Did you know that the average person spends a third of their life asleep? That means in a life time people can spend up to 25 years of their life sleeping. For humans, sleep is hugely important in order to have a healthy life. Most humans sleep on average 8 hours a night, we prefer to sleep in a warm room with a comfy bed and maybe even a luxurious memory foam mattress to make sure that we get the best amount of sleep to energise us for the day ahead.
People who have either a very short sleep duration, or alternatively sleep for more than 10 hours a day actually have a higher risk of dying prematurely. But while we humans spend our lives worrying about sleeping problems and whether we have had the right amount of shut eye to feel sufficiently rejuvenated, animals simply don’t have the same problem.
Animals sleep for a varying amount of time, with the sleepiest animals in the world sleeping for up to 22 out of 24 hours of the day and others, such as the giraffe, sleeping for as little as 2 hours a day. Here is a list of the animals that require more sleep than humans:
Koala – 22 hours
Koalas are thickset arboreal marsupials with a thick grey fur. Found only living in Australia, they mainly live in the eucalyptus trees and spend around 22 hours of their time sleeping (90%). They spend the other 10% of their day eating and sitting around.
Brown Bat/Sloths – 20 hours
Bats are known for only emerging during the night time, but surprisingly, brown bats are still only awake for 4 hours of the night. They sleep for a whopping 20 hours (83%) hanging upside down. Due to lack of food they also spend 6 months of the year in hibernation. Sloths also spend 20 hours of their day asleep.
Giant Armadillo/ Opossums/ Tigers – 19 hours
Most active in the day night, giant armadillos tend to sleep through the larger portion of the day for 18-19 hours. It is unknown why they require so much sleep, but it may simply be due to the fact they are a solitary
animal and therefore don’t have much else to do. Opossums and tigers also sleep for 18-19 hours a day.
Owl Monkeys – 17 hours
Most active during the night, the owl monkey is very much a nocturnal animal as it sleeps for approximately 17 hours during the day. Found in the forests of Central and South America, owl monkeys have huge brown eyes that enable them to see clearly in the dark when they are awake.
Chipmunk – 15 hours
Found mainly in North America, these small, striped rodents spend 15 hours a day sleeping. It is thought that sleep so long due to sleeping in a hidden place and not having to stay alert like those out in the open.
Platypuses – 14 hours
Also from Australia, the platypus spends more of its time in REM sleep than any other mammal. The sleep time of the majority of platypuses is 14 hours, it is thought this could be due to the high calorie intake they receive from their diet of crustaceans.
Lions – 13 hours
Lions are mainly nocturnal, though they border on being crepuscular in nature, so they sleep through the majority of the day and tend to be mainly active during the hours of dusk and dawn. They spend around 13 hours of the day sleeping, just an hour or too more than their close relatives, cats.
Many animals are nocturnal and sleep during the day, while others are diurnal like humans, and sleep through the night. As mentioned above. Some animals are even crepuscular and only wake during twilight hours. All animals adapt their sleep patterns and cycles to avoid competition for survival in the wild.
So, which animal do you think is luckiest in getting a huge lie-in? Or are you happy with the human average of 8 hours a night?