Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Uh-oh. Is your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel not sleeping at night? Or maybe having a hard time sleeping?

When your furry friend’s restless activity keeps you up at night, it can be annoying and become concerning too. 

Fortunately, there are answers to this frequent issue that many dog owners encounter. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the potential causes of your Cavalier’s insomnia and offer some advice on how to get them to sleep through the night. 

Get a few helpful tips on how to get your cherished pet to calm down and sleep soundly through the night, regardless of whether it’s separation anxiety, boredom, or something else.

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How Many Hours a Day Does a Cavalier King Charles Sleep?

How Many Hours a Day Does a Cavalier King Charles Sleep?

Like all dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have various sleep needs based on their age and amount of activity. 

Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels require 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day on average.

In order to maintain good health and well-being, they must be given enough sleep each day. 

Your Cavalier could display signs including impatience, tiredness, and a reduction in appetite if they are not getting enough sleep.

I recommend talking to your veterinarian or behaviorist for a tailored approach if you have concerns about your Cavalier’s sleeping habits.

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How much do Cavalier King Charles puppies sleep?

Like other puppies, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies have a lot of energy and need a lot of sleep to support their growth and development. 

Puppies normally sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day, waking up very briefly in between. 

As they age and become more active, the number of hours will decrease.

What to do if a stray dog won’t leave your house?

Reasons Why Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Don’t Sleep At Night

Reasons Why Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Don't Sleep At Night

Compared to humans, dogs have far shorter sleep cycles, making it challenging for them to sleep for extended periods of time. In fact, dogs’ sleep cycles are polyphasic, which means that they will sleep a few times each day, rather than have one long sleep session like us.

Your dog may not be sleeping at night for a variety of reasons, including stress and anxiety, a probable medical issue, a change in surroundings, and so on.

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions and disorders, including restless leg syndrome, canine epilepsy, narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea, might cause more restlessness at night.

A Cavalier spaniel with sleep difficulties may whimper, cry, or wake up a lot at night in addition to becoming more tired during the day or looking more confused when performing ordinary tasks.

Due to the fact that sleep deprivation can cause stress hormones to accumulate, dogs with sleep disorders may also exhibit other behavioral problems, such as becoming more aggressive.

In addition, lack of sleep may weaken a dog’s immune system, increasing the likelihood of illnesses.

Aches and pains

Due to old age, arthritis, or other ailments, many dogs may experience aches and pains on a regular basis.

You may have observed that your Cavalier seems more tired and less energetic than usual if he has arthritis or other pains that are not obvious right away.

Not only will it be less active during the day but it may also struggle to sleep at night due to the discomfort.

Environmental changes

Changes in a dog’s routines or environment, such as when they move to a new residence or when their family members go on vacation, may cause sleep disturbances.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are actually quite well known for having severe separation anxiety, so you might have to think twice when going away for too long!

This behavior is also possible in situations where there is an addition of a new family member, a dog, a new pet (older dogs can regress with a new puppy), or even the death of one.

Similar to people, dogs enjoy routine, and if it is disturbed by changes, they may become anxious and have sleeplessness.

Anxiety and stress

It’s not unusual for your dog to remain up late at night wondering if they are worried about something.

They might also be misbehaving if they are unable to communicate their feelings in any other way.

This can be the result of an incident that occurred during the day, a recent vet visit, or just loud noises in the house.

If you recently moved into a new house or got your pet from an animal shelter or rescue, you might have seen this.

Lack of daytime activity

Are you ensuring that your Cavalier has enough physical and mental stimulation during the day? Is there anyone at home that can give it attention? Or are there enough toys around that can keep it entertained?

Finding activities for your dog to engage in during the day is essential if you work all day to prevent boredom and nighttime awakenings.

How Can I Get My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel To Sleep All Night?

How Can I Get My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel To Sleep All Night?

Dogs enjoy small and cozy areas as they are natural den animals.

As such, one way that dog owners try out is to let their dogs sleep on their beds (I will discuss the pros and cons later).

However, I have a few tips that you might want to try out first to encourage your Cavalier King Charles to get a good night’s sleep.

Establishing a nighttime routine

By instilling in your dog the notion that the night is for sleeping, a routine schedule will help you both get a better night’s sleep.

In the hours leading up to the night, keep food and liquid intake to a minimum.

Before you go to bed, play with him, give him a hug, and take him outside to relieve himself so that he can sleep undisturbed through the night.

Giving your dog a comfortable bed

Pick one that fits well in your room or wherever it sleeps and is soft and fluffy.

This will ensure that your dog will sleep better than if they are forced to sleep on harsh surfaces like hardwood floors.

