Do Sharks Ever Sleep? Fascinating Facts You Need To Know
Growing up, we have this belief that some sea creatures never sleep, most especially sharks. It’s a common misconception that sharks are species that never sleep since it is believed that they always need to keep moving to survive. So, it only means that sharks couldn’t stop moving, and therefore, couldn’t sleep. However, is it true?
So, do sharks sleep? After all, research done on sharks for years, sharks that sleep remain a mystery. That’s why in this blog, you will know the latest thoughts as to whether the sharks sleep or rest. In addition, you will also know some important facts about sharks that will help you understand if they sleep.
The Truth About Sharks That Sleep
You’re probably wondering if sharks sleep? Perhaps, you’re also wondering where and how they sleep. It was believed for a long time that sharks needed to move so they could live. The truth is, many types of sharks must always keep moving to get life-giving oxygen from the water that passes through their gills.
They don’t experience sleep the same way that humans like us do. Other shark species can’t sleep at all, or they always have trouble sleeping. So yes, some shark species do, but the cycle goes through alternating periods of alertness and rest, similar to sleeping. That said, certainly, sharks don’t also dream like humans and some other animals.
Furthermore, other sharks must keep moving while they rest. Just like nurse sharks, they have an external respiratory opening that will allow them to remain still. It will let them sleep while stationary. Many sharks have been filmed while sleeping. Professionals have filmed them sleeping while they float or swim right next to them.
Do Sharks Die When They Stop Moving?
The answer to this question is that it’s still true, and it can also be false. Just so you know, there are about 400 shark species, and some need to move that much most of the time to keep the water going to their gills so they can breathe well. Other sharks come with spiracles to let them breathe while they are at the bottom of the ocean.
The spiral is a small opening behind the eye. It forces the water across the gills so the sharks can be still when they rest. The structure may be handy, especially for sharks usually found on the bottom, like skates and rays. On the other hand, sharks like the wobbegong may ambush their prey by launching themselves off the ocean’s bottom when fishes pass by.
Where do Sharks Sleep?
Now that you find the answer to doing sharks sleep, you should probably know where they sleep. Sharks prefer to sleep in some deeper parts of the ocean or shallow seas. So, they keep moving near the coral reef or the sea bed where the place is sandy.
Other sharks will roam the areas while they are sleeping or resting. Others also use methods to let oxygen-rich water pass through their gills. And whatever way they make to breathe, sharks will always engage in deep rest while they can. However, they don’t fall asleep in a traditional sense. Instead, while they are awake and in motion, the bottom-dwelling sharks also ventilate like the pelagic sharks.
There are also sharks such as nurse sharks, lemon sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks that lie on the bottom of the ocean and caves. They also seem to notice what’s going on around them at the time. That’s why it’s hard to define if they are sleeping or not.
When Do Sharks Sleep?
So, when do sharks sleep? First, you should know that sharks do not sleep the same as humans do. They can’t fall too deep asleep since some part of their brain remains active, while the other part just sleeps lightly. It only means that they are hesitating between restful and wakeful moments throughout the day.
You should know that sharks can never be in a 100% unconscious state. They are nocturnal, which means they rest or sleep during the day and are usually active at night. During the night, the sharks will hunt and attack their prey and look for food.
How do Sharks Sleep?
The way that sharks sleep is usually different from any other animal. It was mentioned that they need to keep moving to stay alive, which implies that they don’t sleep. However, many sharks do the ‘buccal pumping’ method, where they draw water through their mouth and let it out their gills through their cheek muscles. And you call those sharks as ‘obligate ram ventilators.’
Their sleeping patterns are also not known yet, as many may live far from the shore or just below the surface. It’s where humans only have very limited opportunities to witness them. However, studies also show that one of the species called the spiny dogfish can shed light on shark sleep.
If Sharks Don’t Sleep, What Will happen?
The truth is, nothing bad will happen if they don’t sleep. However, there are reasons why they don’t sleep, and that is because of migration, parental care, and spawning. Also, one of the reasons they don’t sleep is because there is a greater amount of food when they would normally sleep. However, if sharks are sleeping and don’t get enough oxygenated water, there’s a big chance that they will die.
So, do sharks sleep? Sleeping or not, sharks are still one of the most beloved creatures in the wild. Though they have this kind of reputation about how scary and dangerous they are, always remember that they are also God’s given creatures in the ocean. So, they have been an important part of the ecosystem, despite the fact of their scary reputation.
Humans as we are, we can do so much so we can preserve their kinds. Just think about it this way, if all sharks were gone tomorrow, then there’s a big chance that our ocean would not survive anymore. Sharks will and always be an important part of the food chain. They work hard to maintain healthy oceans and ecology. We can only do so much, and that would always be a big help.
That being said, you can join us here at ATOLEA Jewelry in giving back to the Ocean. We are working towards the goal of making the ocean and marine life better. Part of our profit from your purchase on our Ocean-inspired jewelry goes to Ocean conservation charities. Together, this simple act will create a huge impact to the preservation of the Ocean.
Dive into our wide selection of ATOLEA Ocean-inspired jewelry collections now. Our designs will surely give your every outfit that unique Ocean vibe making everyone feel your deep love for the Ocean!