How Horses Sleep

This fascinating article from About Home tells us all the mysteries of how horses sleep. This article will answer questions like whether horses sleep standing up or lying down, how many hours they sleep each day, what time of day they usually sleep and the difference between the sleep patterns of adult horses and foals.

This article got me thinking about how other animals sleep. I realize that from my human centered perspective I tend to assume that most animals sleep similarly to people, but I was curious to learn that this is not the case. I know that a number of animals are nocturnal and sleep during the day instead of at night, but I never stopped to think about some of the other differences that might be present in the sleep patterns of various members of the animal kingdom. For example, I never would have imagined that some animals, particularly birds and aquatic mammals, are capable of something known as "unihemispheric sleep". This means that only one cerebral hemisphere of the brain sleeps at a time. They are literally sleeping with one eye open. In a sleeping flock, the birds on the outer edges will keep one hemisphere awake and one eye open to spot predators, while the birds in the center of the flock are fully asleep.

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