Bug Blog

Do Flies Ever Get A Chance To Sleep?

Do Flies Ever Get A Chance To Sleep?

Although some people may not care whether flies sleep or not, more curious minds have likely pondered this question at some point. Flies always seem to be busy flying about. It is hard to imagine a fly catching some Zzz’s. This question has apparently been asked before by serious-minded scientists, as researchers from the University of Queensland actually conducted a study in order to find out if flies sleep or not.

Although it may surprise many of you, flies do in fact sleep. Just like humans, flies even require sleep in order to function properly. However, flies sleep at varying intervals. Flies sometimes sleep deeply, whereas other times flies will only take a short light nap. Flies require more sleep if they expend substantial amounts of energy, and this energy is not always spent solely by flying around. For example, studies show that when the learning pathway in fly brains is activated during the day, the need for sleep becomes that much more necessary. When flies use their tiny brains, they will end up indulging in much deeper sleep than normal. Also like humans, flies will sleep during the nighttime hours. Surprisingly, flies do not necessarily search for sleeping areas that are safe from predators. Flies have been found sleeping on curtains, on walls, on ceilings and even on floors. Flies will sleep literally anywhere, just as long as the sleep is occurring at night. Flies likely feel safe sleeping anywhere during the night for the obvious reason that predators cannot locate them quickly. Also, even during deep sleep, flies will likely wake up when predators approach.

Since most people do not appreciate the presence of flies within their homes, people could eliminate flies by learning where they sleep. Maybe flies can dodge a rolled up newspaper during sleep, but residents of a household could make some areas less hospitable to flies looking for a place to sleep. However, in most cases, homeowners will either have to act quickly and swat them, or simply wait for them to die.

Have you ever spotted a fly that you suspected of sleeping?