Keep the place quiet and calm

The more peaceful your home is, the easier it will be to get a good night’s sleep.

At least an hour before going to bed, turn off all lights and electronics. 

It will be useful too if you let your family members know of what you are trying to achieve here so everyone can be on board.

If there are other pets in the house, you might want to keep them separated during bedtime.

The same is true for kids: try to limit them from being too noisy after bedtime to prevent waking up your dog when he needs to sleep the most.

If possible, keep your dog’s sleeping area cool and dark too.

Use a calming supplement

A dog with occasional restlessness or general anxiety may sleep better after taking a calming supplement at least 30 minutes before bed.

I know of many anxious dogs that find comfort in calming soft chews, which can be used as a bedtime snack and contain active ingredients like melatonin and L-tryptophan.

Plenty of exercises

Burning off extra energy is a surefire way to help your Cavalier become fatigued, especially if it’s having problems adjusting to a change in routine or from a general lack of activity.

Your dog needs a method to burn off its excess energy, and taking up a new sport, taking an extra walk each day, or engaging in fun dog walking games can all be beneficial.

Play white noise

White noise can assist in producing sufficient ambient noise to put your dog to sleep soundly and deeply.

If they were to sleep in a completely silent environment, it also helps to prevent them from being awakened by other loud noises.

You can either buy a white noise machine or simply use your mobile device for this.

Should You Let Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Sleep In Your Bed?

I don’t know about you but I know that my friend’s Cavalier loves to sleep on her head! Good or not, it depends.

Many dog owners struggle with getting their dogs to sleep all night and choose to let their dogs sleep on their beds as a solution.

While it might work well, there are some benefits and disadvantages you should be aware of.


  • Providing comfort and security, not just for your dog, but for yourself as well
  • Better mental health as a dog can help you feel less anxious and lonely, divert your attention from the symptoms of your mental illness, control your emotions, and give your life more meaning
  • Increased comfort contributes to the cozy environment that most dog owners find to be so soothing
  • Strengthen your bond with your dog by letting it know that it is part of your pack


  • Exposure to germs as they can bring in harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites
  • Lower sleep quality due to disturbances when your dog moves
  • Allergies caused by dog hair and dander
  • Dogs may develop aggressiveness as they become more protective

Ultimately, it is up to you to balance the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in your bed.

A good alternative would be to set up its bed in your room instead.

Win-win for both!

Are Cavaliers Lazy Dogs?

I don’t think it’s cool to label any dog lazy. Just like us humans, there are moments when we don’t want to do much but simply rest and relax.

Cavaliers are actually known for their playful, energetic personalities and their love of physical activity!

Lack of exercise might cause your Cavalier to grow bored and restless, which can result in destructive behavior, so it’s critical to provide your dog with lots of opportunities for both mental and physical stimulation.

Why Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Sleep a Lot?

For an adult Cavalier King Charles, sleeping for up to 14 hours a day is totally normal. Although you might think that your dog is napping all the time, you might be mistaken as they are polyphasic sleepers.

Throughout the day, they might be hyper one minute but the next, you see them tucked in their beds. This will usually last around 45 minutes or so before they are up and about again.

If you are keeping track of the time they snooze and discover that they are sleeping way more than usual, along with other symptoms like not eating, it might be time to check in with your vet.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Syringomyelia

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be prone to a condition called syringomyelia

This condition is caused by a defect in the skull that leads to the formation of fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord, causing severe pain and discomfort, and it can be difficult to treat. 

Oh, and it can be very expensive to treat as well.

If you have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of syringomyelia, such as a reluctance to move, sensitivity to being touched or walking funny

Noticed any of these signs? Be sure to take your dog to the vet right away.

When Should You Be Concerned if Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is Not Sleeping at Night?

I think that the first thing you should do is try to identify the potential cause and then formulate a solution. All the tips above will definitely help you out.

Also, be sure to rule out potential medical conditions, which of course will require a vet’s intervention.

Just remember that dogs will frequently take naps throughout the day and night, so don’t be too surprised to find your Cavvy up in the middle of the night.

If this is accompanied by abnormal or destructive behavior, then you might need to take further action.

In Conclusion: Why is my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night

There are many reasons why dogs might not sleep at night, but there are also ways to help them get a good night’s rest.

Dogs need exercise during the day, a comfortable place to sleep, and a consistent bedtime routine.

If you’re still struggling with your dog’s sleeping habits after implementing the tips above, talk to your veterinarian about things you can do to help.

Check out other dog behavior articles on our blog such as why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you, why do dogs sleep with their tongue out, dog licking paws after grooming, and many more!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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