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The Crushing Pressure of Existence Keeps Your Dog Awake at Night Too, Study Finds

No word yet on whether or not they're worried about saying "you too" to a waiter who said, "Enjoy your meal."

by Issy Beech
Oct 25 2017, 5:20pm

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This article originally appeared on VICE Australia.

Ever lay awake late at night, eyes wide open in the pitch-black dark, wondering if Maddy in sales really meant "nothing" by "I like your shirt, I almost bought it myself," or if she actually meant what she absolutely did mean, which is "fuck you, idiot, that shirt is horrible, why did you even get out of bed today?" Of course you do. You're human. Worrying before, during, and just after sleep is what we do.

Turns out it's not exclusive to us, though: Much like humans, it would appear dogs are also kept awake at night by their worries.

A recent Hungarian study published by the Royal Society scientific journal showed that dogs experience disturbed sleep patterns when stressed. That's right, planet Earth. Your beloved puppies and doggies are worried, and they can't sleep, and there's nothing you can do about it.

The study measured the sleep experiences of dogs who were exposed to either positive or negative emotional experiences pre-sleep, like being affectionately touched by their owners, or approached by an intimidating stranger. The results showed dogs who were exposed to positive experiences had a deeper and more consistent sleep, while dogs who were stressed before sleep were prone to waking up, staying in REM sleep, and generally having a shitty night's sleep.

Interestingly, though, on average dogs who had negative experiences pre-sleep were quicker to actually fall asleep than other dogs, which scientists say is very much in line with human behavior. Like how you often desperately want to power the fuck off at the end of a terrible day and just shut your physical self off.

So there you have it. First we learn dogs don't like hugs, then we're not allowed to sleep next to them in bed (actually fair), and now dogs are stressed at night.

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