Sometimes pets and bugs are the reason WE can’t sleep, but did you know animals and other critters can suffer from insomnia as well?
Our knowledge on the topic started when National Geographic replied to a Facebook question from a fan: Do Bugs Sleep?
“Yes—with an asterisk,” replied biologist Barrett Klein from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. He studies sleep in honeybees.
“Paper wasps, cockroaches, praying mantises, and fruit flies are among insects that doze. Fruit fly sleep is even similar to mammal sleep, since the flies respond to sleep-inducing chemicals and caffeine, just like people.
Still, measuring sleep in insects is tricky—it’s not always easy, for instance, to differentiate between sleep and sleep-like states.”
According to Klein: Signs of true bug sleep are not moving, “drooping in the direction of gravity,” and more relaxed muscles.
Bugs are in charge of putting themselves to bed, but sometimes they experience a state of arousal (awakeness, not the sexy kind) that prevents them from getting quality sleep, it seems. And we can relate!
“Experiments in fruit flies also show that they experience ‘sleep rebound.’ That means that a fruit fly deprived of sleep will subsequently need it more—something most of us busy people can understand,” Klein told National Geographic.
As for honeybees, Klein’s specialty, when they get sleepy they get sloppy with their work.
Now, when it comes to more pet-like animals (and we know plenty of people keep bees!), the issue is pretty much the same as it is in older humans. Cats and dogs can have trouble regulating sleep as they age or when they have medical issues. The result can be lethargy during the day.
Since cats sleep so much – and hardly ever at night – it can be a bit hard to tell when they change their schedule. But as their hearing and sight grow weaker with age, they wake up at different times feeling more confused and even yowling to express it. – WTF fun facts