When I first got my Beagle, Chad, he slept nearly 18 hours a day. The rest of the time, he was full of energy, and it was hard to keep up with him. He would often sleep in bursts, a few hours at a time. I was curious as to why so I began looking into it.
How much sleep does a Beagle need?
A beagle puppy needs 16-20 hours of sleep every day, while an Adult Beagle needs 12-14 hours per day. A senior Beagle may require up to 18 hours of sleep per day. Beagles sleep through the night and in short bursts during the day.
Adult Beagles usually sleep through the night. They spend around half the day sleeping and half of the day being awake. Just because they’re awake doesn’t mean they’re always active, as Beagles love to lounge and relax.
Why do beagles sleep so much?
Beagles are wired to be predators and protectors of their pack. They tend to sleep in short bursts instead of sleeping all at once. They enter REM sleep, the deep sleep required for dreaming, in just 10 minutes. Humans enter REM sleep after 90 minutes.
Beagles are wired to be more alert. They will wake up more frequently than humans and wake up more often.
Scientists believe that dogs need more sleep than humans to get the proper REM sleep or deep sleep.
How many hours a day does a beagle sleep?
8 hours per day, according to a study done by North Carolina State University. The majority of the dogs had two consistent periods in which they slept during the day. The first period was between 8 am to 10 am. The second was longer and between 5 pm to 11 pm. This doesn’t include night hours.
How To Get a Beagle to Sleep at Night
If your Beagle doesn’t sleep through the night, rest assured, he will once you figure out the cause and find a solution.
It’s important to be consistent with something before you decide whether it’s helping or not. I’ve listed some things you can try below, but first, you should rule out any health conditions.
I share my story of how I got my beagle to sleep at the end of this post.
Tip # 1 Diagnose The Problem
You need to know why your Beagle isn’t sleeping before you can help him. If the Beagle is still a pup, then there is a good chance he will grow out of this, but even so, it’s better to be careful.
Try to find out what is preventing him from sleeping.
Ask yourself questions like this:
- Is he itching and scratching so much that he can’t sleep?
- Does he seem like he is in pain? (Dogs are masters at hiding this)
- Is it too much excitement before bed?
- Is he still adjusting to a new environment?
There are many things that could be preventing your Beagle from sleeping through the night. It’s helpful to know what the cause is so you can treat it.
Tip #2 Let Your Beagle Sleep in Your Bed
As I share in my story towards the end of this post, my Beagle couldn’t sleep through the night, and letting him sleep in my bed solved the problem. He slept great after that.
I understand that not everyone wants a dog in their bed, but according to Canisius College, most dog owners do!
They found 70% of dog owners co-sleep with their dogs in the bed. That doesn’t surprise me, as Beagles really are cuddle monsters!
Tip #3 Follow a Sleep Schedule
Beagles thrive when they are in structured, disciplined environments. They are pack animals and do best when their owners provide routine for them.
Putting your dog to bed at the same time each night, and waking him up at the same time each morning, will help him adjust to your sleep schedule.
It will go a long way in getting your Beagle sleep through the night if he has consistency.
Keeping your Beagle on a sleep schedule will adjust his circadian rhythm too.
Our circadian rhythm adjusts when we get sunlight during the day and are in a dark environment when the sun is down. It’s similar in dogs.
You might find that your dog does best if he’s able to relax with you 30 minutes before bedtime, as well.
Tip #4 Feed Him Earlier
Does your Beagle wake up to poop at night? Try to feed him earlier and give him more time to digest his food before bed.
It doesn’t take a Beagle long to digest food. They have to eliminate, sometimes as soon as 20 minutes after eating, but it’s different for each Beagle.
If he is waking up to poop at night, make sure the food you are giving him is not making him constipated.
Ensure that he is fed dinner earlier in the evening to prevent him from waking up at night to poop.
Tip #5 Withold Water at Night
If your Beagle is waking up at night to pee, then you can withhold his water an hour before bedtime.
Adult and older Beagles will benefit from this the most. Puppies might, too, but it depends on their age, as they don’t have bladder control, to begin with.
Start by limiting the intake of your Beagles water one hour before bedtime.
If you create a routine, you can feed and exercise him beforehand, which will make him thirsty, then give him one last big drink before taking it away.
Just make sure to take him out one last time before bed.
