Sleep Habits of the Animal Kingdom Infographic

Do all animals sleep? Does a dolphin need to catch a quick cat nap before swimming laps? Is it true that horses can sleep standing up? And what about opossums and bats… can they really doze upside-down?

The long and short of it is that scientists aren’t entirely sure. In truth, we don’t actually know how many types of animals there are in the world, let alone how all of them sleep. Though experts believe there are between 1 to 2 million species of animals on earth, some say that upwards of 86% of land species and 91% of all sea species have yet to be discovered.

FAQ: Should My Pet Sleep In Bed With Me?

So… We Have No Idea if Non-Human Animals Sleep?

Well, not exactly. According to the National Sleep Foundation, several species of animals slumber in much the same way humans do, though their sleep patterns and habits are as diverse as the creatures themselves.

Scientists have found that one type of animal may go through totally different stages of sleep than another. Insects and fish, for example, never experience REM sleep, though most birds and all mammals do every night. Additionally, the amount of time these critters snooze can vary wildly. While sea otters and parrots need up to 11 hours of shut eye to feel well-rested, blue whales can get by just fine with two, and giraffes are able to get all the energy they need from a single, 30-minute nap.

Compelling stuff, right? To learn more about how the various members of the Animal Kingdom catch their respective Zzz’s, take a peek at our infographic below. It’s chock-full of tantalizing facts, weird tidbits, and surprising stats that should shed some light on the species-unifying subject of sleep.

Click the image to enlarge to full size

Sleep Habits of the Animal Kingdom

As you can see, we have a lot more in common with our animal brethren than you might at first think. While a pig may not have the option of cuddling up on a plush memory foam bed, they still like to get the same eight hours of sleep that us humans do. And interestingly enough, orangutans have been shown to actually make their own mattresses out of cushiony leaves and twigs, which sounds like a pretty industrious (and cost-effective!) skill to us.

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13 thoughts on “Sleep Habits of the Animal Kingdom Infographic

  1. I am totally pinning this on Pinterest (on my “Know It All” board, hahaha)! I had quite a few, “WHAT?” moments while I read this. I will give you guys the credit that you deserve on my pin. Thank you for all that you do!

  2. Can one safely put one of the new foam mattress like Casper or Leesa on top of a traditional box spring? This would look more traditional. Matbe even better support?
    #2 how does one get ride of ones old traditional mattress? thank you, Anthony

    • Hi Anthony,

      In most cases, yes, Casper, Leesa, or most any mattress can be used on a traditional box spring. The thing you’ll want to watch out for is the very traditional box springs that contain actual springs. They generally will not provide the right support.

      However, I always recommend checking directly with the mattress company. Some companies have strict warranty policies and a boxspring may not be a valid foundation for their warranty.

      As far as getting rid of your old mattress. If it’s in decent shape you can offer it for free on Craigslist or depending on your state / city you can call up a charity, who will usually come pick it up for free. The Salvation Army will pick them up.

      If it’s super old or just not in great shape you may just have to recycle it. In which case, you’ll want to call 1-800 Got Junk.

      Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you. Thanks!

  3. Sleep is a necessity when it comes to physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We provide the foam that goes into the foundation of your bed! This infographic of the animal kingdom’s sleep habits is truly enlightening. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wow, this is a very cool chart. It explains why our 2 dogs and 3 cats seem to sleep so much. Now if only we could get the 8 hours that we are supposed to sleep. I get around 6 and hubby gets about the same. Too much to do in life I guess, and my biggest downfall is being online when I should really be in bed! Thanks again for the cool chart. At least we know our critters are just being normal and not lazy ;)

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