Animals That Sleep A Lot

Different animals have different sleeping habits. The sleepiest animals can sleep up to 22 and 24 hours straight, while others need as little as 2 hours of sleep, for instance, the giraffe. 

Animals That Sleep A Lot

These sleeping patterns are typically influenced by factors such as activity, the species’ requirements, and food. 

While sleep plays a vital role in human development – with too much and too little having an impact, this simply isn’t the case for some animals. 

With this in mind, we have created a guide looking at the different animals that sleep the most, as well as the ones that sleep the least. 

Grab your pillows and blankets, as we jump straight into exploring the sleepiest animals. 

How Much Sleep Do Animals Require?

Similar to humans, animals require sleep, however, the required amount of sleep necessary depends on the species. 

Some animals are nocturnal which means they sleep through the day and are active at night, while others sleep during the night and vice-versa. 

Sleep is necessary for all animals, helping organisms relax, remain balanced, and recover energy – this is particularly important for a healthy metabolism. 

Therefore, if you are wondering whether they are any animals that don’t sleep (see also: Animals That Don’t Sleep)at all, there simply aren’t any – all animals need to sleep. 

The only difference between animal sleeping habits is the amount of sleep they require to remain happy and healthy.

15 Animals That Sleep A Lot

Here, we are going to explore the animals that sleep the most. While all animals are required to sleep, their longevity differs dramatically, as well as how they sleep. 

For instance, some animals tend to hibernate (see also: Animals That Hibernate)during the winter months to survive the colder and longer periods when resources are scarce and to help conserve energy. 

However, today we aren’t focusing on hibernating animals, instead, we’re focusing on animals that sleep the most during the day. 

1. Koala

Koalas, otherwise known as Phascolarctos cinereus, are categorized as herbivores – belonging to the marsupial family. You’ll most likely see these adorable creatures high up in the trees since they find it difficult to move around on the ground. 

In addition to this, koalas are known as the sleepiest animal species, known to sleep around 22 hours a day! With their remaining two hours of the day, they use this time to feed and perform basic requirements. 

You may be wondering why koalas sleep so much, well; the answer lies in their diet. Since their diet consists mainly of eucalyptus leaves, which are low-nutrient plants, most of their energy is focused on digesting this food properly. 

Fun Fact: Koalas love to eat. Per day, they can feed on up to one kilogram of eucalyptus! 

2. Sloth

Sloths belong to the suborder, Folivora, and are able to sleep up to 20 hours a day! 

Among the different animals, sloths have one of the most interesting sleeping habits, too. Whereby they can be found hanging onto a tree sleeping or curled into a ball. 

Moreover, domesticated sloths are known to sleep even longer – up to 23 hours a day. This is primarily due to the fact that they aren’t responsible for finding their own food. 

3. Little Brown Bat

The little brown bat, otherwise known as Myotis Longipes, lives up to its name by being approximately 10 cm in length and 14 kilograms in weight. 

This tiny animal invests 20 hours of the day sleeping. Moreover, they have a life expectancy of seven years. 

Fun Fact: The little brown bat feeds while flying. 

4. Armadillo

Animals That Sleep A Lot

The armadillo, otherwise known as Dasypodidae, is considered to be a mammal and can be distinguished by its hard shell. It has a similar appearance to that of a prehistoric rat. 

Moreover, this sleepy animal has small eyes and a pointed muzzle with gray, yellowish, pink, or brown skin. Plus, can sleep up to 19 hours a day!

These animals prefer to live in humid and hot climates, (see also: Animals That Live In Hot Climates)for instance, in grasslands or wooded areas. 

Fun Fact: These animals have bad eyesight, therefore, they rely on their sense of smell to find food. 

5. Opossum

The opossum, otherwise known as Didelphimorphia Superfamily, belongs to the marsupial family and features a robust body, an elongated snout, and a 40cm long tail. 

To recover energy, the opossum sleeps around 19 hours a day!

Fun Fact: These animals have a set of 50 teeth. 

6. Mountain Pygmy Possum

The mountain pygmy possum, otherwise known as Burramys Parvus, is native to South America and is a marsupial animal. These possums dedicate around 18 hours of their day to sleep. 

Although, once they wake up, their mind goes straight to food – eating anything they can get their paws on! These include leaves, plants, insects, fruits, small birds, snakes, etc.

