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Community & Culture

8 Sleepiest Animals on the Planet

Finding it difficult to make it through an 8-hour work day? You're not the only one. Many animals — both wild and domestic — require a lot more sleep than humans (even when we do rarely reach the recommended seven to nine hours per night). But which are the sleepiest animals?

Since most of these sleep patterns are determined by the animal's need (or lack thereof) to hunt for food, and because most of them are found around the world, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how often they sleep vs. how often they rest. One thing is for certain though: these are some of the most inactive animals on the planet.

  1. Giant armadillo. The armadillo sleeps more than almost any other species — up to 19 hours per day. The only living mammals with armor-like shells, armadillos will burrow underground and either sleep or rest for the vast majority of the day. When there's no light creeping in, it's easy to get some extra shut-eye.
  2. Opossum. You would think with 19 hours of beauty sleep opossums would be a bit more pleasing to the eye. Not so much. Opossums sleep pretty much all day and do most of their hunting and eating over the course of a few hours at night.
  3. Little brown bat. As if hibernating half of the year wasn't enough, brown bats also sleep around 20 hours each day. Little brown bats identify roosts where the air temperature stays relatively constant throughout the day and night and light is minimal. They typically sleep during the entire day and wake for a few hours at night to hunt for insect prey.
  4. Lemur. What do lemurs and human infants have in common? The amount of sleep they require. Both sleep around 16 hours each day. The difference being that lemurs are completely nocturnal and typically sleep in small groups. Also similar to humans, lemurs prefer to sleep at the same place each night.
  5. Squirrel. When they aren't out packing their cheeks and jumping from tree to tree, squirrels spend a significant amount of their time sleeping — typically up to 14 hours a day. Their diets are rich in carbs and fat, causing them to slip into a slumber. Squirrels generally sleep in nests filled with soft materials like fur and feathers. They usually get their shut-eye during the early evening and throughout the night.
  6. Owl monkey. The owl monkey, also known as the night monkey, spends about 17 hours a day sleeping. They are truly nocturnal animals, taking advantage of their large brown eyes that help them see clearly in the nighttime darkness. Owl monkeys are typically found in the forests of Central and South America.
  7. Sloth. Of course, the stereotypical slow, lazy animal is the sloth, which typically sleeps up to 20 hours a day (though many argue that a lot of this time is actually just inactivity vs. actual sleeping and estimate 10-14 hours to be more accurate). Either way, these animals are getting a lot of rest! Sloths actually spend most of their day (both awake and asleep) from their treetop homes.
  8. Koala. Koalas are the king of laziness, sleeping for almost 22 hours each day. Found mostly in the coastal areas of Australia, koalas feed primarily on eucalyptus trees. This high-fiber diet requires a lot of rest for proper digestion and delivers low energy results. This much sleep amounts to almost 92% of their entire lives!

When you consider the sleepiest animals like the koala and sloth, spending one-third of your life asleep may not seem quite as significant. Don't pay too much attention to the opposite end of the spectrum though — giraffes can operate on 30 minutes or less of sleep each day. Mattress Firm also learned that bugs rarely go to bed. Talk about productive!

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