5 Shih Tzu Sleeping Disorders & More

Shih Tzu sleeping
Shih Tzu Sleeping

Shih Tzus owners are always worried about their Shih Tzu sleeping length or the amount of time their Shih Tzu sleep per day.

In this post, we will point out some common reasons why your Shih Tzu is not getting enough sleep.

We will also answer lots of questions you may have about Shih Tzu sleeping and tell you how to provide a good Shih Tzu sleeping environment.

So, sit tight and read through!

Shih Tzu sleeping disorders

A typical adult Shih Tzu sleeps 13 to 15 hours a day, which includes both daytime sleeps and overnight sleep.

Shih Tzus with sleep problems may whine, whimper, or wake up often throughout the night, become lethargic during the day, or appear disoriented when doing regular duties.

Shih Tzus with sleep issues may become more aggressive or develop other behavioral problems because sleep deprivation can create a buildup of stress hormones.

Here are some sleeping disorders that have been associated with Shih Tzus:

Excessive Snoring

Allergies, obesity, too much stress, heat fatigue, lengthy walks, too much activity, and throat blockage can all cause excessive snoring in Shih Tzus.

However, it’s crucial to remember that snoring might be caused by severe illnesses like seizures or tumors.

If the condition is not resolved by inspecting, wiping, and clearing your Shih Tzu’s noses, as well as creating a comfortable atmosphere for your Shih Tzu, it is advisable to take them to the vet.

REM behavior disorder

REM Behavior Disorder is characterized by bodily activity or body movement in super active dogs like Shih Tzus during sleep.

This behavior can become severe or aggressive for certain Shih Tzus, such as rushing into walls or attacking artificial things.

Shih Tzus with REM Behavior Disorder will wake up normally, with no confusion or disorientation, this is what makes REM Behavior Disorder different from seizure.

If you observe any changes in your Shih Tzu’s usual sleeping habits, take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Once the disease has been correctly identified, collaborate with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that will effectively control the condition and help your Shih Tzu sleep better.

Sleep Apnea

Obese Shih Tzus and flat-faced breeds such as English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs are more prone to sleep apnea.

Snoring that is loud and persistent is a typical symptom of sleep apnea. Treatment options for fat Shih Tzu include weight reduction, surgery, and steam air purifiers.

Excessive internal fat or aberrant respiratory architecture might temporarily collapse or restrict the airway, startling a dog awake for 9 to 15 seconds at a time, causing sleep apnea.

If your Shih Tzu is snoring loudly and waking up often during the night, get veterinarian care as soon as possible.


Anxiety, physical health concerns that are uncomfortable like arthritis or an accident, stress, itching diseases, renal illness, or diabetes are all common causes of insomnia in Shih Tzus.

Cognitive impairment, which is caused by brain deterioration in elderly Shih Tzus, can disturb regular sleep patterns and induce insomnia.

Increased physical activity during the day, planning playtime before bedtime, making the sleeping area more pleasant, and buying an orthopedic bed for your Shih Tzu if they have arthritis are all well-known techniques for calming insomnia in Shih Tzus.


Narcolepsy in Shih Tzus is seen as a nervous system sleep disease that mostly affects younger Shih Tzus, narcolepsy is primarily caused by a genetic abnormality that causes low levels of hypocretin, a hormone that helps maintain alertness and regular sleep cycles, to be produced in the brain.

Narcolepsy causes Shih Tzus to collapse on their side and fall asleep unexpectedly, generally after a period of enthusiasm or strenuous activity. External stimulus, such as a loud noise or stroking, will startle the dog awake.

Signs of sleeping disorders in Shih Tzus

Here are some common signs of sleeping disorders found in Shih Tzus, which are as follows:

  • Loud snoring during sleeping
  • Changing the position of the bed before going to sleep.
  • Sleeping with my eyes open all the time.
  • Sleeping for longer periods of time than normal.
  • Anywhere for a little midday sleep and panting.
  • Pacing at night.
  • Physical activity during sleep.
  • Sudden collapsing after activity.
  • Chewing its bed at night.
  • Howling while sleeping.
  • Insisting on sleeping with owner on the same bed, etc.

Factors that influences Shih Tzu sleeping

Here are some factors that might influence the rate at which your Shih Tzu sleep:


Shih is a small breed of dog that was specifically bred to be a human companion and not some sort of guard dog, this means they are attracted to their human.

They are affected by different types of anxiety, which could affect the way they sleep.

When they suffer from anxiety, they find it hard to sleep, you should make sure your Shih Tzu is not suffering anxiety whenever they have sleeping disorders.

Here are some types of anxiety that affect Shih Tzu:

  • Fear Anxiety
  • Hunger Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Environmental Anxiety
  • Confinement Anxiety
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Noise Anxiety
  • Travel Anxiety

Check this article to understand more about Shih Tzu anxiety symptoms.

Distracting noises

Even humans find it had to sleep when everywhere is noisy, how much more of your little pup that loves to sleep a lot.

If your Shih Tzu is having a hard time sleeping, be sure the environment is not noisy or there are loud sounds coming from your neighborhood.

The temperature of the environment

Shih Tzus are prone to heat exhaustion because of their body size and shape of the nose.

When the environment is hot, Shih Tzu finds it hard to sleep and could be stressed out, Shih Tzus are not bred to stand hot environment.

So, whenever ever your Shih Tzu is having a hard time sleeping, be sure to check if your environment suits your Shih Tzu body temperature.

Excessive energy

Shih Tzus find it had to sleep when they are packed or full of energy, this can lead to unnecessary behaviors problems.

Take your Shih Tzu for a walk to burn off excessive energy. If your Shih Tzu is having problems sleeping, it’s a good idea to check his energy level.


