- The ’24 hours to respond’ meme holds celebrities to a higher standard Monday 8:46 PM
- Twitter users miss the kids who walked in on their dad’s interview Monday 8:40 PM
- ‘The Thing About Men’ Twitter hashtag is full of sarcasm and misogyny Monday 7:27 PM
- This woman said Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election gave her PTSD, and people are furious Monday 6:45 PM
- Vanessa Bryant files a lawsuit against helicopter company after deaths of Kobe and Gianna Monday 5:49 PM
- Michael Jordan cries at Kobe Bryant memorial, jokes about creating a new meme Monday 4:43 PM
- Woman’s boyfriend says it’s him or the frogs—Reddit says choose the frogs Monday 4:22 PM
- Greyhound buses will no longer allow Border Patrol checks Monday 4:04 PM
- ‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ is oddly about vegetables—not about eating the rich Monday 3:26 PM
- Marco Rubio mocked for filming talking while driving socialism critique Monday 2:54 PM
- QAnon believer asks Trump’s campaign press secretary who Q is Monday 2:36 PM
- Octavia Spencer has discovered ‘Ma’ memes—and she can’t get enough Monday 2:09 PM
- Meet the anti-Greta Thunberg, a climate ‘skeptic’ funded by the oil industry Monday 1:12 PM
- Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape and sexual assault Monday 12:56 PM
- Senator calls Facebook’s current election disinformation efforts ‘inadequate’ in letter Monday 12:11 PM
Have you ever laid awake at night wondering if the crickets chirping outside ever sleep? You’re not the only one.
According to a National Geographic article on the same topic, we know that fruit flies, honeybees, praying mantises, and cockroaches sleep. One of the ways scientists can tell a fly is sleeping is that it might be more prone to falling in the direction of gravity, and it might take more intense stimulation to get it to act alert.
We actually use fruit flies and honeybees in research to understand the basics of human sleep, since internal clocks that tell them when to go to sleep and wake up (i.e. their circadian rhythm) works in a similar way to that of people. Since their nervous systems are less complex, it’s easier to examine how environmental cues and sleep deprivation affect the nervous system.
The National Geographic article also mentions that one researcher developed a device, lovingly called the “insominator,” to study what happens to honeybees when they are sleep deprived. The researcher tagged bees with tiny bits of metal and used magnets to jostle the bees awake. Turns out that sleepy bees are poor at communicating, just like people.
Sleep is pretty ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, so we know it’s important. But it’s not clear to scientists why animals need to sleep. According to an article in Popular Science, having a central nervous system seems to be one of the big factors that determine if an animal needs to sleep. Chances are, if you can think of it, it probably sleeps: bony fishes, sharks, birds. They all sleep, and sometimes in really bizarre ways.
Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.