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Animals

Sleep Habits of: Tigers

Have you ever seen a housecat laze the day away? Well, tigers have them beat! Tigers spend even more time napping than their domesticated brethren—specifically, 16 to 20 hours a day versus just 12 for a cat. In other words: Tigers in the wild sleep more like newborn babies than kittens. The majority of these zzz’s happen during the day, because tigers in the wild do most of their prowling at night, aided by night vision that’s six times better than humans’. A big reason for so much sleepiness? It isn’t easy dragging around that big body. Bengal tigers, the biggest in the cat family, typically measure nine to 10 feet long, not including a two- to three-foot…

Sleep Habits Of: Lions

These kings of the jungle get quite a bit of shut-eye! It turns out that “I’m a lion, hear me roar!” should probably be changed to “I’m a lion, hear me snore!” The king of the jungle racks up enough sleep to make the average house cat look extremely active by comparison. Take a look at just how much time the big cats spend snoozing below. How Many Hours Do Most Lions Spend Sleeping? Male lions spend 18 to 20 hours a day snoozing, while females get 15 to 18 hours of shuteye. The lionesses spend more time hunting and taking care of cubs, which is why they get slightly less sleep. And following…

How to Help Your Pet Get More Sleep

These simple steps will help cats and dogs get the rest that they need. “Sleep like a dog,” “take a cat nap”…there’s a reason that you associate pups and kitties with sleep—they love to snooze! Most pet owners won’t have to worry about their fur ball getting too few winks, but dogs and cats occasionally do need more shuteye. How Much Sleep Does My Pet Need? On average, dogs sleep about 14 hours a day (though large breeds may sleep more), while cats spend 15 to 20 hours snoozing (yes, be jealous). Dogs tend to nap during the day and sleep through the night, while cats get most of their shuteye during daytime hours…

Sleep Habits of: Bears

Find out what hibernation is, exactly, and how bears’ habits change with the seasons. If asked to describe how bears sleep, most people would probably say something about how they hibernate all winter. That’s true…sort of. The deciding factors in how much these animals sleep are the season and how much foraging for food they need to do. In the coldest three to five months of the year, bears go into hibernation. But the act of hibernation isn’t the same as everyday sleep, because their bodies go through more drastic changes during hibernation. For example, while hibernating, bears experience a reduced heart rate and blood flow, their body temperature falls by about 10…

Day in, Day Out – The Importance of Routine in Our Daily Lives

Waking up at 6 AM every weekend? There might be something healthy going on. Much to my dismay, at 6:00 every morning my Italian Greyhound Pip nudges me awake, so that I can feed him. Not at 5:55 or 6:05, but at 6:00, on the dot, every morning. His inner alarm bell starts ringing, and it becomes critical that he has his breakfast. Pip is nothing if not a model of regularity. He’s also a model sleeper, an excellent squirrel chaser, and, most importantly, is filled with joy every single day. What does Pip know that I don’t? Probably many things, but one in particular is how important routine is in our daily lives. As any…

Why Do Some Animals Sleep Standing Up?

They can’t actually be comfy, can they?   Animals have strange sleep habits; this much is true. But one of the weirdest things about how animals sleep is that some do it standing up. Humans find it hard enough to sleep while sitting in a chair, so how can other animals snooze away happily on their feet? The answer lies in something called a “stay apparatus.” Let’s take a horse. A horse can lock its legs in a straight standing position without requiring muscles to keep them that way. Why would they develop this type of sleeping habit? It comes down to evolution. Horses that could sleep standing up were better able to run away from…

Sleep Habits of Cats

They snooze the day away! Find out why. If you’ve ever uttered the words, “In my next life, I’m coming back as a cat,” then you’re well attuned to the fact that felines enjoy lots and lots of sleep. In fact, cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day, with some snoozing for up to 20 hours per 24-hour period.  The only animals that get more slumber are bats and possums. Cats are crepuscular animals, which means that they’re most active between dusk and dawn. They’re natural predators, so they’re hard-wired to chase and hunt at night, much like lions; in the wild, cats also have enemies, so it behooves them to spend extended periods…

Sleeping with Pets: Is it healthy?

The downside of sharing your bed with furry friends If you love to snuggle up with your dog or cat in bed at night, you aren’t alone. More than half of dog owners encourage their pup to sleep next to them and a similar percentage of cat owners do the same. It’s easy to see why. Being able to physically touch another being, say by feeling the steady breathing of an animal, can raise oxytocin levels, which helps you feel more content. Also, the comfort that comes from cuddling can help you feel less lonely, stressed, or depressed. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. One of the biggest concerns for…

How Many Hours Do Dogs Sleep Each Day?

Sleep all day, sleep all night—here’s what really goes on in Fido’s life. If you have a dog, take a guess: What’s he doing right now? Chances are, the answer is sleeping! Scientists and pet experts aren’t sure why dogs doze so much, but it’s typically how they spend at least half of their day. One theory: Unlike humans who generally stay up all day and then sleep for one long stretch at night, spending as much as 25 percent of their sleep in  sleep, dogs’ shorter sleep stints mean just about 10 percent of their snoozing is REM. The result is that they need more total sleep in order to log enough of…

Do Fish Sleep?

A peek into nighttime at the aquarium Most animals sleep, and fish are no different. But how water-dwellers snooze can look really different from the way humans get their zzz’s. Some differences are obvious (for instance, they don’t lie down or close their eyelids, since sharks are the only fish that even have them and only close them to protect their eyes during encounters with other animals), while others are not-so-obvious (fish never go into REM sleep and some, like sharks, have to keep swimming while they snooze, because they need constant ventilation of their gills). But no matter what state sleep takes, the general idea is the same: It’s a period when activity…