Do Insects Sleep?


Quick Answer

Many insects undergo regular periods of inactivity that resemble the sleep state seen in humans and other animals. This inactive state is often called sleep for simplicity's sake, although its similarity to sleep in other animals is unknown.

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Full Answer

Scientists often describe these inactive states as the insect "appearing" to sleep, because sleep in other animals, including humans, involves distinct patterns of brain activity. Directly studying activity in insects' brains during these states is complicated by their size. Scientists have studied the brain activity of larger arthropods, such as crayfish, and have found distinct brain patterns during these states. Fruit flies, butterflies, bees, wasps and cockroaches are among the insects that have been found to have a sleep or inactive state. Fruit flies prevented from entering an inactive state have been observed to have cognitive difficulties similar to sleep deprivation.

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