Why Do Boston Terriers Sleep So Much? (Complete FAQ)

If you catch your Boston Terrier sleeping in, hitting the snooze button, and catching some shut-eye not long after breakfast, you may be wondering why she seems to sleep so much.  

Did you know that it is normal for your adult Boston Terrier to sleep up to fourteen hours a day? 

In this guide, you will learn about the things that contribute to why your Boston Terrier sleeps so much.  Factors such as age, diet, activity level, and lifestyle can affect your Boston Terrier’s sleeping habits. We will also discuss the benefits of sleep for your Boston Terrier and what to look for when too little or too much sleep might indicate signs of other problems.

Why Do Boston Terriers Sleep So Much?

Boston Terriers are an intelligent, active dog breed.  When they are awake, they can be balls of happy energy. But that energy needs to be replaced, and sleep is a Boston Terrier’s number one way to recharge their get-up-and-go battery.

Compared with other dogs, Boston Terriers sleep on average about 2-3 hours extra a day.  How does that compare to humans?  We humans only need 7 to 9 hours a day.  Boston Terriers definitely need a little more sleep than the rest of us.  So let’s look at some of the factors that influence why Boston Terriers like to sleep so much. 

So the four main reasons that a Boston terrier sleeps so much are due to age, diet, activity level, and lifestyle!

Four Factors That Influences Why Your Boston Terrier Sleeps So Much


Your Boston Terrier has different sleep needs depending on whether she is a puppy, in their prime, or a senior. An adult Boston Terrier in her prime needs between 12 to 14 hours of sleep on average.  

Boston Terrier puppies need from 18 to up to 20 hours of sleep in a twenty-four-hour period! And grandpa BT needs anywhere from 18 to 20 hours of sleep in a day as well.  

Getting sleep has a lot of essential benefits for young and old dogs.  Puppies and senior dogs take longer to recharge their batteries, and they do that through sleep.  Any exercise, activity, illness, or injury will take baby BT and grandpa BT a lot longer to recover from, and sleep is their recovery method of choice.

Activity Level

The activity level of your Boston Terrier will influence how much sleep she needs.  More active dogs will sleep less than their less active pals.  Just like their humans, the more active Boston Terriers are, the more overall energy they will have throughout the day.

Adult Boston Terriers should get at least one hour of exercise a day.  Going for walks or tossing a ball around for them are a couple of great ways to get your Boston Terrier moving.  Puppies and seniors may not require quite as much exercise.

On the other hand, getting exercise will help your Boston Terrier actually sleep better.  She will fall asleep faster, stay asleep better, and get good REM, eye twitching, cat chasing whimpers. That’s right; dogs experience REM sleep just like humans.  REM sleep is good quality sleep and, it is when our bodies can heal themselves, get reenergized, dream, and commit things to long-term memory.


Boston Terriers tend to be sensitive, that is, allergic, to grains and vegetables.  That means that if you are feeding your little, tuxedoed friend a lower quality dog food, their digestive system may be working overtime to digest it.  If their digestive system is working harder, that means it is using up more energy.  

If your Boston Terrier uses more energy to digest food, she will have less energy to be awake for playtime and any other family fun time.

If you suspect your Boston Terrier may be sluggish because of her diet, try transitioning her to dog food with higher fat and protein, no grains, and limited vegetables.  If you aren’t sure if your Boston Terrier is being affected by her diet, you may want to ask your vet before making any changes.

Boston Terrier Lifestyle

Bred primarily as companion dogs with no specific job to do but hang out with their human BFFs, the Boston Terrier’s lifestyle will be entirely dependent on the activity level of their human.

Working breeds trained to be service animals, truffle hunters, or search and rescue will naturally be more active with less time to sleep.   With less to do, BTs may just sleep more out of boredom. 

If you are concerned that your Boston Terrier could be suffering from boredom, then grab a ball and get outside with her!  She will love you for it, and so will you.  Just one hour of intense play can help your furry friend get better sleep.  More exercise plus more playtime with the pack will equal one happy dog.

How Much Sleep Should A Boston Terrier Have?

Adult Boston Terriers sleep an average of 12 to 14 hours during a twenty-four-hour period.  Allowing your Boston Terrier to get her beauty sleep is important.  Just like us humans, if we don’t get enough sleep, it starts to affect us.  

