Did You Sleep Enough?

The Nap (painting by Jan Verhas, 1879)

20 November 2022

Last week as I walked past a team of Allegheny Goatscape goats munching invasive plants in Schenley Park, I noticed a sign that described their sleep cycles. The goats, who are guarded by a donkey, sleep 5 hours in a 24-hour day. The donkey sleeps only 3 hours. Imagine being able to function normally on so little sleep!

Goats and guard donkey at Frick Park in Aug 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Some animals sleep less than we do, some sleep more.

We humans, who average 8 hours per day, are well aware of our pets’ sleep cycles. Cats sleep 12 hours a day (so do mice!). When this man gets up his cat will curl up in the warm spot and go back to sleep.

Cat sleeping on man (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Adopted greyhounds are champions at sleeping 18 hours a day.

Greyhound sleeping (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Brown bats have one of the longest sleep cycles at almost 20 hours (19.9 hours per day according to this table).

Little brown bat sleeping (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Birds are in the middle, sleeping 10-12 hours a day, but their sleep is highly variable by species, place and season, especially in the Arctic where a summer “day” can be 24 hours long.

Sleeping duck (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Guppies sleep slightly less than humans at 7 hours a day.

Trinidadian guppies (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

And giraffes win the prize for the least sleep at only 1.9 hours a day!

Giraffe (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Did you get enough sleep last night? No? Then it’s time for a nap!

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(photos from Wikimedia Commons except where indicated; click on the captions to see the originals)

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