Most of us have witnessed our dogs trying to run a race while they're sleeping. Like us, dogs dream, and like us, they need good sleep to be healthy and happy. Here we look at dogs and sleep.

How much do you know about dogs and sleep?

Dream on!

Did you know that humans and dogs dream almost the same way? Dogs, just like us, go through different stages of sleep. Dreams happen during the stage of sleep known as REM sleep.

Scientists have proved that the frequency and duration of dreams in dogs depend on their size. For example, big dogs can dream for five minutes every 45 minutes while smaller dogs will dream for only 60 seconds but every at 10 minute intervals. If you want to watch your dog when they sleep, the first dreams generally begin about 20 minutes after they fall asleep.

Tomorrow is a new day

Sleeping is an important part of your dog's life and a means to help your dog develop; through sleep, your dog can organise memories and retain what they see and experience each day. The better your dog sleeps, the better they will learn.

Puppies can sleep up to 90% of the day. This rate decreases as they grow up and the learning curve is reduced. Adult dogs sleep about 65% of the day.

Did you know that the best time for a dog to sleep is between 1pm and 5am? Naps are also really important. With naps, dogs can split their sleeping needs and rejuvenate at will, balancing the demands of their days.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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    Louise D My dog has the best dreams after agility training. She moves her legs as if she is still jumping and barks with her mouth closed so it's really quiet. I think it's so sweet - much more endearing than my husband's snoring...