Dogs are the same. When they are at home as opposed to an unfamiliar location, they are much more relaxed and their sleeping habits shift. Researchers in Hungary wanted to know if wolves’ sleep patterns were affected by living in a protected environment, so they set out to find out. They discovered some notable variations.
In non-invasive comparative and translational cognitive neuroscience, including sleep research, dogs have emerged as a key model animal, says study author Vivien Reicher, a Ph.D. candidate at the Ethology Department of Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, according to Treehugger.
Comparing dogs’ sleep patterns to those of wolves, the dog’s closest wild relative, provides a unique opportunity to better understand the effects of domestication and cohabitation with humans on sleep phenotypes and physiology. This is because dogs and humans have a shared evolutionary history and social environment.
The researchers add that because sleep is influenced by a variety of factors, such as physiological requirements and evolutionary history, it may differ between species.
Animal sleep research, according to Reicher, “helps us better understand the core and more species-specific functions of sleep and the factors impacting them.”