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Animals That Sleep a Lot: 21 Sleepiest Animals in the World

Examples of animals that sleep a lot are squirrels, shrews, tigers, sloths, cats, hedgehogs, and ferrets. Some animals, like koalas, can sleep for an entire day at a time.

Sleep is an important part of every organism’s life. Humans spend almost one-third of their lives sleeping. 

And like humans, animals are dependent on sleep to recharge for the next day.

Unlike humans (who need eight hours of sleep a day) some animals need to sleep the majority of their life. Some animals sleep for entire days without waking up. Regular naps also help many animals conserve energy and remain healthy.

This article talks about animals that sleep a lot and why they need so much rest.

1. Squirrels

Squirrel Sleeping

Squirrels are one of the most common animals in the world. There are three major types of squirrels:

  • Ground squirrels
  • Tree squirrels
  • Flying squirrels

They mostly live in trees, and then they sleep a lot. They have large eyes, which gives them better vision at night, as many squirrels sleep during the day.

While most squirrels don’t hibernate during the winter, they do sleep more to conserve energy[1]. Even outside the hibernation period, they sleep for up to 14 hours every day.

2. Tree Shrews

Tree Shrews

Tree shrews are small mammals found in Asia. They eat grasshoppers, butterflies, and ants. They hunt during the day as their eyes are not adapted to the dark. Tree shrews can sleep as much as 16 hours per day. They also hibernate in the winter season when or when food is scarce.

3. Night Monkeys

Night Monkeys

Night monkeys are small primates native to the rainforests of South and Central America. They spend most of their time in trees to avoid predators and to find food.

They are called night monkeys due to their nocturnal activity pattern. They are also called owl monkeys and can sleep for up to 17 hours per day.

4. Opossums


Opossums are small marsupials found in South and North America. They have extremely low metabolism and sleep a lot. They are also famous for their playing dead behavior.

Opossums sleep for up to 18 hours every day. They remain asleep most of the day and become active at night.

5. American Badgers

American Badgers
Image Source

American badgers are native to North America and spend most of their time sleeping. They sleep in underground burrows, which help them stay safe from predators and feel warm.

American badgers sleep for as much as 18 hours per day.

6. Tigers

Siberian Tigers

The largest cat species in the world, tigers are known for their iconic striped coat[2]. They are apex predators and rank high up in the food chain. 

Tigers are classified as endangered by the IUCN Redlist. They are solitary animals and extremely territorial.

Tigers sleep most of the day and hunt at night. They can sleep for as many as 18 hours every day. After eating, tigers often lay down under the shade of trees to nap. This allows them to digest while sleeping and prepare themselves for another hunt later.

7. Pythons


Pythons are one of the largest snake breeds in the world. They are commonly found in Asia and Africa and can grow up to 20 feet in length. They are non-venomous and rely on ambush attacks to capture their prey.

Pythons eat once every few days. After a python has eaten its prey, it goes to rest and digests its food. They can sleep for as long as 18 hours every day. This helps them conserve their energy for their next hunt.

8. Giant Armadillos

Giant Armadillos

Giant armadillos are the largest armadillo species in the world[3]. They grow up to five feet in length and weigh about 66 lbs. They are found in South America and spend most of their waking time digging for food.

Giant armadillos can sleep for as much as 18 hours per day.

9. Sloths


Probably the slowest animal on this list is the sloth. They are herbivorous mammals that are native to South and Central America. They have extremely low metabolism rates, which hinder their ability to move fast.

Sloths actively move around for about four hours every day. They spend the rest of the time sleeping or hanging from the branches.

10. Little Brown Bats

Little Brown Bats

Bats are nocturnal animals and are found in almost every corner of the world. They are often called flying rats but are not remotely related to rodents. 

They sleep hanging upside down, and little brown bats can sleep for as much as 19 hours per day.

The little brown bat is a species of bat family that is found in North America and in parts of Europe and Africa. They hibernate during the winter months to preserve their energy.

11. Koalas


One of Australia’s most famous animals is the koala. They are medium-sized marsupials that resemble teddy bears.

