Home AnimalsUnusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
AnimalsBy Trista -

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Goats are incredibly social animals that live in herds, containing as many as 20 ghosts in the wild. Shutterstock

5. On average, goats get around five hours of sleep each night and often take naps throughout the day. 

Many people have questioned if goats sleep because they do not see them sleeping. They are just very tricky when it comes to showing it. Goats tend to find a blind spot where it is hard for humans to spot them and choose times during the day and night, where there are no other animals present. The place they choose is difficult to see but is usually a sheltered spot they find comfortable sleeping. Besides, they tend to sleep lightly. They do not undergo heavy sleep. They are always on high alert, and any small noise or light appearing as a threat wakes them up immediately.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Photo Credit: Piotr Zajac/Shutterstock

Although many people have thought that goats sleep standing up, that is not true. Goats lay down on the ground with their bodies in an upright position. Sleeping in this position is much easier and quicker for them to get up if they need to get away from a threat, especially other wild animals. They also prefer to sleep with other companions. Having a companion helps keep the goats warm and prevents them from getting lonely and depressed. Domesticated goats are slightly different. They tend to sleep longer than wild goats because of the change in their lifestyle and environment. Domestic goats can be more comfortable with other farm animals and their caretakers, so they are not bothered or startled by sounds created or produced near them. 

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Unlike other animals, spiders do not have eyelids; therefore, they cannot sleep in the same way. Instead, you can tell if a spider is sleeping based on their body language. Shutterstock

4. Spiders are known to have circadian rhythms or daily periods of activity and rest.

In colder climates, spiders can hibernate. It allows them to live and survive in a kind of suspended state until the temperatures rise. While they are inactive, the spiders’ metabolism slows down. You can sort of tell whether spiders are sleeping or in hibernation by observing their body language. During hibernation, spiders tuck in their legs, and their metabolic rates slow to help them survive. Their metabolic rate slowing allows them not to have to burn as many calories. They can survive without eating and living in a sleeplike state until the cold weather ends.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Photo Credit: Cen

The same tucked-in position also indicates a sleeping spider. However, if you see a spider laying on its back or in an awkward position with legs tucked, then it may not be alive. Spiders are pretty savvy about taking care of their odds for survival. They tend to hunt, nest, and sleep out of harm’s way. When spiders go into hibernation, they are most likely to be found in their webs. People might find them in protected places such as cracks in the walls. Triggers besides circadian rhythms and cold temperatures can cause spiders to become unconscious. For instance, female funnel-web spiders can lose consciousness during mating in response to males’ pheromones. 

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Many people have heard of the saying that if you see a cow lying down, it will rain. However, some may be surprised to find out that it is not valid. Shutterstock

3. Cows spend over half of their lives lying down – but not always sleeping.

While cows may doze off for a few minutes at a time while standing up, they typically lie down to sleep or rest. They usually lean forward on their chest and forelimbs or lie entirely on their sides. Just as with any other animals, cows need their sleep to stay healthy. It is a common misconception that cows sleep standing up. Cows lie down for up to 14 hours per day and stand up every few hours to stretch, only to lie back down again. While they are lying down, the cow’s hooves get a rest from standing and also have a chance to dry off from any moisture they have encountered while wandering.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Photo Credit: Weidefunk

Besides, while lying down, cows can properly digest their food. The blood circulation also increases throughout a cow’s udders to help with the milk production while in a resting position. Although they spend up to 14 hours a day lying down, only a small fraction of that time is sleeping. They spend around four hours each day sleeping. They don’t usually sleep for four hours straight, but instead, they sleep for shorter periods. Cows take frequent naps throughout the day and night that typically last between one and five minutes at a time.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
While it doesn’t seem that a tiny snail would have a busy, chaotic life, they can sleep for years. Shutterstock

2. Some snails, such as desert snails, estivate while others hibernate.

We are all pretty familiar with hibernation when some animals conserve their energy by lowering their metabolism and ‘sleeping’ through the cold months. Some small species hibernate, but they also estivate. That is essentially the summer version of hibernation, in which animals enter a prolonged dormant state. Animals do this to protect themselves from the dryness and dangerously high temperatures. Snails can estivate for years. One instance of this was when a British museum worker found an Egyptian snail’s shell and assumed it was empty.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Photo Credit: Welcome Wildlife

She went on to attach the shell to an identification card. Four years later, someone noticed there were traces of slime on the card. They put the shell into the water, and when the body came off the card, the workers were left stunned. As the cover came off, an alive, awake snail crawled out. The snail was estivating the entire time. Snails in colder climates can hibernate, while snails in hotter climates estivate during the summer months. Snails can decide to go into a deep sleep to avoid adverse weather conditions and periods when food is scarce. When snails go into either hibernation or estivation, they seal themselves safely inside their shells with a mucus layer that forms a hard cover over the opening. 

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Similar to horses, elephants are also able to sleep standing up. As prey animals, they need to be able to remain alert and run away quickly. Shutterstock

1. Elephants sleep for two hours every day. 

With averaging just two hours of sleep a night, wild elephants are the lightest-known sleepers of any mammal. They might have little competition for this title in the giraffe. Wild elephants have more dangers and pressure to find food; wild animals tend to sleep less. The majority of the time, elephants will sleep standing up. Occasionally they would lie down when they require rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM, the muscles usually relax, making it impossible to remain standing. However, this amount is so small that it doesn’t happen often.

Unusual Sleeping Habits of Earth’s Creatures
Photo Credit: New Scientist

Wild elephants are not too picky about where they sleep, but they are also on high alert when a predator presents itself. Surprisingly, their physical activity level during the day doesn’t directly impact how long they doze off. Bigger animals generally tend to sleep less, likely because they have to spend much time eating. Captive elephants tend to sleep a little longer, averaging three to seven hours a day. However, they do not have to worry about the threat of predators or where their next meal will come from. Researchers have uncovered that while elephants slept for an average of two hours a day, it was not consecutively. Instead, it was in four to five short bursts and occurred primarily between the nighttime hours. Each time the elephants slept in different places each night.  


Where do we Find this Stuff? Here are Our Sources: