Which Animals Sleep Less In A Day?

If there are those who sleep almost 24 hours a day, there are also those who, at most, sleep a few hours a day. It’s surprising that this list includes domestic species that we didn’t think were so sleep deprived.
Which animals sleep less in a day?

If you’ve ever spent a sleepless night working or studying, surely without pints and pints of coffee you wouldn’t have been able to…  imagine what it would be like to sleep just two hours a day, forever! Believe it or not, in nature there are many cases of “insomnia”. That’s why in this article we’ll reveal which animals sleep less.

which animals sleep less

Before starting the list, we should talk about species that will never enjoy a refreshing nap or a ‘restorative sleep’; because, to stay alive, they need to be on the move.

This is the case for certain fish and sharks that receive oxygen from the water that enters their mouths, or for dolphins and whales, which need to come to the surface to breathe.

To rest, they “disconnect” a part of their brain and the rest remains active. Except in these cases, there are animals that sleep soundly for a few hours a day, among which we highlight:

  1. Giraffe

This beautiful animal native to Africa (picture that opens this article) known for its long neck and its very particular skin, is the winner of the animals that sleep less contest.

In total, you rest for two hours a day, but be careful, because they are not followed… but in intervals of less than 10 minutes!

  1. horse, donkey and impala

We put the three animals together because they have one thing in common: they  sleep about three hours a day. In the case of the  horse, any one of its species (domesticated or wild) has the same sleep pattern.

white horse in a stall

They can rest standing or lying down and never sleep soundly. If they are in groups, they take turns on alert and, at most, have 15 minutes of continuous sleep.

The donkey is part of the horse family and, perhaps for this reason, its behavior is similar. Domesticated ones can live in groups and “take turns” to rest,  while wild ones are solitary and almost never get a deep sleep.


Finally, we have the impala, a medium-tall, light-brown antelope that lives in South Africa. It feeds on herbs, seeds and leaves from the forests and savannas where it lives.

Males (in addition to having long horns) are the least sleepers in the group: they must take care of everyone else while grazing or resting.


  1. Elephant

The largest terrestrial mammal in the world also  sleeps little: between three and four hours a day. Both types of elephants, African and Asian, live in female- led groups  .

They feed on grasses, fruits, bushes and bark, they can eat 200 kilos of food in a day and the life expectancy of these giants is 70 years.

Elephant spouting water with its trunk

  1. cow and sheep

Not only do they have in common that they are ruminants, they live in the countryside or that man uses them for his own benefit. Furthermore,  these two species sleep the same number of hours a day: four.


The cow – like the ox – spends most of the day standing on the grass and in the pasture. They only go to bed when they are too tired, too hot, or when they have completed a digestion cycle, which can last eight hours.


The behavior of sheep is similar as they graze for a long time. That’s why they don’t have a free time to rest.

  1. Goat

To close this list of which animals sleep less, we have the goat, another  ruminant mammal that lives almost all over the world, both in the wild and in a domesticated way.


The goat does not rest more than five hours a day. The rest of the time she is looking for food (grass, bushes, stalks, leaves) among rocks or meadows, avoiding obstacles on the high mountain or moving here and there with her caretaker.

In the case of females, they can spend a lot of time taking care of their young or being milked.

Now you know which animals sleep less. Amazing, isn’t it?

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