Sleep In – Good for the Dog; Good for You

“If you wake up early, you’ll be more productive all day long.” “Do your most challenging work in the morning, while you’re fresh.” “Productive people get more done by noon than most people get done all day.”

With those kinds of messages everywhere I turn, it’s no wonder I get up so early—usually by 5 a.m. Sometimes as early as 3:30 a.m.

And my early morning routine takes its toll on Honey. If I’m being productive she has to be productive too.

Honey the golden retriever plays out in the snow.

I have so much to do today. First, I have to play with the dad…

If I sneak out to my office early, Honey has to make a decision. Should she snuggle up next to the dad. Or follow me into the office?

Usually she splits the difference, causing my husband to get up to open the door so she can join me. So now he’s disturbed by my early mornings as well.

When I get up early, Honey also feels responsible for barking to alert me that she’s hungry. This can start as early as 6:20 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. breakfast time.

But this morning, we did something different. When I looked at the clock after waking up, I saw it was 7:08 a.m. Wow, I slept in. And so did Honey. And so did our foster dog, Ginny.

Although it was after breakfast time, Honey didn’t need to tell us she was hungry. She was asleep. And she had no decisions to make about where to spend her morning.

Honey was thoroughly unproductive. And she was fine with that. So I guess I need to fine with it too.

Honey the golden retriever leads the walk.

…Then I have to lead the walk. If we let the beagle lead, we’ll walk right into a bush.

Productivity is a dangerous god to worship. If we admire people for their productivity, what does it mean when someone can’t produce? For instance, a child or someone who is ill. Are they worth less in our society because they aren’t productive?

Maybe all of us who worry about what we’re getting done in a day need to sleep in more often. After all, the planet didn’t explode because I failed to write two blog posts before 8:00 a.m. or because Honey didn’t make her breakfast bark.

Honey the golden retriever has snow on her nose.

And finally, I have to carry this snow on my nose. It’s a busy day.

Maybe it’s ok to sleep in every once in a while. And maybe it’s even ok to spend a few minutes thinking about what we’re producing instead of just being in a rush to produce.

Honey’s certainly not complaining about a few extra hours of sleep. So I probably shouldn’t either. After all, if sleeping in is good for the dog, maybe it’s good for me too.

Your Turn: Do you worship the productivity gods too? Do you wake up crazy early or stay up crazy late trying to get more done? How about your dog? Is she productive?



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  1. Unfortunately, me and Del are not early risers. Getting up before 7:00am is a very rare occurrence- only if we’re going on holiday! The problem is, I love to sleep. I feel awful and get very moody if I don’t get enough of it. So in essence, sleep makes me more productive. And Del likes his sleep too. He’ll sleep until I get up, which is wonderful on the weekends. Not so wonderful mid-week when we’re trying to get him out of bed! Sleeping in is one of those wonderful treats and everyone should make time for them :)

  2. Monday – Friday I’m up and about by 6am to get my husband’s coffee and lunch ready. Bailey usually gets fed around then too. She tackles each day a little bit differently. Some days she’s outside all morning and other days she plops back on the couch and sleeps for another couple of hours. I’m not a morning person at all, but I do like the extra hours in the day to get things done. I’m definitely not my “freshest” in the morning so how productive I am kind of depends on how I’m feeling. I wish I had more energy though. It would be a great time to get some light cleaning done, but I’m usually still too physically tired to do anything other than read the news.

    Bailey used to be better about sleeping in on the weekends, but now by 7 she’s up and poking at me.

  3. I am usually up by 630 or 700. That’s early enough for me. I spent 15 years getting up BEFORE the butt crack of dawn to get to work. I am productive, but first I have to have my tea, read blogs in the morning, go for a walk, then I will sit down to bead, or write a blog post or two. Usually both. If i don’t do it today, there is always tomorrow. Unless it’s really important or a deadline. Then I am all over getting it done right now.

  4. I am a morning person but not a 5AM one! Left to my own devices I am usually awake by 6:30 and ready to get up. (Not so much right now w/ the broken knee) I am a high energy person so I do feel the need to use that energy productively. I usually move from one chore to the next. I’m one of those “Don’t put off to tomorrow, what you can do today” kind of people. By 10PM, I am out cold. LOL!

  5. I have to agree (and not just because I am a morning person!) I think a little down time does everyone some good, and I think society today is getting more and more turned off to the idea of a little relaxing time and I think it is wrong!

  6. Ack! I am not a morning person! I hate waking up!! But I do get a lot of work done late at night, my husband and I both are night owls and usually go to bed around 1am. I wake up at 8 or 9 am so I get a fair amount of sleep. I’d sleep in later but Ike sits on my chest if I’m not out of bed to give him breakfast.

