I love a good nap. My naps usually last about 10-15 minutes. Some would call that a power nap. That’s nothing compared to the power naps a chinstrap penguin takes. According to a story on NPR, NPR – penguin naps, scientists have found that chinstrap penguins take up to 10,000 naps a day, each lasting seconds (“microsleeps”), totaling 11 hours of sleep a day!
According to one of my googling results, there are five different kinds of human naps, one of which is a “micro-nap,” which lasts between one and six minutes. In other words, my shortest micro-nap lasts at least 30 times longer than one penguin microsleep.
I know there are lots of restorative things going on in the human body during sleep, and it seems logical that micro-naps alone would not accomplish all that needs to be done. But penguins are not humans, and get along very well with their microsleeps.
Given all this, do you think any of these chinstrap penguins are sleeping?
PS – The Sleep Foundation Animals and Sleep has a nice summary of how different animals sleep and for how long.