Tip #6 Take Him For a Walk Before Bed
My Beagle loves walks. A good 15-30 minute walk is usually enough to exhaust him at the end of the day. He is almost always ready to pass out after one.
If you create a schedule and a routine, you can include this. You could feed your dog early in the evening and then take him for a walk 30 minutes before bed.
If you do this consistently, he will associate his evening walk with sleep and be ready for bed when it’s done.
Tip #7 Limit Play Before Bed
While a walk might calm your Beagle down, roughhousing and playing with him might excite him too much.
If he becomes overly excited too close to bedtime, then he might have trouble winding down when it’s time to go to bed.
Tip #8 Try Crate Training
Beagles are a social breed. They usually don’t like being alone. They’re pack animals, and dogs are never alone in the natural. Beagles want to be with their family all of the time.
That’s not always possible, though, and giving your Beagle a place that belongs to him, and makes him feel secure, can go a long way.
The catch is you have to train him to use it. Many Beagles won’t naturally want to be inside one.
When you crate train, you want to create a positive experience for your Beagle.
You don’t ever want to use it for punishment. You should think of it as your Beagle’ss “happy place.”
Crates with walls or barred crates with blankets on the sides can create a feeling of protection and security.
Use positive reinforcement in training, like giving him treats in his crate, and leave the door open most of the time.
He should associate positive things with his crate.
If you start putting him in the crate at bedtime, he will learn to fall asleep overtime when he’s in there. As long as you keep a consistent schedule and routine.
Tip #9 Create a Soothing Environment
Wherever your beagle sleeps, try to create a soothing environment. The lights should be off or dimmed, and it should be a quiet area in the house.
You can even play soft instrumental music or a white noise machine.
Create a room or area of the house that is a place of relaxation for your beagle before bedtime.
Tip #10 Ignore Barking & Whining
If your Beagle is barking or whining during the night because he wants your attention, you can try ignoring him.
Many people give in to their dog’s demands when they whine or cry. This reinforces the bad behavior and makes the problem worse. It can cause your dog to bark more because he’s learned that it gets your attention.
As long as your Beagle isn’t barking for a valid reason like he needs to use the bathroom, then start ignoring him.
Eventually, he will stop barking when he sees that no one is paying attention to him, and then he will fall asleep on his own.
You might have to do this for a while before he learns.
Tip #11 Try a Calming Supplement
Many natural herbs and supplements work on humans and dogs alike. Some have been tested and are backed by research, and others aren’t.
Supplements have always been controversial, and I’m sure there are differing opinions. I am providing this list of supplements dog owners have been known to use. Still, I have no personal experience giving them to my dog.
Speak to your vet before giving anything to your dog. Don’t assume that you can give human supplements to dogs either. Talk with your vet and get his recommendations.
Melatonin is a hormone in the body that helps regulate sleep cycles. It’s produced when our eyes are exposed to sunlight. Melatonin supplements help humans sleep through the night and may also help dogs, but no research backs this up yet.
L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes relaxation. It’s found in and extracted from tea leaves. This is a popular supplement for humans and is also being used in certain dog supplements.
Valerian root is known for the calming and drowsy effect that it produces. It’s used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and certain seizure disorders in humans.
It’s a popular supplement for humans and is considered safe for dogs to take. Still, there are some risks associated with it you can read about here.
Sleep Disorders in Beagles
Sleep disorders in Beagles are very rare, and you should not automatically assume your Beagle has one if he cannot sleep through the night.
There are specific sleep conditions that can interfere with a dog’s sleep.
The most common ones are insomnia, narcolepsy, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, and sleep breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea.
Just because they are “the most common” does not mean they are “common.”
It is very rare for a Beagle to have any of these conditions, especially insomnia.
They are actual disorders and not something you should assume your Beagle has without speaking to a veterinarian that understands how to diagnose and treat.
Insomnia in Beagles
Insomnia is almost always caused by an underlying health condition and is rare on its own.
So if your Beagle has insomnia, there is likely a medical reason for it that you and your vet can identify.
For example, suppose your Beagle has arthritis (or something else that causes pain), and you aren’t aware of it yet. In that case, it could be preventing him from getting good sleep.
Another common cause of insomnia is excessive itching and scratching, which could sign a skin condition.
Talk to your vet if you suspect your dog could have a health condition.
Insomnia, on its own, is not usually what prevents Beagles from sleeping through the night.