Lack of sleep can cause dogs stress, anxiousness, and irritability.  These are the kinds of things that can lead to undesirable behaviors in dogs, such as digging holes, excessive chewing or barking, or worse, biting.

Alternatively, dogs that are getting all the sleep they need tend to be emotionally stable and well-adjusted.  

In fact, the National Sleep Foundation says that dogs, just like their human buddies, do some of their best learning during REM sleep.  After a day of learning commands or new tricks, your Boston Terrier will be committing all that cool stuff to long-term memory.  And, chances are, she will perform them better the next day after a good night’s sleep.  Science is cool, right?

How Much Sleep Should A Boston Terrier Puppy Have?

Everyone knows that Boston Terrier puppies are adorable bundles of energy — getting into everything, chewing all your shoes up, and generally causing mischief everywhere they go.  But all that energy, although exhausting for you, is taking place in just six to four hours of the day (ahem, and night). 

The rest of the 18 to 20 hours of the day are spent sleeping!  This sleep time is broken up into nighttime and multiple short naps that average about 30 minutes to two hours at a time.    

During all that sleep time, their little bodies are working hard to grow fast.  Sleep is when your little fur baby grows the most.  

If My Boston Terrier Puppy Sleeps So Much, Why Am I So Tired All Of The Time?  

Excellent question.  Younger puppies do not sleep straight through the night.  They are often waking up every 3 to 4 hours because of their tiny bladders.  You will need to take your puppy outside a few times during the night. Hang in there, though, just like any puppy; your baby will grow out of it around 16 weeks old.

In fact, as puppies get older, they start sleeping less overall, but with that shift, you will see them begin to sleep throughout the night.  Just like us, dogs are diurnal.  That means they like to be awake during the daytime and sleep at nighttime.  And as they get older, you will get to start getting more sleep again too.

How Much Sleep Should A Senior Boston Terrier Have?

Grandpa and grandma Boston Terrier need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep every day.  Getting old is hard work, and sleeping is their way of coping with it.  As they get older, Boston Terriers’ energy levels decrease, and they may have health issues that make the activity more difficult.    

With an average life span of 11 to 13 years, you will probably see your Boston Terrier pal start to slow down around 8 or 9 years old, which is about 50 years old to a human.  

Your Boston Terrier’s sleep may decrease in quality as she gets older too. BT’s can get a form of Alzheimer’s that can affect your dog’s REM sleep.  That means she may not be getting the excellent sleep she needs to help her memory and mind function as they should.

When Should You Be Worried About The Amount Your Boston Terrier Is Sleeping?

To understand if there might be a problem with how much your Boston Terrier is sleeping, you will need to know what is the normal amount of time she usually sleeps.  Once you know that, then you will be able to tell if something changes.

If there is a change in your dog’s sleeping habits, they can be dramatic and easily noticeable.  Things that might contribute to a change in your Boston Terrier’s sleeping pattern might be:

  • Illness
  • Injury
  • New environments
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

Any significant changes to your Boston Terrier’s environment can certainly be a shock and upset her sleep. 

Is My Boston Terrier Sleeping Too Much?

If you feel that your Boston Terrier is sleeping too much or is lethargic, it could be a sign that she is not feeling well.  Especially if you see other signs that something is wrong such as:

  • A runny nose
  • Runny eyes
  • Trouble breathing or coughing
  • Off gum color
  • Diarrhea
  • Not eating or drinking normally
  • Vomiting

Most likely, a trip to the vet may be in order just to be on the safe side.

Our bodies and our canine friends use sleep to heal themselves when we are sick or hurt.  So if your Boston Terrier experienced an injury, she is most likely getting lots of extra sleep while her body does the busy work of healing itself.

Is My Boston Terrier Sleeping Too Little?

Not getting enough sleep may indicate anxiety or stress. If you recently moved or there was a major change in your household, your Boston Terrier may just need some time to adjust.

Establishing and maintaining daily routines and making things as less stressful as possible will help your BT get back to her normal sleep routine.  

How Can I Help My Boston Terrier Sleep better?

There are a few things that you can do to help your Boston Terrier sleep better.

Regular Routine  

If you feel your Boston Terrier isn’t getting enough sleep, then you might consider a more strict routine for her.  When your Boston Terrier knows what to expect during the day, it can reduce stress and anxiety.  