Fun Fact: Despite their cuddly exterior, these animals are master hunters. 

7. Ferret

The ferret, otherwise known as Mustela Putorius Furo), is known to be a carnivorous mammal that features short legs, an elongated body, small eyes, and a profiled nose. Their coats can vary in color, with anything from black, to silver, and white. 

These animals love to sleep; racking up approximately 18 hours a day! Unlike some other animals, when awake, the ferret loves to socialize, play, and explore its surroundings. 

Fun Fact: If a female ferret doesn’t mate, they are at risk of producing too much estrogen which can be fatal to them. 

8. Tiger

Animals That Sleep A Lot

The tiger, also known as Panthera Tigris, is among one of the largest and most feared animals roaming the planet. In addition to being excellent hunters, they are also top of the food chain in their habitats. 

During the day, these animals dedicate 16 hours to sleep. As such, during the night is when they awake and spend their time hunting and searching for a partner. The latter is typically achieved during mating season. 

Fun Fact: More tigers live in captivity than in the wild. 

9. Lemur

The lemur, otherwise known as Lemuroidea Superfamily, is a mammal known to be endemic to the island of Madagascar (Also check out Animals In Madagascar). These animals belong to the primate family and spend most of the day in trees where they can avoid prey.

Plus, here, this is where they sleep – offering 16 hours of their day to sleep. 

Fun Fact: Lemurs communicate using scent. 

10. Shrew

The shrew, also known as Subfamily Soricidae, is categorized as a mammal that typically feeds on small invertebrates and mammals.

These tiny creatures measure between 5 and 8 cm and feature small eyes, a very long tail, a pointed snout, and short fur.  

These animals typically sleep around 16 hours a day.

Fun Fact: Even though these creatures are mammals, some species can be venomous. 

11. Domestic Cat

The domestic cat, known as Felis Silvestris Catus in technical terms, is among the most famous pets in the world. 

These fluffy-furred and interesting animals are known for their love of sleep. Typically, domesticated cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day. 

The rest of the day, they spend their time eating, being active, cuddling, and playing. 

Fun Fact: Cats can’t taste sweetness. 

12. Tree Shrew

Animals That Sleep A Lot

These small mammals are native to the continent of Asia. Tree shrews generally feed on small insects, including grasshoppers, butterflies, ants, etc. 

Moreover, they dedicate approximately 15 hours of their day to sleep. 

Fun Fact: Tree shrews are extremely territorial. 

13. Lion

Despite their fearsome appearance, lions, otherwise known as Panthera Leo, love to sleep!

While the females hunt for food and take care of the young, the males will spend approximately 13 to 20 hours of their day sleeping. 

When awakened, these animals will spend most of their time feeding, protecting their pride, or mating. 

Fun Fact: Lion cubs are born with blue eyes.

14. Squirrels 

The squirrel, otherwise known as the subfamily Ratufinae, are considered rodents that can be found all across the world. 

Typically squirrels live in trees. However, you can also find ground squirrels that dig burrows in the ground. 

Squirrels can spend up to 14 hours of their day resting. Moreover, when they are active, they will spend this time changing shelters and feeding. 

Fun Fact: When born, squirrels are blind. 

15. Dog

Known as man’s best friend, dogs – similar to man – love to sleep as well! 

While dogs, called Canis Lupus Familiaris in technical terms, are alert to any threats and remain awake during the day, they spend around 13 hours of the day sleeping. 

However, this is generally distributed in intervals without 8 to 9 hours of rest during the night with lots of naps during the day. 

Final Thoughts…

The sleeping habits of animals vary dramatically depending on the species. Some require lots of sleep, while others can sleep very little. 

Among all the different animals, koalas are known to sleep the most. Hopefully, this guide has informed you on the sleepiest animals.  Animals with extensive sleep cycles, like the giant armadillo and python, exemplify the diverse ways sleep supports various biological functions. 

These creatures often sleep for up to 15 hours a day, sometimes even more, segmented into hours at a time. This pattern aids their digestive systems, particularly after consuming large meals.

The python, for instance, can spend an entire day away in a state of doze, allowing its body to efficiently process food. Similarly, the giant armadillo spends much of its time lounging around, a behavior that conserves energy and supports its slow metabolic processes. 

These animals demonstrate how sleep, far from being a passive state, is a vital aspect of survival and health in the animal kingdom.

Olivia Kepner