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Do dolphins sleep at night?

May 11, 2014

First Name

Sam and Lorel

Your Question    

Do dolphins sleep at night?


Well Sam & Laurel, my first inclination is to say fish don’t sleep at night.  However, it would be wrong of me to assume that. Dolphins are very fascinating creatures. From the folks at Scientific America, we learn that dolphins show two basic methods of sleeping: they either rest quietly in the water, vertically or horizontally, or sleep while swimming slowly next to another animal. Individual dolphins also enter a deeper form of sleep, mostly at night. It is called logging because in this state, a dolphin resembles a log floating at the water’s surface.

While sleeping, the bottlenose dolphin shuts down only half of its brain, along with the opposite eye. The other half of the brain stays awake at a low level of alertness. This attentive side is used to watch for predators, obstacles and other animals. It also signals when to rise to the surface for a fresh breath of air. After approximately two hours, the animal will reverse this process, resting the active side of the brain and awaking the rested half. This pattern is often called cat-napping. 

If you want to read more about dolphin sleep patterns, have a look here.


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