Keeping a regular schedule for things such as eating times, bathroom breaks, and playtime will help give her a greater sense of security.  She will most likely sleep better for it.

Bedtime Tricks

Setting an earlier feeding time at night can help your BT not feel the urge to go during the night.  Always let your BT outside for one last bathroom break before bedtime to help with any potty issues during the night.

Her Own Bed

Instinctually dogs feel safe and secure in their own ‘dens’.  A bed, crate, or special sleeping place just for fido will make your dog feel safe and sleep better.  

At night time, you may consider allowing your Boston Terrier to sleep with you.  The warmth and security you provide will make her feel safe and happy.


Exercise is a very important part of getting a good night’s sleep.  Exercise has been proven to benefit sleep by increasing the amount of time asleep and improving the quality of your dog’s sleep (meaning that she will spend more time in a deeper sleep state).

Other Factors that May be Affecting your Boston Terrier’s Sleep

Like humans, your BT’s sleep patterns can be affected by exercise, diet, age, personality, and activity level.  Here are a couple more things that might be affecting your dog’s sleep.

Sleep Away From Home

Just like you, your dog sleeps better at home.  If you are on vacation or not sleeping at home on a regular basis, your BT’s sleep may be suffering.  When dogs are at home, they fall asleep faster, experience more REM sleep, and spend more time asleep overall.

When away from home, BTs may experience just the opposite.  Their sense of security and well-being is reduced, and they have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting good REM sleep.  They are also much easier to wake up at unfamiliar noises.

Sleeping Outdoor

Boston Terriers are indoor companion dogs.  One of the few truly American dog breeds, they originated in New England sometime in the 1870s. A cross between the English Bulldog and the White English Terrier, Boston Terriers were recognized as the 48th dog breed by the American Kennel Club in 1893.

Small, sensitive to extreme temperatures, and prone to brachycephalic syndrome, this breed was not meant to be an outdoor dog.  If your Boston Terrier has been sleeping outside, you should definitely bring her inside to sleep.  Statistically speaking, dogs who are allowed to sleep indoors are almost 30% more than dogs that sleep outside.

Your Boston Terrier’s Sleeping Position

Your BT’s sleep position may provide you with some clues as to what is going on in their mind.  Most dogs like to sleep stretched out on their side, curled up in a ball or, splayed out on their back with their tongues hanging out.  

If you see your loveable pal sleeping in odd places or positions, it could be a sign of anxiety or fear.  Try to minimize loud noises or provide safe places in unfamiliar surroundings if you notice your Boston Terrier sleeping in unusual places or positions.  

Try to make sure that your BT has a safe place, like a bed or kennel, to sleep in.  Especially if there are any major life changes taking place and your pooch is trying to adjust.  


Why Do Boston Terriers Sleep Under The Covers?

Sleeping under the covers is an instinctual behavior in Boston Terriers.  They love the sense of security and warmth it provides, not to mention snuggling close up with their human. Combine that with their natural inclination to dig and burrow and their extra need to stay warm, and you have one undercover pup on your hands.

Do Boston Terriers Like To Sleep With Their Owners?

Boston Terriers love to sleep with their owners.  Since they were puppies, Boston Terriers have slept on top of each other in piles.  It creates warmth and safety.  Sleeping with you is simply replicating that behavior because their humans are their pack members now.

Should Boston Terriers Have A Sleep Schedule?

Routines, in general, are beneficial for Boston Terriers.  Routines allow your BT to know what to expect throughout her day and make her feel less anxious and more secure.  Regular feeding, exercise, and sleep will definitely help your BT be happy and unstressed.

Why Does My Boston Terrier Snore?

Boston Terriers snore because of the short shape of their muzzles.  This may also contribute to all the funny positions that you may catch your Boston Terrier sleeping in as they try to position themselves in sleep positions that make it easier to breathe.  BTs also experience a condition known as Brachycephalic Syndrome, which obstructs your BT’s air passageways.

Want To Train Your Boston Terrier With Peace Of Mind?

If you haven’t trained your Boston Terrier properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases, it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Boston Terrier completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


It’s true that Boston Terriers need a little more sleep than the average dog breed.  Puppies and seniors especially need their sleep.  But, in general, this is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be anything to be concerned about. 

If you feel that your Boston Terrier isn’t getting enough sleep or sleeping too much, it could be a sign that something else is going on, and she may need some extra attention.