Even humans can’t sleep when they are hungry, so why do you think your Shih Tzu can sleep when hungry.

A hungry Shih Tzu is always aggressive and follows its owner about seeking food, they are restless until they eat.

If your pup is having a hard time sleeping, be sure to check if you skipped meal time.

Sleeping disorders

If your Shih Tzu is having any form of sleeping disorder, you will always find out if you pay close attention.

We have outlined the most popular and common sleeping disorders found in Shih Tzus.

Let’s take a recap to outline these Shih Tzu sleeping disorders which are as follows:

  • Narcolepsy
  • REM behavior disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive Snoring
  • Sleep Apnea

Depression and frustration

Living with a depressed or frustrated Shih is like living with an aggressive snake that can bite any time without warning.

A depressed and frustrated Shih Tzu is always aggressive and can’t sleep until it calms down.

Stress, wrong diet, hunger, constant changing of daily routine, shouting at your pup, loneliness, and more are the simple causes of depression in Shih Tzus.

When you notice your Shih is depressed or frustrated, be sure to figure out what led to the depression fix it and also see your vet.

Depression is one of the common reasons why Shih Tzus cry. Depression and frustration can also cause your Shih Tzu to shake.


Feeding your Shih Tzu with the wrong diet can not only lead to Shih Tzu sleeping disorders but to some serious health challenges.

Always talk to your vet before feeding your Shih Tzu with any form of food, to avoid unnecessary health challenges.

Shih Tzus have some common eating problems you should know and avoid.

Changes in daily routine

Changes in your Shih Tzu daily routine can cause anxiety, depression and frustration to your pup.

Changing routine can cause Shih Tzu sleeping disorders, so to cut things short, find a daily routine that works for you and your pup and stick to it until it stops working.

Constantly changing your daily routine can lead to your Shih Tzu becoming aggressive and barking a lot.


If your Shih Tzu has any form of the parasite, it will definitely affect how your Shih Tzu sleeps.

Parasites have become a problem to most dog owners in recent years, one of the most popular parasites are fleas which can give your pup worms.

There are many ways dogs get worms you should know and avoid, there are also many symptoms of worms in dogs you should know.

Do you even know humans can get worms from dogs in so many ways? Find out ways humans get worms from dogs.

Benefits of sleeping to Shih Tzus

Here are some common benefits of sleeping to Shih Tzus:

  • Sleeping allows proper and continued growth in Shih Tzus.
  • Normal sleeping prevents brain degeneration in Shih Tzus.
  • Sleeping improves the immune system of Shih Tzus.
  • Sleeping helps in forging new neural connections on Shih Tzus.
  • Proper sleeping with disorders keeps the brain of Shih Tzus agile.
  • Sleeping improves the learning ability of Shih Tzus.
  • Sleeping allows the Shih Tzu body to conserve and restore energy.
  • Sleeping promotes a healthy heart in Shih Tzus.
  • Sleeping reduces stress in Shih Tzus.
  • Sleeping maximizes comfort in Shih Tzus
  • Sleeping reduces depression in Shih Tzus.

Shih Tzu sleeping FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Shih Tzu sleeping you should know:

Why do Shih Tzus sleep so much

Shih Tzus sleep a lot because it gives their bodies and minds the rest they need to operate at their best, processing and storing memories, and learning new phrases and tricks. Older Shih Tzus, given their physical and mental condition, require more hours of sleep.

Here are some common reasons why your Shih Tzus may sleep a lot:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Older age
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Overfeeding
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of mental stimulation
  • Arthritis or other chronic pain
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Heart disease

Shih Tzu sleeping with owner

Shih Tzus were selectively bred to be human companions, and they love to follow their owners around because they only thrive on human companionship.

If Shih Tzu wants to sleep with the owner on the same bed, there are some things to consider which are as follows:

  • The Shih Tzu is developing separation anxiety and needs to be around its owner.
  • Fear, or stress, should also be considered if a Shih Tzu wants to sleep with the owner.
  • It could also be a way of showing affection to its owner.
  • The Shih Tzu is not comfortable with the sleep arrangements.
  • It could be that the Shih Tzu is in pains and wants owner’s comfort.
  • The Shih Tzu dislike its current bed or the position of the bed.

Why is my Shih Tzu sleeping a lot

Your Shih Tzus sleep a lot because it allows their bodies and minds to function at their optimum, processing and storing memories, and learning new tricks and words.

Your Shih Tzu could also be sleeping too much because of loneliness, boredom, lack of mental stimulation, too much exercise or physical activities.

Shih Tzu sleeping on the floor

Shih Tzus sleeping on the floor could mean many things which are as follows:

  • The Shih is not comfortable with its bed.
  • The Shih Tzus is not comfortable with the position of its bed.
  • The Shih Tzu sees the floor as a better option than its bed.
  • Suffering from heat exhaustion and need somewhere cold.
  • The room temperature is affecting the Shih Tzu, and he needs a cold spot.
  • It could be signs of stress.
  • The Shih Tzu unknowingly rolled out of its while sleeping.

13 year old Shih Tzu sleeps a lot

A 13 year old Shih Tzu sleeps a lot because of old age too much stress, too many physical activities, and weakness of its joint, or illness.

Be sure to talk to your vet, and reduce the number of physical activities your 13 year old Shih Tzu engages in.

Also, change its bed and blankets to a more suitable one as prescribed by your vet.

By Samuel Steve

Samuel Steve has more than 12 years of experience with cats and dogs his the founder of Pet Creeks and currently living with 2 different breeds of cats and a dog, Samuel Steve is here to write and share his years of experience with pets.