As beautiful and enchanting as your Labrador puppy might be, they can be exhausting in the first couple of months. Labrador pups don’t understand your need for nighttime sleep and may wake you often for attention or bathroom needs.
On average, it takes a lab puppy 16 weeks to sleep through the hight. Before this age, your Labrador might not be physically ready to sleep to your schedule. Once they are 16 weeks, they should sleep 6-10 hours at night.
Labrador puppies are the sweetest creatures and will adapt to your sleeping schedule over time.
There are specific ways that you can help your puppy understand nighttime rules and adjust to your schedule more easily.
If you wonder why your pup sleeps so much but not when you want to sleep and how you can train them to sleep your hours, please read on.
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Why Do Labrador Puppies Sleep So Much?
Your Labrador puppy might be a dynamo when they are awake and then fall into a deep sleep in the middle of the action, like a magic trick.
Sleep is an essential part of your puppy’s neurological and physiological development and allows them to recoup the energy they spent exploring the world.
Sleep plays a vital function in several ways in your Labrador pup’s development, and this includes:
- Development of the central nervous system
- Physical growth
- Building up a healthy immunity
- Muscle development
- Release of hormones essential for proper growth.
REM and Your Puppy
Much like human babies, your Labrador puppy will spend between 18-20 hours sleeping, and the rest causing mischief and delightful mayhem.
Like people, your pup experiences REM or Rapid Eye Movement, which is essential for brain processes such as learning and processing daily experiences.
Your puppy’s sleep provides the downtime to divert energy into their development and allows them to rest between growth spurts.
Unlike humans, your labrador pup has a polyphasic sleep pattern meaning that they sleep multiple times in a 24hr cycle.
Puppies that have more activity before their nighttime sleep tend to move from a drowsy state to REM quicker.
During your puppy’s REM sleep, there is high brain activity, and you may see them twitch and make small sounds that indicate a dream state.
Experts in this field believe that dogs use REM to consolidate their memories and need REM to retain their learned skills.
This learning is also essential when teaching your labrador puppy routines such as sleeping through the night.
How Long Do Labrador Puppies Sleep at Night?
Your Labrador puppy will initially only sleep a maximum of three hours, as their tiny bladders are not fully developed yet.
Expect to be woken once or twice in the early hours for your puppy to use the bathroom.
It may be an idea to set your clock for two to three-hour intervals so that you can allow your puppy to go to the bathroom without getting into the habit of walking you for bathroom needs.
Alternatively, ensure that you provide an area to sleep and a covered area for your pup to do its business where they won’t end up lying in a mess.
Your Labrador puppy should be sleeping through the night or roughly 6-10 hours by the time they reach the age of 4 months.
Before this age, your Labrador might not have developed the necessary skills and physiological development for a full night’s sleep.
What Time Should Your Labrador Puppy Go to Bed?
It is essential to teach your Labrador puppy to learn your sleeping routines and sleep when you do at night.
However, you should be in no hurry because your puppy needs time to learn how to match their sleeping patterns to your own.
Establish a routine where you put your pup to sleep at the same time and place.
Some owners prefer to train their Labrador puppies to sleep in a crate when they are eight weeks.
Although it makes logical sense, some may see this as a bit extreme. Labrador puppies thrive on human contact and need contact to transition from their separation from siblings and their mother.
It would be best if you kept the puppy nearby in your room (unless you aim to let them share your bed as adults).
This way, you can be attentive to their needs and let them out to do their business. Little labs don’t have the power to hold in their waste, so they may wake and need the bathroom during the night.
Preparing Your Labrador Puppy for a Sleep Schedule
Puppies also need to sleep during the day and often drop off mid-stride after energetic play.
Once they wake, they are refreshed and ready to cause mischief once more. These day naps can last anywhere from thirty minutes to a couple of hours.
Daytime sleep is as essential as nighttime rest, and you should try not to disturb or move them unless it is to make them more comfortable.
Don’t let your puppy sleep before bedtime, as they will then be prone to waking during the night.
Keep them entertained with playtime and attention before you intend to sleep yourself.
Don’t let your puppy drink or eat for an hour or so before bedtime, as they will be less inclined to wake for potty during the night.
Take your potty breaks seriously during your pup’s nighttime bathroom calls, and don’t engage in play or fuss with them too much.
They need to learn that nighttime is not for play but for sleep. Puppies are like babies and need to learn to understand the world around them.
Preparing Your Puppy’s Sleeping Area
There is a fierce debate about whether a puppy should sleep in your bed. I am a firm believer in dogs that share my life, share my bed.
However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Dogs in the bed may be contentious, but it seems the benefits may be reciprocal as studies show that humans sleep better with a dog in their bed.
Whether a crate or a bed is your preference, you should consider these tips when readying your pup to follow a nighttime sleep schedule:
- Designate a sleeping area. Whether you chose a puppy bed or a crate, you should try and make the sleeping area as comfortable as possible for your puppy. You should explain to children or others in your space that the puppy should not be disturbed when they are in their sleeping area.
- Make the area a calm and positive space. Allow your puppy to familiarize itself with the sleeping area or bed and reward your pup with treats so that they associate the area with positive experiences.
- Set a waking and sleeping schedule. Puppies soon learn human waking and sleeping times, and you should stick to an established time for morning waking and nighttime sleep.
- Encourage day naps in the sleeping area. After play and exercise, introduce your pup to the sleeping area for daytime naps, so they associate the area with quiet time. Keep the area quiet and dim. If your puppy is in your room, turn off brighter lighting and turn down your television volume if applicable. If you choose a crate, throw a light cover over it to make a safe nest for your pup.
- Don’t give into nighttime demands. Make sure your puppy has a chance to use its toilet and has plenty of love and mental/physical stimulation before settling down. Set a routine that nighttime is not for play and Reward your pup with treats when they go into their crate or sleeping space.
Where Do Labradors Like To Sleep?
Even adult labradors thrive on close physical contact with their owners and love nothing better than a cuddle.
Labrador puppies crave physical contact even more so and love nothing better than being close to their human parents.
However, if you don’t intend your Labrador to share your bed, you should train them from puppies to sleep in their own space.
Should I Let My Puppy Sleep With Me?
However cuddly they are as pups, Labradors will grow on average to 29–36 kg (65–80 lb) for males and females 25–32 kg (55–70 lb).
They are a medium-large breed, and I can vouch for the fact that they take up quite a bit of space on the bed.
They also love anything muddy and wet and often drag soggy treats onto the pillows for fun.
I take the bad with the good and can’t sleep without my Bella next to me with her gentle snores.
And noises from the other end. However, you may opt for a dog bed nearby your sleeping space as a more spacious option while staying in close contact with your dog.
If crates are your option, then it’s best to train your pup early, however heartbreaking that must be.
Be consistent in your choices, and don’t decide to move your pup when they get bigger because chances are it will confuse your pet, and it is unfair.
As tempting as it is when your Labrador is a ball of fluffy cuteness, don’t allow your puppy in your bed unless you intend to allow them as adults.
It seems strange that a Labrador puppy that sleeps on average 18 hours a day can still consistently wake you in the wee hours.
Your furry Labrador pup will steal your heart and possibly a month or two of unbroken sleep at the same time.
Consistency is key to giving your Labrador the time to learn and develop enough to understand the need for nighttime sleep.
With the right training and patience, your pup will be sleeping the same hours as you in no time at all.
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