We all have wondered it. We’ve all seen it. Our pets love to sleep and at some point or the other they have moved, ran, barked and many other things while they sleep. So what’s going on in our furry friends brains? It seems like a whole lot.
People Magazine talked to Dr. Deirdre Barrett, aka a teacher and a Clinical and Evolutionary Psychologist at Harvard Medical School. So it’s safe to say if anyone knows about our pets dreams, it’s her.
“Anything about what animals dream, or even if they dream, is speculative. The only two animals even suggested to have ever told their dreams to a human are the signing gorillas Koko and Michael. Researcher Penny Patterson reports that Koko occasionally signs about fantastic events, people and places she has not seen recently only upon awakening. Michael, who is known to have been captured when poachers killed his entire family, sometimes wakes up and signs “Bad people kill gorillas.”
“What we do know for sure is that most mammals have a similar sleep cycle to humans, going into a deep sleep stage, in which the brain is much less active, and then into periods of activity called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, in which dreams occur for humans. That certainly makes it the best guess that other mammals are dreaming, too.”
If you ask my super unscientific opinion, I’d have to say that my dog definitely dreams. He yip, runs, barks and snarls and I live in an apartment. He also falls asleep after longingly looking out the window at all the squirrels he wants to chase.
What she said next specifically about your dog will make you love them even more!
“Since dogs are generally extremely attached to their human owners, it’s likely your dog is dreaming of your face, your smell and of pleasing or annoying you.”
OMG! We are what they dream about?! I want all the dogs now!
So now that we know about “Man’s Best Friend” what about…well cats? Barrett goes on to say:
“We actually know more about cats dreams, because one of the earliest sleep researchers, Michel Jouvet, destroyed the tiny area in cat brains that inhibits movements during REM sleep. Cats lay quietly through the other stages of sleep, and when REM began, they leapt up, stalked, pounced, arched their backs and hissed.”
Sounds very cat-like to me. Instead of thinking about how lovely we are they are plotting our demises.
Alright so can we maybe enhance our pet’s dreams? Of course there is! Barrett concludes with:
“The best way to give ourselves or our children better dreams is to have happy daytime experiences and to get plenty of sleep in a safe and comfortable environment. It’s a good bet this is also best for pets’ dreams.”
Alright guys can you do that?! I mean if you know that they are going to be dreaming about the fun you just had, why wouldn’t you?!