Are you an animal in the bedroom?

Get your head out of the gutter, we’re talking about the best and worst sleeping animals! As humans, we generally need about 8 hours of sleep to feel rested and ready to tackle the day ahead. But what about the animal kingdom? Are you more for a cat or a giraffe sleeper? 

 Koala Sleeping

If you could come back as an animal, make it a koala, these little guys sleep between 18-22 hours a day! They need a crazy amount of energy to break down the toxic leaves that they eat. To make it worse, these leaves have very little nutritional value meaning they need all the sleep they can get to rest, recharge and eat a load of toxic leaves again the next day. What a cycle!  

Squirrel Sleeping

Next up on our list of laziest, sorry longest sleepers is the squirrel, they are asleep for 62% of a 24hr day, sleeping on average 15 hours. Similar to humans, squirrels are awake during the day and sleep at night.  As the sun begins to set they hurry home, sort their babies out and head off to the land of nod. Squirrels also hibernate, they may only be awake for up to 20 hours each week.  

 Cat sleeping

It will come as no surprise to any cat owner that cats enjoy sleeping. On average a cat will sleep up to 14 hours a day, if only eh? Cats like many land mammals need REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is the deepest phase of sleep and one where dreams occur, so yes those cute little leg movements they make mean they are dreaming. 

Now we move on to some of the worst sleeping animals, sheep probably spend a total of 5 hours asleep in a 24 hr period. They spend their awake time grazing, resting and chewing. They are fairly easy going as they’ll sleep anywhere, they prefer higher ground and will often move as a flock when sleeping.  

Elephant sleep

Elephants that were being observed, were seen to have travelled for 2 days non stop with no sleep to escape poachers. Obviously, that wasn’t the norm for them but they do sleep on average for only 4.5 hours a night. Wild elephants will sleep standing up and scientists believe they sleep for so little to eat a lot, our kind of animal, sleep less eat more.  

Giraffe sleep

The tallest animal in the world and the worst sleeper, adult Giraffes can survive on just 30 minutes of sleep in a night. They are our winners, they win the award for the shortest sleep required in the entire animal kingdom. They sleep fully standing in short bursts because of the risks to their well-being in the wild. 

So we’ve established that animals either are incredibly lazy like koalas because they eat rubbish food and need their energy or they are scared they’ll get eaten like the Giraffe and can't risk a long snooze. What about humans?  

Have you found yourself wondering how much sleep do I need?  There’s no fast and easy answer as to how much sleep we need as it does depend on several factors especially age, so let’s assume we are talking about adults (aged 18-64). On average, an adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night to feel refreshed and to be able to function at their best. Though there are always exceptions, some people genuinely don’t need that much sleep (all mothers am I right?!) Margaret Thatcher is famously said to have slept for only four hours a night. Napoleon was asked how many hours of sleep people need he apparently said “6 for a man, 7 for women and 8 for a fool”.  

Does that mean if the length of sleep you need is less than normal then you’re a natural-born leader? Unfortunately, no, it’s unknown why some of us need 10+ hours but Margaret Thatcher only needed 4. What is important is for you to figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best and if sleep is troubling for you you might consider implementing a night-time routine (we’ve got some ideas for one on our blog)