How long do puppies sleep?

Written by Napo HQ
Reviewed by Dr Sarah Elliott
29th Jan 2024
5 mins read
terrier sleeping on a sofa
Summary
How long puppies sleep depends on their age, with younger puppies sleeping more. Your pup should sleep between 12-20 hours a day, in multiple naps. Don't expect them to sleep for very long, they will need to wake up to go to the toilet!
Puppies and their sleeping habits can be challenging when you become a puppy parent. On the one hand, you and pup are having sleepless nights. (Don't worry, it is frustrating but normal!) On the other hand, your puppy sleeps a lot in the day, sometimes dropping to sleep in the middle of playing! That's normal too. Although if you've not had a puppy before, it can be easy to worry that your pup is sleeping too much, or not enough, and what it might mean.
Luckily, the short answer is that your puppy is probably getting enough sleep. As long as you're not waking them up to play! We'll talk through how long puppies sleep, how much sleep they need, and what to expect in the first few days together.

Do puppies sleep a lot?

Yes, puppies do sleep a lot, and that's totally normal. It's because their bodies and brains are growing, which happens mostly while they sleep. This growth needs a lot of energy, and sleep helps your pup recharge their bodies and brains. Sleeping also helps their brain to consolidate the new experiences they have.
Plus, being a puppy takes a lot of energy! Most of their awake time is spent playing, learning, and exploring the world. Sleep helps them to recharge after all their adventures. Sometimes, you might even notice them suddenly taking a little nap when they'd been in the middle of playing. Again, that's normal! They just need a power nap to recharge.

How long do puppies sleep?

On average, a puppy can sleep around 12 to 20 hours every day, depending on their age. This might sound like a lot, but it's because they are growing quickly. Puppies need this much sleep to stay healthy and develop properly. Younger puppies tend to need more sleep than older ones.
A puppy sleeping a lot during the day is normal because they’re using energy when they're awake and need to recharge. So, if your puppy seems to be sleeping a lot, don't worry. It's just part of their natural way of growing up. Just like how we need good sleep to feel our best, puppies need it too to become healthy and happy dogs.

How long do puppies sleep at night?

Unlike grown-up dogs, puppies don't sleep in one long go and young puppies often cannot sleep the whole night. Young puppies of around 8 weeks might only sleep up to 2 hours at a time. This is because they need to go to the toilet every 2 hours. So even though puppies need at least 12 hours of sleep, they won't sleep that long in one go. Instead, they will sleep for a few minutes to a few hours at a time.

When will my puppy sleep through the night?

Your puppy will probably not sleep through the night for a few weeks. Many puppies can sleep through the night when they are 4 to 6 months old and are starting to become
toilet trained
. This is because it's about this time their bladder becomes big and strong enough to go all night without needing the toilet.
When you first bring your puppy home, they might not sleep much at night while they adjust to their new home and being without their mum and littermates. But, the biggest reason puppies won't sleep through the night is because they need the toilet. Much like a human baby!
Typically by 4 to 6 months, many puppies can sleep through the night without needing a bathroom break. But some puppies may take a bit longer to develop this ability.
No matter how long your puppy sleeps, it's important to keep a consistent nighttime routine for them. This helps them know when it’s time for bed and to start settling down for the night. If your pup is crying and struggling to settle at night, you can check out our guide on
what to do if your puppy is crying at night
.

How much sleep do puppies need?

How much sleep your puppy needs depends on how old they are, their breed, and their personality. At around 8 weeks old, your puppy will need up to 20 hours of sleep a day. This is super important because it
helps them grow
. So avoid waking them up If they're napping. Sleep is when they release growth hormones that help their brain, muscles, and bones grow.
Helping your pup get good quality sleep is important for their behavioural development too. When they’re asleep, their brain is developing and adapting to everything they’re learning. Lack of sleep at this vulnerable age can lead to behavioural problems later in life.
As puppies get older, they’ll sleep less but they’ll still need more sleep than grown-up dogs. By 16 weeks old, most puppies will need 12 hours sleep a day. At 12 months old, most puppies need just under 11 hours of sleep a day.

Should a puppy sleep in your room?

Whether your puppy sleeps in your room or not is up to you. However, wherever you choose for your puppy to sleep you must bear in mind that'll probably be where they sleep for the rest of their life.
It’s best to create a sleep space for your pup where they’ll continue to sleep as adults.
Crate training
can be helpful here, as it helps to teach your pup they have a dedicated space to settle down.
When crate training, you can let your puppy sleep in their crate in your room. Then as they gradually become more comfortable with being apart from you, you can gradually move the crate further from your room and to where you'd like them to sleep. This way the sleep space, their crate, still stays the same. Here's
our crate training guide
if you'd like more info.

Recap: How long do puppies sleep

How long puppies sleep depends on their age, but it will be between 12 to 20 hours a day. They need to sleep a lot to support
their growth
.
Support your pup’s sleep and development with a cosy, dedicated sleep space and let them rest undisturbed. As your puppy grows, they’ll sleep less and sleep better through the night. With patience and time, you’ll both be counting sheep for a good night’s rest.
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