Where Do Snails Sleep?

October 22, 2023

Snails are a popular addition to aquariums because they are pretty to look at and can even be used as a facial mask. However, they are also known to be a little weird, and many amateur snail owners get confused about whether or not their snails are still alive or dead. If your snail hasn’t moved for a while, there is no need to panic; it’s probably just sleeping!

In 2011, researchers at the University of Toronto discovered that pond snails enter a sleep-like state. They observed the pond snails for 79 days and found that they spend seven periods of 13 hours asleep, with 33 to 41 hours between sleep cycles. This is quite a bit longer than the usual human sleep cycle, but the research proved that snails do indeed sleep. While they sleep, the foot, mantle, and tentacles of a snail are relaxed, and their radula (tongue) is withdrawn inside of their shell. The snails also have a slower response to stimuli, such as being tapped or presented with food.

While snails are mainly nocturnal and are more active during the night, they will take naps in the day if conditions are favorable for them. Snails that live in colder climates will hibernate during winter, while those living in warmer areas will estivate for the summer months. These pauses in activity allow the snails to keep warm and retain moisture while avoiding unfavorable weather conditions. Snails are also known to sleep during certain environmental changes, such as when it rains or when the tank is clean and has a lot of food.

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