Spiders are harmless in general and make wonderful pets. If you love to explore and watch animals, a spider can be your ideal subject. They might look intimidating, but do not impose any threats. Spiders are different from any pet and how they sleep, eat and give birth are often unknown to most people. A spider can live for more than one year, and the females live longer than their male counterparts.
Are you curious about-” do spiders sleep”? Then you are at the right place. Find here all the details about how spiders sleep and rejuvenate.
Do spiders sleep? Well, they are living beings just like humans. Hence, a spider also requires some rest to remain healthy and active. A spider may not sleep like a cat or a dog, but they also need some good sleep. Therefore, spiders do sleep.
But, they may not sleep during the night. There are different species of spiders. Among them, some are nocturnal and become active at night. Such spiders usually sleep during the day. However, some spiders remain active during the day and sleep at night.
How do spiders sleep?
The confusion arises because spiders do not use a sleeping position like humans or some other animals. Most of the animals or birds close their eyes during sleeping. But, bit, spiders sleep with their eyes open!
Well, the truth is, spiders do not have eyelids. Hence, they cannot close their eyes. But, of course, that means their eyes are always open- even during their sleep.
Another interesting fact is that spiders do not have conventional “sleep” or rest for a specific time. A spider follows a set circadian rhythm. That means they remain active during a specific part of the day and may rest for a particular time according to their habitat, natural behavior. The circadian cycle of a spider is usually 24 hours, with set times for rest and sleep. The cycle is adjusted according to their body clock. In general, spiders remain more active at night and get some rest during day time.
A spider sleeps and rests when its body has a low metabolic rate. As a result, it conserves its energy and rejuvenates itself for catching prey and having some much-needed nutrition during that time.
Hence, if you come across a spider that is not moving, the chances are that it is taking a short nap according to its circadian cycle. Spiders that weave their webs use the same web as their sleeping abode. Therefore, they may secure a place in a corner and sleep at that place comfortably.
Some spiders do not weave any webs, such as wolf spiders, trapdoor spiders, or tarantula spiders. Instead, such spiders may take refuge in a dark corner to get some rest. On the other hand, desert spiders may burrow underground to sleep.
Their sleep pattern
Spiders also have a unique sleep pattern. According to scientists, spiders do not get REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Instead, they just lie still by lowering their metabolic rate and conserving their energy. Hence, they remain always aware. It helps them to protect themselves from threats and also allows them to hunt whenever prey is nearby.
How long can a spider sleep?
The sleeping duration varies for each species. For example, a spider only sleeps when it feels protected and secured from any dangers. After that, they may rest for a few minutes or even for an hour. It all depends on the situation. For example, a spider that weaves a web may wake up if an insect is trapped in its web during its sleep cycle.
The truth is, a spider may decide to take a rest or “sleep” if it does not have anything to eat. They rest to save energy and remain alive till they get anything to eat. A spider can sleep for hours for prey. It can become active when it has enough prey to feed itself.
A spider can also have its favourite position for sleeping. Some sleep on their backs and some sleep even upside down! But, in general, spiders feel comfortable while lying on their back. Large spiders, for example, a Tarantula spider, will sleep on the ground on their back. They usually keep their legs up while they are resting. The wolf spiders burrow underground and sleep there.
On the other hand, web-weaving spiders sleep hanging on their web. Some web weaving spiders sleep while being upside down on their webs. They may also rest while lying on their sides.
Most spiders with longer legs (for example, weaving spiders) spend a lot of time swinging up and down. As a result, they are naturally comfortable in a topsy-turvy position and can even sleep in that position.
Another interesting fact is that spiders are not snuggly animals. They do not curl up in a comfortable or fetus position while sleeping. They usually sleep by remaining still. A spider may tuck its legs inside its body in winter or a chilly environment.
If you come across a spider that is curled up, the high chance is that the poor insect has died or is in a nearly dead state.
Spiders and hibernation
Spiders also hibernate during the winters. Spiders that usually live more than a year may need to enter hibernation as they are cold-blooded creatures. They go on hibernation to save themselves during the harsh and cold weather.
In general, weaving spiders wave a strong web and sleep on it. Some spiders also find a warm place under a rock or under the bark of a tree. Spiders like wolf spiders may burrow underground and get a warm and cozy place to hibernate.
Like other hibernating species, spiders also hibernate during the entire winter and wake up in the spring. During this time, they remain still and use as little energy as possible.
The closing words
Spiders also sleep and take rest. They may not get a sound sleep like humans and dream. But they do sleep. A spider may sleep on its back, on the ground or a web. As spiders do not have eyes, they always keep their eyes open. Sleeping spiders just lowers their body metabolic rate and saves their energies for hunting down their prey.