How Long Do Snails Sleep? Everything You Need to Know Update 05/2024

Land snails don’t appear to lead particularly interesting lives at first glance. However, the habits of these gastropods are rather distinctive. Hermaphrodites are animals with both male and female reproductive organs. Salinity could be harmful to them because they lack hearing. The most fascinating feature of their lives, though, is how they sleep. How long can some snails sleep for? It’s possible that you’ll be astonished.

Do Snails Sleep?

Snails do sleep, but they don’t have much of a chance to rest. In 2011, Canadian researchers researched pond snails and determined that they do, in fact, enter a sleep-like state. Previously, it was unknown how a snail slept. Eight pond snails in the study slept irregularly in a rhythm that recurred every two to three days, unlike the 24-hour cycle that most creatures utilize. Over the course of the 13-hour period, I slept for 21-23 minutes seven times. After a period of 33-41 hours of sleep, the cycle began again. The time of day didn’t appear to have an effect on the number of times a person fell asleep. Different snail species may sleep in different ways, although this hasn’t been investigated. Humans, on the other hand, sleep for seven to eight hours a day, mostly at night.

All about land snails - Welcome Wildlife

How to Tell if Your Snail is Sleeping?

Research on pond snails indicated that when the snails were in a sleepy state, their feet, mantles, and tentacles were all relaxed and the radula (tongue) was not grasping at anything. The mantle may have relaxed, but the snails didn’t curl up in their shells while they slept. To be touched and to food, there was also less of an emotional response. To detect if a snail is sleeping or awake, simply wait half an hour and observe if it wakes up. Snails sleep for for around 20 minutes each time.

How Long Can Snails Sleep?

In hibernation or estivation, certain land snails can sleep for up to three years. True story! It may initially appear to be a good idea to take a long snooze, but it’s actually the result of poor conditions.

Why Do Snails Sleep So Long?

Snails require water to live, so if the weather is bad, they can hibernate for three years. Snails may be able to hibernate (in the winter) or estivate (also known as’summer sleep’) to avoid hot conditions, depending on where they live. Snails secrete mucus to shield themselves from the hot, dry conditions during this period. A snail’s three-year slumber isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. Snails, when the conditions are just right, actually have a fairly regular sleeping schedule.

Does A Snail’s Sleep Schedule Differ From Humans?

Snails, unlike humans, do not follow the norms of day and night. Snails sleep intermittently for 13 to 15 hours at a time. After that, they gain a burst of energy that lasts for 30 hours, allowing them to complete all of their snail responsibilities!

How Long Do Snails Live?

This may be a good time to remind yourself of the average lifespan of a snail. Even while garden snails obtained from the wild have a life expectancy of less than five years, it is not unheard of for them to reach their double digits once they are kept in captivity. Giant African land snails, for example, are projected to live for at least ten years or more. If you found your snail in the garden, you may not know how old it was when you brought it home, so you may just have it for a few months or you may have your little gastropod for a decade or more.

How to Wake a Sleeping Snail?

Petting a sleeping snail is the greatest way to wake it up if you need to. When you put food in front of it, it may also wake up, although this response may not be so effective as stroking your snail. Regardless matter whether a snail is resting or awake, you should never grab it by the shell, as this might cause harm to the mantle and even death. A tiny scuff or scratch will do the trick. The best strategy for dealing with snails is to simply wait for them to wake up on their own, as they sleep for only approximately 20 minutes each time.

How Long Do Snails Really Sleep Per Day? | Sleep Advisor

Do Snails Hibernate or Estivate?

Snails that have been sleeping for more than a day or two are said to be estivating or hibernating. Cold and dry temperatures cause some snail species to hibernate. Throughout wild snails, this is most common in the fall and winter months. While they may appear to have perished, this is really a sign that they are attempting to conserve their energy rather than die. Some land snails have been reported to hibernate for up to three years, although this is not the same as sleeping. This prolonged slumber is also a sign that the snail’s environment is far too cold and dry for it to function normally during the winter. Your snail should come out of hibernation if you warm the habitat and add some moisture to it.

Alternatively, if the temperature in your snail’s enclosure is excessively high and dry, it may go into estivation. An extended hibernation might occur if your enclosure lacks moisture or is excessively warm. This happens naturally in the summer in nature. As a result of the dry heat, your snail may produce a mucus coating as a defense mechanism. This is a sign that you need to lower the temperature of its habitat. During estivation, several snail species will burrow into their substrate. If the temperature in your snail’s enclosure is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not expect to see your snail hibernating or escitating at any time.

Why Is This Even a Topic of Discussion?

It’s actually a pretty amusing tale. You’ve probably heard of Google and their ongoing efforts to enhance the user experience.

