We can all agree that sleep is very important for a healthy lifestyle and to function. This rings true for humans and animals. The animal in the world that needs the most sleep in one day is the Koala for about 22 hours (out of 24 hours) and the animal that sleeps the least, the giraffe, only requires 30 minutes to 1.9 hours. That’s a huge difference.

Factors

“A variety of factors affect how long an animal sleeps. Perhaps the most important factor is its size. In general, smaller animals need more sleep than larger animals. Small bats, chipmunks and opossums all sleep for 15 hours or more per day. In contrast, big elephants, giraffes and horses all sleep for about five hours or less.

Another factor is whether the animal is a hunter or is hunted. Predators such as lions and tigers get plenty of sleep; they have little to fear. But animals that are prey, such as deer, tend to get less sleep. They need to remain alert and aware of nearby predators.

Age is another factor that affects the sleep of animals. Like humans, animals may sleep for different lengths of time at different life stages. For example, young animals may need to sleep more than adults.

Captivity also can affect an animal’s sleep. Wild animals often get more sleep when they are in a zoo. Food is provided for them, and they are safe from predators. So they can relax and sleep for longer periods of time.

In contrast, animals have to spend time hunting or gathering their food in the wild. Some animals have to migrate for weeks across long distances. Many also have to remain alert when predators are nearby. So they may spend less time sleeping in their natural environment,” according to SleepEducation.com.

Dogs and Cats

An adult dog typically sleeps 12–14 hours a day, while puppies often sleep more than that, usually up to 18 hours a day! Unlike humans, dogs don't have a regular sleep regimen. They take several short naps during the day. The average adult feline sleeps 12 to 16 hours a day. Newborn dogs and cats can sleep closer to 20 hours a day.

Animal sleeping hours

Below are animals (including human) with the amount of average sleeping hours required per day (24 hours):

Koala 22 hours LONGEST SLEEPING ANIMAL

Large Hairy Armadillo - 20.4 hours

Little Pocket Mouse - 20.1 hours

Brown Bat - 19.9 hours

North American Opossum - 18 hours

Python - 18 hours

Owl Monkey - 7 hours

Human Infant - 16 hours

Tigger - 15.8 hours

Tree Shrew - 15.8 hours

Cats - 15 hours

Squirrel - 15 hours

Sloth - 14 hours

Chinchillas - 13 hours

Dogs - 12 to 14 hours

Hedgehogs - 10 hours

Chimpanzees - 9 hours

Rabbits - 8 hours

Humans (Adults) - 7 – 9 hours

Seals - 6 hours

Deer - 3 – 4 hours

Sheep - 3 – 4 hours

Elephants - 2 – 4 hours

Horses - 2 – 3 hours

Giraffe - 30 mins - 1.9 hours SHORTEST SLEEPING ANIMAL

Sources: Reader’s Digest, Tuck, Top10Hell It may seem like your dog is sleeping too much, but their lifestyle, amount of exercise, and what breed they are may affect the amount of sleep they need. Even the age of the dog impacts the amount of sleep they require. Puppies sleep excessively while larger dogs tend to sleep more than smaller dogs. If you have any questions about your animal and their sleep patterns or amount of sleep, call your local Veterinarian to assist you? Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.