  7. I feel so lazy… I don’t like to get up too early, but I also don’t burn any midnight oil. On weekdays, we go to bed around 10.30 and wake up at 6.45. Any earlier than that is torture for all of us – including Rita! On the weekends, the hubs and Rita both love to sleep in. Sometimes they’ll sleep until 9! I usually wake up around 7, and will just hang out in bed with them, reading on my iPad. But this weekend, I slept until 8.20 one day! Couldn’t believe it, but guess I needed the sleep too. Sleeping in (and not pestering us for her breakie) is one of Rita’s best traits! :)

  8. I always like to wait for the sun to rise before I do. In another life I’m sure I was a bear and didn’t have to get up until spring because while i can wake up easily in the warm weather, the whole idea of leaving a warm bed for the cold world is often too much for me. Unfortunately my dogs have necessary business that must be conducted outside. Our temperatures got down into the low 40s last week.

  9. We are an early bird family. Mom gets up by 5:30 most days, sleeping in means staying in bed until 6 or so. Mom works at her computer until around 7 and then we head out for our morning walk. She is definitely more productive in the morning. If you need her to do anything, don’t ask after about 4pm as her productivity decreases drastically…after 9pm, forget it!

  10. Here in Arizona, it behooves me to wake up early in the summer to get errands/walks/hikes done early while it is still cool. In the winter months though – it is a little easier to be ok with sleeping in. Even during the summer I don’t like rising before 6 am – so I don’t feel like that is obsessively early. Blueberry is a great dog to have for sleeping in days because she is totally fine with that. My last dog Shadow was not down with the whole sleeping in thing and wasn’t shy about letting me know what she thought of sleeping in.

    So I guess, the short answer is “No, I do not worship the god of getting up early”. My mother was like that and tried to foist that upon us when we were growing up which made me extremely resentful of that kind of insane schedule (waking up at 5 am even during summer break????). Things will get done when they get done – no need to get up at an insane hour unless I absolutely have to for my job or to catch a flight.

  11. I’m an early bird! I just wish mummy was too lol

  12. I have to be an early riser during the week. There is just no way around it if I want to make sure my dog is settled before I leave for work. Also, I hate rushing in the mornings. I like having lots of time to slowly get ready and take an extra-long walk if I feel like it. Sleeping in makes me feel terrible and usually puts me off my game for most of the day. Unless it’s a weekend. I wish my dog understood the difference between work days and non-work days. 😛

  13. I do not miss having to get up early to commute to work! We were getting up around 7:30 – but now, we are early birds thanks to a certain puppy :) Cali used to stay in bed after we both got up, she would come down when she heard us finishing up breakfast and she knew it was time for her to eat . .so cute! I enjoyed having a dog that wasn’t a morning dog – I hope this one follows in her footsteps!

  14. Rooooo it seems your idea of sleeping in is our idea of getting up early *Waggy tail* Neither of my humans are morning people, so nor am I. I am content jumping up in their bed when I wake upfrom teh alarm clock and then I snuggle up between them to wake them up slow – makes everyone happy *waggy tail*

  15. I always get up early and like to be at the computer by 7 am. However my dog, usually does not get up until around 8 -8:30, then its down the stairs to her bowl, where she will start kicking it, to let me know its breakfast time!

  16. oh yes good to sleep in and not worry about anything.

  17. I don’t wake up early just to get it done, but once I get up I’m moving. Except on the weekends. I try to take it a little easier then. But the dogs still want their walks!

  18. Love sleeping in, even past 9.00 sometimes, but often burn midnight oil or wake up in night to finish stuff. Looking at at cold and grey makes it harder to get out of bed and go for walks. X Talent Hounds

  19. Once upon a time, when I was part of the corporate world, I thought anyone who wasn’t productive was worthless, shiftless, and lazy. It was the way I was raised to believe. I got up at 4:45 am Monday through Friday, got on the train at 6:30, arrived at work at 7:45, and spent the day — except my lunch hour — being productive. And the only things that changed when I moved down here were the hour I got up and driving to work instead of taking the LIRR. Being laid-off six years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me! I started learning how to relax. I get up — most of the time — a little after 6:30 with Sam, get dressed and take the dogs out for their first potty break, and then feed them while Sam gets ready for work. I used to be able to sleep until 8 on the weekends until early this summer when Ducky stopped sleeping late and started barking in her crate. Some mornings she still does, but not very often. (((SIGH))) I guess I don’t blame her — I’d want out of that crate as soon as I wake up, too, if I were her!