How Long Do Snails Sleep (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 13 to 16 Hours

Earth is a stable planet with an ecosystem. It is the only planet where life can exist as of now. The atmosphere of the earth supports life.

Flora and Fauna are the two components of an ecosystem. Both are equally vital for life to exist and none of them are secondary. Fauna is divided into many sub-branches. 

Under the Fauna come human beings, animals, and birds. Animals are divided into many subgroups for better classification and research e.g. Arthropods, Mollusca, Porifera, Annelida, etc. 

Another sub-group of animal kingdoms is Gastropoda to which snails belong. Gastropoda comes under the phylum Mollusca.

How Long Do Snails Sleep?

TypesPeriod
Roman snail Helix pomatia15 hours
Giant African snail12 to 13 hours
Garden snail16 hours
Achatina14 to 15 hours

Snails come under the Gastropoda category because they have significance to squids. Talking about snails, they are a very distinct species. They are not like other animals who are abided by the laws of nature. 

Unlike human beings and many animals, snails do not follow the general rules of the environment. They do not care about the phases of a day. Even though it sounds bizarre, it is the truth.

Human beings and most animals are expected to sleep at night. The morning is to work and complete other chores. However, the mechanism inside snails does not follow this pattern. 

Snails can sleep 13 to 16 hours at once. To them, it doesn’t matter whether it is day or night, snails sleep for hours together. After a long nap, they wake up with formidable energy.

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They can then stay awake for more than 25 hours. They may look small but wake up with a huge amount of energy. They can lift more than their capacity. However, they are small in size and slow in speed. 

They are seen crawling on different surfaces at a gentle pace. They use their shells as defensive reflexes. Under certain circumstances, they hide inside the shells to protect themselves from the threat. 

They sleep inside the shells. The hard shells protect snails from harsh weather conditions. This is one of the reasons why snails can sleep peacefully for long hours. 

They do not move in groups. They feed on anything, even decaying things. That’s why they are detritivorous. They don’t pay much heed to the taste and survive accordingly. 

Why Do Snails Sleep That Long?

There are a few kinds of snails that live for more than 5 years. The astonishing fact is this kind of snail can sleep for more than two and a half years. Snails prefer moisture to survive.

The quantity of moisture in the environment varies as per the weather. If the weather doesn’t permit moisture, snails find it difficult to cope with nature. Survival becomes extremely difficult for them because lack of moisture bothers them a lot. 

That’s why snails stay inside the shells and produce moisture inside. The secretion helps harden the outer surface of the shells. It protects them from climatic changes or external attacks. 

At basic levels, snails have a purpose for why they sleep for long hours at once. They build up strength and stamina while being asleep. The stored energy helps them to travel and work continuously for more than 2 days. 

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After they wake up from a long sleep, they do not need any rest for a minimum of 28 hours. After working for more than 30 hours, they prefer to take another nap. Snails avoid speed movement which avoids rapid energy loss.

The sleeping time of snails is called mini hibernation. If they wish, they can sleep the whole day under the sun and vice versa. 

Conclusion

Snails sleep for more than 12 hours and some of them can sleep for a couple of years too. They are comparatively slow even if they possess a decent amount of energy. The way snails work is the secret behind their long-lasting stamina. 

There are some species of snails that have a shorter lifespan and hence, they spend comparatively less time sleeping. The Roman Helix however can sleep for months together without a worry because of its long lifespan. 

This was all about the sleeping mechanism of snails. Species of snails always have their respective ways of approaching things and survive accordingly. 

References

  1. https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article-abstract/214/5/747/33581
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/230/4732/1338.abstract
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