Sleepwalking in Beagles
Yes, dogs can sleepwalk!
The disorder is called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.
It can cause them to physically act out their dreams. They don’t have to be walking or standing for them to experience an episode.
Episodes can involve biting or lashing out at people or objects.
Suppose you notice this happening with your Beagle. In that case, it’s usually safe to gently wake him up when he’s having an episode.
My Beagle had episodes, but they weren’t frequent, and I’d place my hand on his head and gently wake him up, and it worked.
Narcolepsy in Beagles
Narcolepsy s a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system.
It causes a dog to suddenly fall asleep during the day and sometimes even collapse.
This often happens while the dog is doing something active. It’s easier to tell as it will occur during the day.
It can interfere with nighttime sleep patterns too.
Sleep Apnea in Beagles
Can Beagles have sleep apnea? Yes! They can have sleep apnea and other sleep-breathing disorders. It’s similar to sleep apnea in humans and can cause the dog to wake up multiple times at night gasping for air.
What happens with sleep apnea is the throat muscles become so relaxed that it prevents oxygen from flowing to the lungs. The most common symptom is loud snoring and gasping for air.
Beagles are known for snoring, so don’t think that just because your Beagle snores, he has sleep apnea.
If you notice a drop in energy during the day and that he wakes up gasping for air, then that could be a sign, and you should consult your vet.
Anxiety Induced Insomnia
If your Beagle has anxiety, it could be preventing him from sleeping through the night.
Beagles can become anxious for various reasons, especially if they are in a new home or environment.
You can do some things to help your Beagle become calm before bed, such as taking him on a walk beforehand or letting him sleep in his favorite family member’s room.
How I Got My Beagle To Sleep
When I first brought my beagle, Chad, home from the shelter as a pup, he could not sleep through the night the first week.
He had a case of diarrhea, but the shelter vet assured us he would be fine.
When I brought him home, it was minimal the first few days, and I was getting up 2 or 3 times per night to let him outside.
After he was with me for a week, this number increased, and I had to let him out over a dozen times.
It was apparent that something was wrong, so I took him to an emergency veterinary clinic in the middle of the night.
He was severely dehydrated since all of the water he was drinking was going right through him.
The shelter vet was wrong. The emergency vet kept him overnight and put him on an IV to hydrate him.
Once we brought him home, he was feeling better. He still had some problems sleeping through the night, even after the Diarrhea was gone. I resolved this by letting him sleep on my bed.
This was many years ago, and at the time, I didn’t know much about Beagles.
It was clear that spending time in the shelter, and wherever he was before that experience, had traumatized him.
He would tremble when I left him alone in his crate.
One night I decided to let him sleep in my bed. He was still very young at this point, but I held him in my arms until he fell asleep.
From that point on, he started sleeping through the night.
He just needed comfort and to know that I was there.
Beagles are pack animals, after all, and are known to develop strong bonds with their owners.
In my Beagle case, I was able to get him to sleep at night by letting him sleep in my bed. His sleep became normal.
How I Got My Beagle To Sleep On His Own
After two years of letting him sleep on my bed with me, I decided to train him to sleep on a dog bed on the floor.
He’d kick me in his sleep often, and I was tired of it waking me up.
It took a few days, but eventually, he got used to not sleeping on my bed and started to prefer his own bed.
Why do beagles snore?
Beagles have unique vocal cords when compared to other dogs. The sounds they produce, such a “baying, or “howling,” are examples of this. Snoring is normal in beagles and is caused by the throat muscles becoming relaxed during sleep. When air is inhaled, it makes the snoring sound you hear.
Snoring can also be from sleep apnea, which I wrote a bit about in the Sleep Disorder section above.
Do Beagles Dream?
Yes, Beagles dream! They enter REM sleep, the sleep required for dreams, in only 10 minutes. It takes humans 90 minutes to get that deep into sleep. So, they dream quite a lot. They can even act out their dreams and sleepwalk! That condition is called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, and I explained it in the Sleep Disorder section above.
Why do beagles sleep under the covers?
It makes Beagles feel safe and secure. Beagles are pack animals and are wired to sleep with their pack family. A blanket provides a feeling of security. They even sell “security blankets” for dogs and humans to relieve anxiety. Blankets offer comfort to them.
Hopefully, I successfully explained how much sleep Beagles need and why they sleep so much. If you have any other questions, please ask in the comments section.