How Long Do Snails Sleep? [Detailed Study]

snails sleep


Snails are one of the most fascinating creatures. They are hermaphrodites and the diameter of their shells can be too small to only be seen under a microscope or can be spread over a few feet as well. One interesting thing about snails is that even though their shell is very strong, they can easily die if exposed to salt. There are many fascinating things about snails that we will discuss in this detailed study so if you are interested to know about their sleep, and other interesting facts, stick to the end.

How Long Do Snails Sleep?

Sleep is important for all animals. Ever wondered about the duration of the animal’s sleep? These bases led us to the classification of animals into two groups of the daily cycle of 24 hours.

That’s not about the superiority on each other in ethnic groups; that is how long it takes for the planet to spin around once. However, mollusks don’t care what goes around the planet.

Snails love to sleep for many hours in a day, and then have a race to wake that takes nearly 30 hours. In winter they hibernate, we will tell you about the length of that period later on.

How Their Sleep Differs from Other Animals?

Many animals including humans have sleep patterns according to the patterns of the sun because of the influence of sunlight on our circadian rhythms that control our biological functions such as sleep, appetite and more. Just like humans, many mammals go through the cycle of different sleep stages but the time spent in each stage of the sleep and the total sleep time can differ according to the revolutionary needs of the species.

When it comes to snails, they tend to follow a two to three days sleep cycle as opposed to the 24-hour sleep cycle of most of the animals and humans (NCBI). The interesting thing to note is that snails will experience seven different sleep periods over the first 13-15 hours followed by the 30 hours of continuous alertness and activity.

This means unlike humans or many other animals, the sleep cycle of snails extends beyond the natural 24 hours cycle of the sun.

Sleeping Habits of Snails:

You might have noticed that these mollusks resurrect when the environment around them is moist. This atmosphere favors the survival of snails, and they often plan their sleep according to the weather forecast.

You must have seen the flurry activity by them and then they vanish as the gust of wind sweeps the floor from leaves. Lucky that they are not employed anywhere.

Hibernation of Snails:

Snails go on hibernation for up to three years, which is an unbelievably long period of time. This dormancy phase prevents the snails from the turmoil they face in winter. They do not wake up until the weather conditions become suitable for them.

During arid conditions in summer, they again undergo dormancy that is called estivation, which is when they get coiled in their shells and produce a layer of mucous that rescues them from extreme weather conditions.

Some Fun Facts about Snails:

They Don’t Breed:

Well, it is true to some extent.

As reproducers, snails are hermaphrodites, carrying male and female reproductive organs simultaneously. This means they do not need mates to reproduce, but the eggs need support to fertilize. This is the moment that cannot be completed with a mate.

These hermaphroditic species need to have a fight for the fertilization of egg and its hatching. The conqueror will decide who will become the donor of the semen and who will be the acceptor.

All in all, the fit of the two in this relationship will be the donor of semen as they don’t want weak or diseased semen becoming a father to their family. The mystery would be solved only if we would have been able to communicate to this incredible creature; only the creator knows the details of this deal.

Heard about a juicy tidbit to note: their mating duration is exceptionally lengthy it can continue till 3 hours as it is obvious from their name “SLUG” they do everything in a sluggish (slow) manner.

Snails Can’t Hear You:

Get well versed in sign language if you have any plans to communicate with snails! They pick your visual instead of audio. They are able to see but unable to hear.

Like Vampires, Snails Don’t Like the Sun:

Moisture is the core element of their rescue pack; they are unfriendly with the sun. Like albinos, they use an umbrella when there’s Mr. Sun out there. This umbrella is their built-in feature called shells.

Their Sizes Vary Unbelievably:

A lot of shells that we find around us are an inch or lesser in diameter. It’s not a standard dimension for all like the Syrinx aruanus, or the trumpet snail, commonly found on beaches with a shell that can be 30 inches in diameter. On the contrary, some types are minute.

Every Snail is a Hulk:

Maybe in childhood, you’ve tried to pick any of them and experienced the next level threat. They are extremely powerful and can bear the weight that is ten times more than them. So avoid such adventures, because consequences can be unpleasant.

Strong Shell But Vulnerable to Salt:

Salt is essential for the human body, but for snail, it’s an enemy in disguise. It can drain all the moisture and kill them within minutes. Most of us as kids have tried this, but at that time, we were unaware of the pain that a snail feels when we sprinkle salt on them. So raise the awareness in kids to prevent living things from turbulence.

Eggplant for Snails is What Pizza to Human:

Snails love eating eggplants. And unlike T-rex, they are plant eaters, and the menu goes on with the bare minimum of 500 favorite dishes in it. Algae can’t escape when there’s a snail in front of it.

They Have a Very Big Family:

The whole group of mollusks comprises of 200,000 species. Out of which, some are Snails and some are slugs collectively called gastropods. They are aquatic as well as terrestrial, and other family members found in six continents. Upon assuming surrounding waters of Antarctica as a continent, they are ubiquitously found.

They Have Shells From Day One:

The shell is the external skeleton that is counted as one of the body parts. In the newly born snails, it’s soft and translucent. As time passes by, it begins to solidify. The hatchlings engulf their eggshells to excel the growth of their own shell.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Do Snails Live?

The life expectancy also depends on the accidents whether they are crushed or killed by pesticide sprays; the average life is 15 years. Some rare cases lived up to 25 years. This looks unusually longer age but there is not a definite reason for this except living passively.

Do They Sleep at Night?

The circadian rhythm of gastropods is entirely different from other creatures that have definite patterns of sleep and wake throughout the day. Instead, their dormancy depends upon the environmental factors. When the conditions are suitable, snails can stay active for 30 or more hours.

Because they’re moisture lovers and sun haters, it’s obvious that being nocturnal suits them more than being diurnal.

Do Snails Sleep Upside Down?

This position is more likely to be there when conditions of ground are not suitable for the snail. If the temperature is uncontrollable in either way, hot or cold, the snail would not be able to survive, and when there is a life threat, it would definitely acquire a position or place where it would sleep comfortably.

How Researchers Study the Sleep of Snails?

When we are asleep, the brain waves change as we go through the different stages of sleep. So when animals are observed in the laboratory, researchers look at their brain waves along with other factors such as their heart rate to determine when the subject is awake or asleep. However, it can be a bit difficult to monitor the brain waves of snails so for that, researchers came up with another way to find out whether they are resting, asleep or awake.

The first factor in determining whether a snail is asleep is by looking at the period of time it spends attached to its tank’s side with its feet relaxed and tentacles somewhat withdrawn. The researchers then assess the alertness of the snail by tapping on its shell, using a metal rod to poke it and give it a solution of sucrose to raise the appetite.

Researchers found that when the snails are relaxing, they respond to the nudges and taps twice as quickly and also seven times faster when given sucrose. This was enough for them to assess whether the snails are awake or asleep.


Over to You:

So this is all about the sleeping patterns of snails, if you are feeling drowsy just by reading about snails’ sleep then you can too hit your comfortable mattress and catch a nap. And if you don’t have a comfortable mattress, you can read our detailed reviews on virtually every brand of mattress to get yourself the best and most comfortable mattress to sleep like a snail.

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