Animals and Sleep Part 2: Who Sleeps the Most?
Animals and Sleep
I’ve been exploring animals and sleep as part of a new side project. Sleep is one of nature’s greatest mysteries. Scientists think all animals sleep, but no one knows for sure. In this second part of my newest blog series, we’ll have a look at some of the animals that sleep the most.
Many animals, mostly smaller creatures with high metabolisms or predators with little reason to stay on high alert, are notorious oversleepers. Here are a few of the most well-known snoozers:
- Brown bat. The common brown bat can sleep as much as 20 hours per day. They sleep in groups, secluded from danger in caves or trees, so they can rest undisturbed.
- Koalas. Dozing or sleeping up to 22 hours each day, koalas live in eucalyptus trees and spend the day snoozing and eating. These unique animals can be quite active when awake, but an easy food source and safe place to perch make it unsurprising that they spend so much time snoozing.
- Giant armadillos. These fascinating armor-plated wanderers sleep up to 18 hours each day. Solitary creatures, they’re most active at night, and while away the daylight hours dozing in their burrows.
- Cats. From the common housecat to the lion, many cats sleep 12 hours or more each day, spending half their lives asleep… or at least in a pleasant doze. The extra sleep conserves energy. And since these animals are more often hunters than hunted (not counting the housecat perpetually on the run from the stalking toddler), they can sleep without fear of danger more often than not.
Human babies should also be on this list—healthy babies can sleep up to 18 hours each day! Their bodies are growing constantly, and the infant’s habit of taking long naps interspersed with short periods of wakefulness for feeding helps her conserve energy while her body gets “up to speed.”
Ever wish you could doze as often or as long as one of these classic oversleepers?
Author Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep and health, and is an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist Latexmattress.org.