All animals sleep, but they do so in drastically different ways. From sleeping with only half their brains to sleeping while flying, check out these 10 surprising (and surprisingly adorable) facts about the way animals get their rest.
Otters hold each other while they sleep
Cutest fact first: Otters like to sleep in the water to avoid predators. When they do, to avoid drifting away, they anchor their bodies to something with their tales or hold hands with other otters . Think about that when you need to smile.
Giraffes sleep for 30 minutes a day
Giraffes have the shortest sleep requirements in the animal kingdom. In the wild, they rarely sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, and adult giraffes usually sleep standing straight up. This is likely because standing up is an awkward, cumbersome process for giraffes, and sleeping for longer periods makes them easy prey for passing predators.
Migrating birds can sleep while they fly
Ever wished you could sleep through your morning commute? Birds that need to fly very long distances to migrate have the ability to sleep with just one brain hemisphere at a time, allowing them to sleep mid-flight. Amazingly, they retain their navigational ability while catching a snooze.
Dolphins sleep with one half of their brains at a time to keep from drowning
Unihemispheric sleep isn’t unique to birds. Dolphins and certain whales also sleep with one brain hemisphere at a time to keep themselves from drowning. One half of their brain, and the opposing eye stays up to help them navigate and watch for predators.
Bears, bats, and groundhogs, oh my!
What do these animals, as well as skunks, bees, snakes, and others have in common? They hibernate through the winter. Contrary to popular belief, hibernation is a lot more than just falling asleep for a few months. A hibernating animal’s blood pressure, breathing rate, and metabolism drops significantly to conserve energy, and they have to pack on the pounds before winter in order to survive. Jealous yet?