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simone54's avatar

Do dogs become paralyzed during REM sleep?

Asked by simone54 (7562 points ) July 21st, 2009

I watched my buddy’s dog sleep one time. The doggy was laying down and he started moving his legs and making funny noises. His owner said that he having a dream about chasing his ball. I thought that was awesome!

The other day I learned in my psychology class that when humans go into REM sleep (where dreaming occurs) they become paralyzed. This might be do protect people from physically acting out there dreams. In addition to that, I learned sleepwalking/sleeptalking happens in sleep Stage 4 not REM.

If this is same for canines. It means the dog is not dreaming of chasing his ball and my friend is wrong.

What do you think?

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11 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Why was this particular dog necessarily in REM sleep?
i thought you always did the tags them that way? ;-p

simone54's avatar

I don’t know if it was. According to my friend he having a dream about chasing his ball. If he were dreaming, it would have to be in REM.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

most animals experience REM sleep in one manner or another. Though it’s interesting because a dogs memory is much different than a humans, so what it accomplishes in a dogs mind may be different from whatever it accomplishes(still don’t know yet) in a humans.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

but to answer your question, no he wasn’t dreaming, as you said most animals take on a certain paralysis during REM sleep. For instance, elephants, steer etc will go through every sleep stage standing up, but lay down for REM.

Harp's avatar

Dogs also experience paralysis of skeletal muscles during REM sleep, but it isn’t a complete paralysis. Occasionally, this firewall fails and some muscles contract.

See here

marinelife's avatar

People are not completely paralyzed either. They can move their lombs some and also speak.

DarkScribe's avatar

Have you heard of the expression “Let sleeping dogs lie”?

I don’t think that indicates a likelihood of paralysis.

CMaz's avatar

The experience paralysis during REM sleep is normal or should I say the base line.
Its purpose is to prevent us from following through with the actions of thought while in dream land.
People that walk in their sleep or worse have a disorder.

fathippo's avatar

i was wondering the same thing, because if your muscle tone is meant to go completely in rem sleep, and thats when you dream, then why do dogs move when they’re supposedly ‘dreaming’?

I was thinking about how when we’re just sleeping and seem to be in some kind of ‘dream’ we suddenly fall or something and then jerk in real life… so maybe its something like in that state…
Also there was this scientist guy who said we might actually dream in non rem sleep as well, so (i dont know about this at all so?) but maybe then your muscles still work..
it was something about dreaming more positive stuff in non rem sleep and negative dreams in rem sleep or something…

and this is nothing to with the dog thing i guess, but people can get that thing cant they when the part of your brain that makes you loose whatever it is that makes your muscles completely relaxed, so they start acting out dreams…

but i really dont know =)

marinelife's avatar

People move when they dream too.

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