Elephants take short naps standing up, but lie down when sleeping for more than a couple of hours. The average elephant sleeps for approximately four hours at a time, and spends at least half of that time lying down on its side.
While elephants are herd animals, they will often choose different preferred spots for sleeping. Elephants not only sleep lying down, but there are instances where elephants can be heard snoring or kicking their feet as if dreaming. The incorrect assumption that elephants only sleep standing up is often formed when the casual observer spots an elephant taking a nap while standing.