Sleep Habits Of: Lions

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


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 a large meal, lions may even sleep up to 24 hours—talk about a catnap!

Do All Lions Sleep That Much?

Not necessarily. Some lions sleep less, like the lions in Addo National Park in South Africa that sleep about 14 hours a day. This may be because they don’t have established social groups, so they need to spend more time protecting themselves from other lions and elephants that could trample them.

Do Lions in Zoos Sleep as Much?

Actually, no! Lions in zoos spend about 10 to 15 hours a day sleeping.

What Time of Day Do They Sleep?

Lions tend to be nocturnal, doing most of their hunting after dusk when it’s cooler, so most of their sleep is accumulated during the day.

Where Do Lions Sleep?

To escape the hot sun, lions tend to find sleeping spots under the shade of bushes.

Loved learning about the sleep habits of lions? Then find out how much sleep bears get here (hint: It’s about as much!).