I believe a restful sleep is essential for human and animal health and happiness. My cat Soleil Jus Soleil can attest to this statement. She can sleep through anything and on almost any surface. Just as soon as she wakes, eats and goes potty, she’s back in her lair dreaming of dropped ahi tuna and leftover sushi rolls. On average, she and many other cats like her sleep and doze between 15 to 20 hours a day. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least seven hours each night to promote optimal health and wellbeing.
Soleil’s restful moments energize her for her thrilling kitty hunts consisting of terrorizing the household in the wee hours of the night. Watching her languorous lifestyle has inspired me to establish better sleeping habits which have led to increased happiness and productivity.
After doing a little research, I found that Soleil’s sleeping habits, very closely resemble the habits mentioned in the article, “Are You Getting Enough Sleep?” on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
All of these habits lead Soleil to a blissful night’s sleep filled with sweet kitty dreams.
I’ve witnessed Soleil kneading her paws and twitching her whiskers while sleeping, which I, like many other fur parents, interpreted as dreaming. A recent article on sleep published by the National Sleep Foundation, found animals and humans are very similar when it comes to sleep. “[Mammals] all have the same fundamental sleep cycle. During REM sleep, you see the same kind of eye movement, paralysis and twitching across species”, says Adrian Morrison, DVM, PhD, professor Behavior Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Center.
If we ever truly wish to know if our pets dream, I feel we should just ask. Until then, I’ll keep watching silently with loving eyes and leave you with my favorite quote from Victor Hugo: “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” I wish you Sweet Dreams.
Dr. Jasmine Streeter writes about pets, lifestyle and nature. You can email her at [email protected].