Animals That Sleep the Least

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


What feels like a nap to you might be a full night of sleep for a wild animal

The animal kingdom has a wide range of species, and not all of them require tons of sleep. Animals that graze to eat sleep less than those that hunt and can eat a big, meaty meal in one sitting. And larger animals tend to sleep less than smaller ones. Learn about some of the species that get by on the smallest amount of shut-eye.

  1. Walruses: These guys may look sleepy in photos or at the zoo, but they can actually go for up to 84 hours straight without a single minute of sleep. And they aren’t just lying around—they are spending that time swimming through the ocean looking for food!
  2. Deer: Bambi’s brethren need only about three hours of sleep in a 24-hour cycle. And when most people are winding down at night, deer are at their most active.
  3. Horses: Not only can they sleep standing up, but horses need merely two and a half hours of sleep a night. They tend to snooze in small, 15-minute chunks.
  4. Giraffes: These tall animals can get by on just two hours of sleep a day (and like horses, those minutes can be split up into smaller chunks).
  5. Elephants: As giant as they are, you’d think they would need a ton of time to catch up on sleep. But actually, elephants only need three to four hours of sleep a night.
  6. Sheep: Animals that flock together, sleep together. Sheep snooze huddled together in a group and need fewer than four hours of sleep a night.