A great infographic has recently been released, and it has some fun facts about sleep habits in the animal kingdom. For anyone who has had trouble sleeping themselves, take a moment to think about the poor Giraffes which only get 30 minutes per night when they’re in the wild- I guess they have to keep an eye out for predators. Speaking of keeping an eye out, adult giraffes will sometimes sleep with one eye open, while standing up! It can’t be a restful sleep.
Baby giraffes sleep between 30 minutes and 2 hours, which still doesn’t seem like a lot, but they do lie down and curl up with their heads on their butts, since mum is keeping watch for any bad guys.
Horses get a little more sleep, with adults getting around 3 hours a day and infants snoozing for around 12 hours per day- including frequent naps. Horses can sleep standing up, since their knees lock in and lying down is sometimes more stressful than sleeping since they’re more vulnerable. In fact, a great way to tell if a horse is feeling comfortable in its environment is to check whether it is sleeping lying down at all, as this is a good indication.
We all know that owls sleep during the day, but did you know that they snooze for 12 hours- basically whenever the sun is out? They nest down in the hollows of trees, on branches and in small crevices, only use 1 eyelid for sleeping (they have three!) and can close off a whole side of their brain while they sleep. Baby owls stay in the nest while they’re little and spend most of their time in REM sleep.
We all know that dolphins are remarkably similar to humans, but did you know that adult dolphins also sleep for around 8 hours each day? Their brain is a little more advanced than ours though, since they can rest half of their brain in non-REM sleep so they can make sure they’re protected. And when this brain is half awake it can remind them to breathe since this isn’t something they automatically do. Baby dolphins don’t sleep at all in their first month, and as they get older they gradually increase how long they sleep for each day.
Sea otters sleep for around 11 hours each day and hold hands while they sleep so they don’t drift away from their friends and family. Sea otter pups curl up on mum’s stomach while they sleep since they can’t yet swim.
Bats are nocturnal and like to sleep in dark places like caves and up high in trees They sleep upside down so they can take off whenever they need to since their wings aren’t strong enough for them to fly straight off the ground. Adult bats sleep for a huge 12-19 hours each day and their babies cling onto their mum so they don’t fall off.