How Do Giraffes Sleep? Standing Up Or Lying Down? - Do Giraffes Sleep With One Eye Open?


Updated: 04 Aug 2022

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how do giraffes sleep

Most people have a question, how do giraffes sleep?

Researchers at the University of Zürich discovered that when giraffes sleep, they either stand or lie down with their faces tucked above their buttocks. This observation was made during a comprehensive sleep study that lasted 152 nights. Giraffes typically employ that pose, and it is adorably charming.

A giraffe sleeps for 4.6 hours on average each day. Most of the time, giraffes sleep at night. However, they occasionally take short naps throughout the day. Giraffes may sleep either laying down or standing up; their sleep cycles only last 35 minutes or less.

How Do Giraffes Sleep?

Mostly, giraffes lay their heads on their backs and tuck their legs under them during sleep. However, because they evolved as a prey species, giraffes rarely lie down because it is challenging for them to get back up.

Due to the threat of predators, giraffes seldom take naps on the ground in the wild because they need to be on their feet to make a quick getaway.

Throughout the night, they all lie down for a few hours at a time, but they don't truly sleep for very long since they have to keep getting up to continue their movement.

From a standing posture, Giraffes lower their front legs first, then their bottom.

Then, to maintain balance, they extend one of their rear legs to the side, angling their long necks in the same direction before plummeting to the ground.

They practically move straight up after raising their bottom and flicking their neck to stand back up again. Giraffes instantly stand up because it is finished quickly. It's interesting to observe.

In the wild, giraffes sleep for a short time because of predators' danger. Giraffes take periodic sleep breaks. They remain vigilant at all times, even while napping, as many predators view them as a delicious feast that can linger for days.

Overall, adult giraffes sleep for 30 minutes every night on average. More frequently, they undergo a type of half-sleep resting phase where the eyes remain half-open.

How Do Baby Giraffes Sleep?

Mostly Baby giraffes sleep like adults. They recline with their legs tucked behind them and rest their heads on their rumps  (lowering oneself to the ground is a significant attempt). They appear to be their own most fantastic cushions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do Giraffes Sleep Standing Up?

A giraffe in a standing posture will sleep upright but not moving, and its head will be angled farther forward than when it is awake. Therefore, most giraffes' naps consist of a short period in the wild.

2. Do Giraffes Sleep With One Eye Open?

Adult giraffes rarely sleep for longer than five minutes at a session, although they infrequently have been observed with one eye open. This high-alert power nap technique protects them from predators and other dangers.


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