There are few things more beloved in this world than cute animals and sleep. Why not combine them? In honor of Earth Day, Sleep Outfitters presents some of the sleepiest animals on the planet. (Disclaimer: The following may make you “aw” and “yawn” with abandon. This is out of your control.)
Let’s address the elephant in the room right away: Sloths. Despite what everything about them might suggest, they are surprisingly NOT the sleepiest animal of them all. Though they’ve been recorded to sleep 15-18 hours a day in captivity, recent studies have shown in the wild they are more likely to get around 10 hours. Lazy? Well, that title still fits.
Hats off to the (somewhat disputed) king of sleep: the Koala bear. They’ve been reported to sleep up to 22 hours a day in captivity, over 90% of their lives. In the Australian wild, that figure may be closer to 14.5 hours of sleep daily, boosted by 5 additional hours of rest and inactivity. But why? Koalas tend to enjoy eucalyptus leaves, which are low in nutrition, high in fiber, and full of toxins. For this reason, it takes more energy to safely digest. And what gives us energy? You got it.
Little Brown Bats
Being nocturnal certainly has its benefits. The dark horse in the sleepiest animal championship, little brown bats have been clocked in at some 19.9 hours a day asleep, hanging upside down in caves. They also are known to hibernate half the year due to lack of food.
Known as the “night monkey” as well, this creature also benefits from a nocturnal nature, swinging up to 17 hours of sleep. Their name makes an obvious allusion: big brown eyes help them see more clearly in the forests of Central and South America at nighttime.
It may seem nutty (forgive us) for such a seemingly active, scurrying animal, but squirrels still find time for ample sleep, up to 14.9 hours a day. Squirrels mostly enjoy carbs, protein and fatty foods, leading to sleep, usually in nests built of twigs, leaves, and pine needles. Not quite a Tempur-Pedic, but in the wild it’ll do!
Cats Cats Cats
No matter the size of their “meow,” you can always count on a cat to nap. They are cathemeral, taking quick, irregular naps all day so they can eat at any time it suits them. Bigger cats reign supreme in the feline Sleeplympics, with predatory lions and tigers getting up to 14-16 hours daily. House cats aren’t far behind, averaging about half their days snoozing away.
Hamsters and Mice
The pocket mouse may be tiny, but its sleep is mighty! At 20.1 hours, they rank among the longest sleepers in the animal kingdom, perhaps to avoid predators. Less impressively but certainly cuddlier, the golden hamster earns up to 14 hours of sleep deep inside its burrow.
At anywhere from 18-20 hours asleep, the armadillo is hard to beat in the sleepiness department. However, these are considered hours spent in underground burrows, without much hard evidence that 100% of this time is spent sleeping. Nonetheless, imagine spending 20 hours a day in your bed!
Last AND least (after that review of the cutest creatures, mankind just doesn’t hold up!), we ourselves are impressively sleepy, especially as infants, sleeping up to 16 hours, two-thirds of our young lives. Being alive can be a little overwhelming at first, so sleep is essential in processing new experiences, making memories, and developing a new brain.
Naturally, these hours come with a price: New parents are expected to lose around 600 hours of sleep in just baby’s first year. Visit a Sleep Outfitters near you to make the most of the hours you do get with a properly fitted mattress!