Sleep and rest are very important for living creatures to keep their bodies young, to collect their daily life energies and to regain the lost energy. Most animals that close their eyes, stretch, or do not respond to external stimuli, we can say, sleep. Do fish close their eyes while sleeping? As a result of scientific research, it has been understood that some of the brains (neocortex) of mammals are shut down while sleeping. The problem with fish starts at this point. Because fish do not have eyelids and neocortexes. So fish do not close their eyes.
When these structures of fish are known, “Do fish sleep?” The question will come to mind. If the fish are sleeping, “How?” , “Where?” and when?” they are sleeping. Scientific research shows that the fish show lower brain activity, slowing of respiratory rate and decrease in metabolic rate by staying still rather than the traditional sleeping pattern we expect. In this way, the health and disease resistance of the fish increases. In essence, we can say that he sleeps in a kind of fish. It just happens differently than we are used to in other animals.
How Fish Sleep
In most cases, fish stay still, their breathing slows down, and you may even touch some of them. Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that Zebra Danios sleep like us. Using advanced state-of-the-art devices, researchers who studied the brain and body activity of fish were able to identify zebra danios’ slow-wave sleep and deep sleep (paradoxical sleep), such as mammals, birds, and reptiles. The only difference is that they do not display eye movements and close their eyes like humans or other animals during deep sleep.
While the majority of fish species remain immobile during sleep, some shark species continue to move their gills to breathe even while at rest. More interestingly, some marine fish species such as Parrotfish wrap themselves in cocoons containing mucus during sleep. Scientists believe that these fish created mucus cocoons that function as sleeping bags to protect them from predators and parasites.
Where Do Fish Sleep?
Sleep in fish varies according to species. Some lie to the bottom, some bury themselves in the sand, hide in caves, some float close to the surface, others hang on the woods, plants, rocks, corals drifted by the waves, and may exhibit gentle fin movements only to stay in balance. Seeing the fish in the aquarium as stuck on the ground, between rocks or in holes between decorations will be enough to make aquarium owners nervous. However, most goldfish will exhibit this behavior while sleeping and will want to rest at the points where they feel safe.
When Do Fish Sleep?
Do the fish sleep or not? Do fish sleep at night? We can list the curious questions. In scientific research, it is believed that most fish species have a regular sleep schedule just like humans and other animals. Aquarium fish also live daily, which means they move during the day and rest at night. However, some species observe dormant diurnalists, lurking at night in a cave or in a crack. They expect small-sized fish that they can hunt in the dark of the night. Catfish and plecostomus species, as well as some types of knife fish, fall into this category. If you keep small tetras like Neon together with wide-mouthed catfish species such as Pictus cats, nights can pose a serious problem.
There are times when the fish do not sleep. Some fish species do not sleep to protect their young. In addition, fish species such as Tilapia do not sleep until the age of 5-6 months. Besides, wild fish do not sleep during migration. In the last researches, it will not be possible to say anything clearly about whether blind cave fish are asleep as they live in dark environments all the time.
Do Fish Suffer With Sleep Disorders?
In studies conducted by researchers on the Zebra Daniolar, it was found that after being deprived of sleep for several days using a mild electric current, they slept more when they returned to normal. It was understood that the night and day cycle was disrupted, and they slept normally when they were kept under constant light for a few days and when the dark night environment was provided. As a result, scientists think that light can inhibit melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep on Zebra Danios. However, more research is required for a definitive conclusion on this subject.
How Can I Make Sure My Fish Is Enough?
You may not be sure that your fish are not getting enough sleep in the aquarium. However, the simplest way to get them sleep is to connect a timer to the aquarium lighting and create a regular day-night routine for them. In addition, providing an environment in which your fish will feel safe with plants and decor products in the aquarium will support their sleep pattern. Do not forget that; For your fish to stay healthy, happy and have a long life, they need to sleep regularly.