Koalas have low-calorie diets of eucalyptus tree leaves, giving them less energy to move. They tend to remain in trees where they remain safe from predators and have direct access to their food.

They sleep an average of 22 hours per day.

12. Cheetahs

cheetah on grassland

The fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah, is known for its speed. They can only run for a few seconds before they tire out and need to catch their breath though. These carnivorous cats are found in Asia and Africa.

Cheetahs hunt using their speed which is why they require plenty of rest to charge their bodies. An adult cheetah sleeps for around 12 hours per day.

13. Cats

Cat Sleeping

Wild cats are found in every part of the world. They have also been domesticated and are kept as pets by several people across the globe.

Cats are nocturnal and hunt at night. They use their night vision to target their prey and jump at it. After having their food, cats need a lot of rest. An adult cat sleeps for 15 to 16 hours every day.

14. Dogs

Dog Sleeping

Dogs are one of the most common domesticated animals in the world. 

Some dogs are highly active such as the German Shepherd, while others are calm and contested, like bulldogs who spend much of their time sleeping.

An adult dog sleeps for more than 16 hours every day. Young pups sleep more and need around 18 to 20 hours of sleep every day.

15. Gorillas

Gorilla Sleeping

Gorillas are the largest primates in the world. They are herbivorous apes found in equatorial Africa. They are diurnal and sleep for around 12 hours at night.

Gorillas live in groups, and each group can have as many as 30 members. They love playing, eating, and resting. 

They are also one of the closest species to humans according to their DNA.

16. Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs Sleeping

Hedgehogs are small mammals that are native to Asia, Europe, and Africa. They are nocturnal and sleep for more than 17 hours every day.

Hedgehogs do wake up multiple times during their sleep to eat or to feed their babies. They have a high metabolism which is why they need to eat a lot.

17. Lemurs


Lemurs are small primates native to Madagascar. They have large yellow eyes, long tails, big ears, and round bodies. 

There are around a hundred different lemur species, each with its own distinct traits.

The ring-tailed lemur is among the most famous lemur species in the world. They are often found in zoos in North America and Africa.

Lemurs are lightly active and prefer to rest throughout the day. They sleep for up to 16 hours every day.

18. Pocket Mice

Pocket Mice
Image Source

Pocket mice are a type of rodent mainly found in North America. They spend much of their lives underground and are nocturnal.

Pocket mice have a high metabolism, meaning they require large amounts of food to fulfill their nutritional requirements. They sleep for up to 20 hours at a time.

19. Pygmies


Another primate in this list is the pygmy. They are small animals that reside in the tropical rainforests of Africa. They are nocturnal and sleep for around 12 hours each day.

Pygmies love eating, resting, playing, and hunting.

20. Ferrets


Ferrets are carnivorous animals that have long bodies, short legs, and small eyes. They can have a white, silver, or black coat. They are closely related to otters, weasels, and skunks.

Ferrets are nocturnal and live in underground burrows. They can sleep for up to 18 hours every day and only come out of their burrows to search for food.

21. Chipmunks

Chipmunks Hibernate
Image Source

Chipmunks are adorable small mammals that live in several parts of the world. They are diurnal and sleep for about 15 hours every day, which is a lot compared to other rodents, such as chinchillas and gerbils.

Chipmunks sleep in their nests which they make from grass and leaves.


Like humans, animals need adequate sleep. Some animals sleep for 8 to 10 hours, while others sleep for more than 20 hours every day.

Related: 11 Most Energetic Animals

AnimalMaximum sleep per day
Pocket mice20
Little brown bats19
American badgers18
Giant armadillos18
Night monkeys17
Tree shrews16


What Animal Sleeps the Most?

Koalas are the sleepiest animals in the world. They sleep for an average of 22 hours per day. Some koalas can even sleep for entire days.

What Animals Are Always Tired?

Sloths are known for their laziness. They are extremely slow animals and always appear tired. They have a low-calorie diet, low metabolism, less frequent eating habits, and a lot of sleep.  

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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