Animal Information

Do Turtles and Tortoises Ever Sleep?

Many turtles, tortoises, and terrapins appear to sleep during a daily cycle. They pick a secluded spot with a constant, acceptable temperature; these reptiles then stop moving around and assume a particular posture, usually withdrawing into their shell for protection during “downtime.”

We caught Popeye again yesterday as he was going in for a nap in the afternoon. However, does he ever rest or even sleep? Humans sleep differently than turtles and tortoises. Consequently, turtles are more like in a resting state. Much as it depends on the species as to how they rest.

If They Do Not Sleep… Are They Tired?

Of course, sea turtles can sleep on the surface of the water when far out on the ocean deeps, Also, they wedge themselves under overhanging rocks or coral outcroppings to rest in shallow water. In fact, when they are inactive, sea turtles can remain submerged for three hours or more without needing to surface for air.

Painted turtles bury themselves in sand or mud at the bottom of a pond to sleep. Therefore, absorbing oxygen from the water. Hense, semi-aquatics, such as the map turtle, may dig themselves partially or completely into a marshy area of grass or moss.

Do they hibernate?

Most box turtle species live where they need to hibernate through the winter. A hibernation is a form of deep sleep from which the animal cannot be awakened easily. Almost all of its bodily processes slow down. As a result, it does not eat when no food is available. Much as, in the Southwestern United States, the endangered desert tortoise hibernates during the coldest part of the winter in an underground den. While it comes out to warm up on mild, sunny days. Especially relevant, the giant tortoises of the Galapagos and Seychelle Islands do not need to hibernate, but they do sleep during the cooler nights and often up to 18 hours a day, moving around only when they get warm enough.

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Crazy Critters Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3, Exotic Animal Rescue and Wildlife Education Facility located in Eustis, Florida. We provide permanent homes to over 150 animals including lizards, turtles, skinks, geckos, birds, and assorted wildlife. Crazy Critters Inc. was established to provide non-domestic, non-releasable animals with a safe and permanent home.

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