How Much Do Animals Sleep?

Most animals have a daily pattern of rest and activity. Some animals are more active during the day (diurnal) and some are more active during the night (nocturnal). How much time do animals spend sleeping? Well, it depends on the animal:

SpeciesAverage Total Sleep Time
(% of 24 hr)
Average Total Sleep Time
(Hours/day)
Brown Bat 82.9% 19.9 hr
Giant Armadillo 75.4% 18.1 hr
North American Opossum 75% 18 hr
Python 75% 18 hr
Owl Monkey 70.8% 17.0 hr
Human (infant) 66.7% 16 hr
Tiger 65.8% 15.8 hr
Tree shrew 65.8% 15.8 hr
Squirrel 62% 14.9 hr
Western Toad 60.8% 14.6 hr
Ferret 60.4% 14.5 hr
Three-toed Sloth 60% 14.4 hr
Golden Hamster 59.6% 14.3 hr
Platypus 58.3% 14.0 hr
Lion 56.3% 13.5 hr
Gerbil 54.4% 13.1 hr
Rat 52.4% 12.6 hr
Cat 50.6% 12.1 hr
Cheetah 50.6% 12.1 hr
Mouse 50.3% 12.1 hr
Rhesus Monkey 49.2% 11.8 hr
Rabbit 47.5% 11.4 hr
Jaguar 45% 10.8 hr
Duck 45% 10.8 hr
Dog 44.3% 10.6 hr
Bottle-nosed dolphin 43.3% 10.4 hr
Star-nosed Mole 42.9% 10.3 hr
Baboon 42.9% 10.3 hr
European Hedgehog 42.2% 10.1 hr
Squirrel Monkey 41.3% 9.9 hr
Chimpanzee 40.4% 9.7 hr
Guinea Pig 39.2% 9.4 hr
Human (adult) 33.3% 8 hr
Pig 32.6% 7.8 hr
Guppy (fish) 29.1% 7 hr
Gray Seal 25.8% 6.2 hr
Human (elderly) 22.9% 5.5 hr
Goat 22.1% 5.3 hr
Cow 16.4% 3.9 hr
Asiatic Elephant 16.4% 3.9 hr
Sheep 16% 3.8 hr
African Elephant 13.8% 3.3 hr
Donkey 13.0% 3.1 hr
Horse 12.0% 2.9 hr
Giraffe 7.9% 1.9 hr

References: This table was adapted from four sources:

  1. Aserinsky, E., Eyelid condition at birth: relationship to adult mammalian sleep-waking patterns, In Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, edited by B.N. Mallick and S. Inoue, Narosa Publishing, New Delhi, 1999, p. 7.

  2. Campbell, S.S. and Tobler, I., Animal sleep: a review of sleep duration across phylogeny. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Rev., 8:269-300, 1984.

  3. Kryger, M.H., Roth, T. and Dement, W.C., Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia, 1989, pp. 39-41.

  4. Tobler, I., Napping and polyphasic sleep in mammals, In Sleep and Alertness: Chronobiological, Behavioral and Medical Aspects of Napping, edited by D.F. Dinges and R.J. Broughton, Raven Press, New York, 1989, pp. 9-31.

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Did you know?

The brain of a dolphin appears to sleep one hemisphere at a time.

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