This ‘sleep’ section is about animals that either:
1. Sleep [are inactive] in the daytime and are active at night, or
the opposite, 2. Sleep at night but are active in the daytime or 3. Have
shorter hibernation times. To
make this easier to understand, we will use the word torpor to show any
short ‘sleep’ time. Some
sources called hibernation a winter
torpor and estivation a summer torpor.
When an animal is in torpor,
its body slows down. Its
heartbeat and temperature go down. In
‘human’ sleep, a person can wake up instantly.
With torpor, the animal doesn’t seem to see, hear, or feel things
going on around it. It is
groggy and it takes a little while for it to wake up.
This is not as deep a ‘sleep’ as hibernation and can last a
very short time.
Examples of animals that go into torpor:
Diurnal torpor is when creatures ‘deep sleep’ for only part of
a day. The part of day depends on what animal it is.
Examples of Diurnal torpor are:
pocket mouse, and the dormouse
who ‘sleep’ [are dormant] during daytime but are up and active
||Hummingbirds and frogs
who are up and active during the day but ‘sleep’ the
This kind of torpor usually happens with small animals for
different reasons. They can
get their food [like insects] for only part of the day.
Since these are small creatures, they can’t eat and store enough
to keep their bodies active all the time.
The animals adapt by ‘sleeping’
through the times when it would be hard to get food.
By doing this, their bodies use less energy and their food lasts
longer in their bodies. They
wake up when they can get food again.
With frogs, the air is just too cold at night.
It will go to ‘sleep’ [into torpor], its heartbeat and
breathing will slow down, and less energy [food] will be needed to keep it
Most animals are in danger during torpor or
hibernation. They are so slow
and unaware of what is happening around them that they are easy to catch.