of our entertainment comes from our computer screen.  If we aren’t working on them, we are playing on Twitter or Facebook, “chatting” with a friend or catching up on a bit of work before going to sleep.  It is almost a ridiculous thought to make it a rule to limit screen time before bed these days.  If it is an impossibility for you, try dimming the screen, creating a low light effect to enhance preparation for sleep.

Take a Power Nap in a Sunny Spot

Ever notice how your dog will find the spot in the house where the sun is shining through the window creating a nice cozy warm sleeping zone?  Sleep is sleep is sleep and especially if you are lacking enough sleep at night by all means go for the power nap during the day.  Find a cozy warm spot, curl up, catch a few refreshing zz’s just like your dog, and go back to a productive day.

Get Out and Exercise

Most exercise should be done in the morning or afternoon.  Don’t get your heart racing just before you plan on shutting it all down for sleep.  Dogs love the chance to run around and stretch it out first thing in the morning, regardless of the weather, time of year, or lack of coffee.  Head out the door with your dog first thing in the morning to set your day off to a better start.  Numerous studies conclude exercise induces good sleep habits.

Get Enough Sunlight

Dogs typically don’t understand the odd hours we humans have started keeping.  Staying up later and later into the night is becoming normal.  Before we had such great late night television shows available people went to sleep closer to sunset and awoke at sunrise.

Dogs seems to maintain this routine better than people now days.  It may have something to do with the fact that dogs usually get the appropriate amount of sunlight.  There is a real advantage to having to go outside to go to the bathroom!  On any account, getting sunlight every day can help with your sleep cycles so make sure to get outside and soak up some real daylight.

 

 

A Comfortable Bed

Dogs sleep in many positions.  Most dogs have a little ritual before laying down.  Fluff up the bed, turn around three times and curl up in a nice warm little ball.  Once in a deep sleep you’ll see dogs roll over on their back completely stretched out.  Comfortable.  Asleep.  Set your sleeping space up so it is comfortable and dark, with room to curl up and stretch out in your best slumbering moments.

Think of it as your den.  Take the time to slow down and get away from the computer, the phone, TV and the hustle bustle of the world.  Take a rest in your own comfy den and come out refreshed and ready to wag.

Jt Clough is a professional dog trainer and writes at  www.DogTrainingSanDiego.com Creating a balanced life with calm dog training techniques through her long time commitment to health and fitness, Clough a finisher of 9 Ironmans, and creator of dog running programs inspires people by introducing playtime in life through the eyes of a dog.

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  • http://sidsavara.com Sid Savara

    Don’t forget scratching behind the ears and a belly rub!

    I’ve noticed exercise makes a huge difference for me. I think part of it is also just the fact that I can get out there and work through frustrations, or just run and daydream and get inspired.

    Or it could just be that it tires me out ;)

    • JT Clough

      Oh yeah, scratching behind the ears and a belly rub… what a great idea. Will certainly add that one to the list!

      It is amazing how exercising clears the mind. Many get confused in the self argument of getting out there to start with. Once through that the mind actually does let go of all the “chatter”.

      Thanks for the encouragement by commenting and letting others know exercise really does make a difference. :)

  • http://www.sytropin.com/ HGH

    A stress free mind is necessary for good sleep. Practicing stree control techniques will helps a lot.

    Kate

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  • Kunna

    well sleeping is one of the main things we envy the dogs for….as said in the article exercising in morning helps in sleeping a lot better at night. also getting a lot of sunshine helps….

    Also drinking a glass of milk with 2 table spoons of honey just before bed can help u get really awesome sleep. this one is a pretty gud tip which most of the ayurvedic docs recomend…

  • http://thetruthofsmallsteps.com Jim Greenwood

    I’ve noticed charlie our five year old goldendoodle loves to chase balls (I guess this is exercise or hunting) and squirrels (definitely hunting). He also loves to be around people and bark at other dogs that walk by. I’m not sure this is why he sleeps well but he certainly does. Perhaps I’ll start chasing squirrels before bed. Sleep tight and thanks for the post. Jim

  • http://www.timelessinformation.com Armen Shirvanian

    Hi JT.

    That is true about getting enough sunlight during the day. It is an important thing that some don’t end up doing, and then their day is a bit awkward compared to what it could be. Sunlight is a necessary part of our day. Feeling it gives us a sense of well-being that we can’t get otherwise.

    These things sound simple, but many don’t do them.

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com Farouk

    thanks for the advice JT, should i dim the laptop’s light all day or just before sleeping?

    • JT Clough

      Dimming your laptop light during the evening hours before going to bed will help to set the “low light” mood into motion, preparing you for sleep.

      During the day light is important to stay alert. As well, you eyes may feel strained by using low light settings on your laptop all day.

      Sleep well.

  • http://enlightr.com Craig Thomas

    Nice post. Also, nice tip with the sunshine – I’ll have to try that out.

    • JT Clough

      Sunshine is an amazing thing!

      I plan to take take my dogs out around when I can get the most sun time :)

  • http://SilverClipboard.com/ Wellington Grey

    A little ‘personal time’ with the spouse dosen’t hurt either ; )

  • moyi

    Frankly speaking, it is not practical enough. :)

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  • http://www.hgh.org/ HGH

    Avoiding Caffeine and Sugar to Fall Asleep!

    Sugary foods, such as chocolate or soda as well as drinks that are high in caffeine, like coffee, can push the body into an energetic state. Although this may not affect everyone, those people who need help sleeping or falling asleep can avoid caffeine and sugar as a method to help them fall asleep.

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    u filthy animal

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