These days, it’s much more probable that you’ll get an answer right away if you ask a query on Google. Content that ranks higher in the search results tends to be the source of these replies.

In any case, a Reddit user by the name of “Unidan nadinU” must have asked about the subject we’ve been addressing today. They typed “How long do Snails sleep?” into Google and were surprised to find that the answer was… three. There is no way to compare “three” to anything else.

Later, this person went to Reddit and posted a screenshot with the caption “Units of measurement are for suckers.” Many memes were created based on the original post, which attracted a lot of attention.

Other Fun Facts about Snails

Snails Do Not Copulate

That’s not fully accurate, though.

Snails are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female sex organs. This means that snails can reproduce. Asexual reproduction is possible, but the eggs must be fertilized by a mate. The mating process begins here.

The eggs of this hermaphroditic species must still be fertilized before they can hatch. It’s fascinating to watch the conflict between the two of them over who gets to provide the semen and who gets to receive it.

To avoid weak or sickly semen becoming fathers for their tribe, the healthiest one in a relationship will usually be chosen as the donor of semen. This negotiation will remain a mystery until we are able to connect with these supernatural animals.

Their mating rituals can last anywhere from one to three hours, which is another interesting fact to keep in mind. It appears that they take their time with everything!

They Can’t Hear

If not, have you ever attempted to initiate communication with one of them? They can’t hear what you’re saying. It’s possible that they’ll be able to pick up on your body language even if they can’t see you, because they can see.

They Don’t Like the Sun

They shun the sun because they need water to exist. When it’s sunny outside, they’re like your strange aunt Peggy. However, these tiny creatures don’t carry around an umbrella, but rather a shell instead.

Unbelievable Sizes

Some species, such as the trumpet snail Syrinx aruanus, have shells that can measure up to 30 inches in diameter, while most garden snails have smaller shells. Then there’s the microscopic variety!

Salt Can Kill Them

Salt swiftly and brutally kills them by drying them out. Salting a snail is a common childhood pastime. Those people are just being rude to you. Let your children not do it either. Cruel people who torment helpless and innocent animals will have a special place in heaven.

Do Snails Sleep? Surprising Facts We Bet You Didn't Know

They Love to Eat Plants

Pests in gardens, they consume anything in sight. More than 500 varieties make up their “favorites” list. They also eat as much algae as they can get their hands on.

They Are Strong

When was the last time you attempted to pick one up by the roots? They redefine what it means to “bear down.” They are extremely powerful and can lift ten times their own weight, making them a formidable opponent. This is a dangerous group of people to mess with. If they had hands, teeth, or the ability to chase you, they’d wreak havoc on you.

They Have a Great Family

About 200,000 species are part of the Molluscan genus. gastropods include snails, slugs, and mollusks. They have ancestors on six continents who can live both on land and in the water. All seven if you include the Antarctic’s bordering waters.

Grown with Shells

The shell is an organ in and of itself, and as such is an integral part of the body. At birth, the newborn is translucent and paper-thin. It becomes more brittle as it ages. To aid in the development of their own shell, the newborns will consume the eggshells of their parents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do snails sleep at night?

Unlike other animals, they don’t appear to follow the same sleep-wake cycle at night or throughout the day. To avoid disrupting their daily routine, they sleep in sporadic bursts. It is capable of remaining up and active for up to 30 hours straight when the right conditions are in place.

Due to their preference for dampness and aversion to sunlight, it’s only natural that they would be more active at night.

Do snails sleep upside down?

Snails curl up inside their shells to relax when they attach themselves to a surface. The snail’s body is protected from predators when it sleeps by curling up in its shell. If there are no other surfaces that better suit them, they will repose upside down in their shells. Snails, on the other hand, don’t appear to have any particular sleeping habits. Snails can sleep on any side of their bodies at any time of day or night because they lack human features like eyelids and sleep cycles, which limit our ability to see or rest during certain hours of the day.

What is the longest time a snail has slept? Was it really three years?

They’ve been known to sleep for three years or more in these invertebrates! This is the longest period of time for any animal species to be documented. Despite the lack of research on snails and sleep, it is thought that the lengthy hibernation period may be attributable to the fact that land snails can survive without food or water for months at a time. As a form of defense against predators and as a means of mobility when they awaken, they create a slime trail while dozing.

So the next time you meet one of these interesting critters, don’t be too eager to trample on it — chances are, it’s simply having a nap! ‘


Snails are multifaceted creatures whose lives extend far beyond the simple act of nibbling on plant leaves. What surprised us the most in our investigation was the length of their lives and the length of time they can sleep. Snails are so much better than bears!

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