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Top 30 Animals That Sleep the Most

Discover the top 30 animals that sleep the longest!

There are animals that sleep up to 22 hours a day and are only awake for 2 hours a day. For many people this sounds heavenly. Who wouldn't love to sleep for so long?

We have put together the top 30 animals that sleep the most for you! We also reveal amazing sleeping habits from the animal kingdom. Did you know that there are animals that fall into a digestive sleep for more than one year? But let's start with the most important thing: the table with the records!

Sloth Sloth - Photo: Lukas Kovarik/Shutterstock


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Animals That Sleep the Most (by Animal Order)

First, we have a list sorted by animal order (mammal, reptile, bird and so on). It is still uncertain if amphibians sleep like mammals or humans, despite having periods of rest.

Animal OrderSpeciesSleep per day
Mammal Koala 18-22 hours
Reptile Python 18-20 hours
Bird Magnificent frigatebird 12 hours
Insect Fire ant 9 hours
Fish Guppy 7 hours
Invertebrate Octopus 2 hours
Amphibian ? ?

Koala Photo: Adam James Booth (Koala)/Shutterstock, Creative Cat Studio (Remote Control)/stock.adobe.com

Top 30 Animals That Sleep the Most (Per Day)

Officially, the koala is the animal that sleeps the longest. It sleeps 22 hours and is only awake 2-4 hours a day - mainly to eat eucalyptus leaves. They contain little energy and are difficult to digest. That's why the koala tries to "save" as much energy as possible by sleeping.

AnimalSleep per day
Koala 18-22 hours *
Pocket mouse 20 hours
Big Brown Bat 20 hours
Tiger 18-20 hours
Python 18-20 hours
Walrus 19 hours *
Lion 18-20 hours
Hedgehog 18-20 hours
Opossum 18 hours
Armadillo 18 hours
Night monkey 17 hours
Crocodile 17 hours
Cat 12-16 hours
Squirrel 15 hours
Dog 12-14 hours
Platypus 14 hours
Elephant seal 14 hours
Cheetah 12 hours
Magnificent frigatebird 12 hours ***
Chimpanzee 8-12 hours
Gorilla 12 hours
Mouse 12 hours
Owl 10-12 hours
Chinstrap penguin 11 hours
Sloth 8-10 hours ****
Hummingbird 8-10 hours
Fire ant 9 hours
Baboon 9 hours
Dolphin 8 hours

* Source: Australian Koala Foundation
** But can stay awake for 84 hours at a time
*** While on land
**** Source: The Sloth Conservation Foundation

Koala Koala - Photo: Andywak/Shutterstock


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Sloths (Don't) Sleep 15-20 hours

It has long been said that sloths sleep 15-20 hours a day. However, The Sloth Conservation Foundation has found that only captive sloths have been observed so far. Their behavior is completely differently because they don't have to fear enemies and food is always available. In addition, rest and sleep phases are difficult to distinguish through observation alone. More precise measurements with EEG (electroencephalography; measurement of brain activity) and EMG (electromyography; measurement of muscle activity) have shown different numbers. The sloth actually doesn't sleep more than 8-10 hours.

Sloth Sloth - Photo: milan noga (left), kungverylucky (right)/Shutterstock

How Long Do People Sleep?

 Sleep per Day
Baby 16 hours
Adult human 8 hours
Old person 5-6 hours

Fun Facts

Longest REM Sleep

The platypus is in the Guinness Book of Records. It holds the record for the mammal with the longest REM sleep. In 2017, researchers found that it spends eight hours a day in REM sleep. For comparison: the longest REM sleep of a human was 3 hours and 8 minutes. This sleep usually lasts only 20 minutes. REM sleep is when we intensively dream. What does the platypus dream about?

Longest Digestive Sleep

In Australia in 2006, a Eastern pygmy possum (a small marsupial) ate quite a lot of food. It then fell into an unusually long digestive sleep. It lasted longer than a year: 367 days!

Sources:

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