Seven Spooky Creatures And Their Weird Sleeping Habits
We should all get eight hours sleep each night and the cold autumn nights can make your bed a much more attractive prospect in October. Perhaps you may get a little less sleep after watching horror films this Halloween, frightened of what could be lurking underneath.
Animals also require sleep in varying amounts; from the sea otter, which uses a duvet made of seaweed to stop itself floating away, or horses which can sleep standing up. But what are the sleeping habits of these popular Halloween characters? We investigate the nocturnal habits of monsters, real and mythical.
Vampires, of the Bram Stoker traditional, are known to sleep in coffins during the day, avoiding the deadly sunlight which can crumble them to dust. However, vampires (or vampyres) have appeared in myths from around the world, with each culture imbuing the creature with their own ideas.
In the Philippines and Indonesia, they tell of a mythical creature called the mandurugo, which goes around as an attractive young woman during the day, only to sprout wings and a long thin, hollow tongue which she uses to suck the blood of her victims. With a schedule like that, it doesn’t sound like she gets much chance for any shut eye!
Ghosts do not sleep at all. They are disembodied spirit of a dead person, left behind to haunt the living. With no body to rest and restore overnight, they do not need the benefits gained from a good night’s sleep.
Famous ghosts include Bloody Mary, who is said to appear when you say her name three times in a mirror, appearing as a bloodied corpse.
Historically zombies were the dead that became resurrected. As they are dead, they do not require sleep’s restorative benefits, such as conserving energy resources or restoring hormone levels. They do have a “lurker” state in which they make very little movement, perhaps just standing still but this is not the same as sleep.
Many modern versions of zombies such as those in the film 28 Days Later are created through illness rather than magic. For them, it is thought this “lurker” state could represent a type of light sleep.
Most breeds of bat are nocturnal and sleep during the day. They also hibernate when the weather gets cold and there isn’t much food about. But how can they get a good night’s sleep when they are hanging upside down? The weight of the bat’s body, when it hangs upside down, pulls on the tendons in its legs, closing their talons. This allows them to sleep without having to use any energy.
Spiders are found on every single continent apart from Antarctica and their sleep habits are quite varied. It’s uncertain if it is sleep or rest that spiders take but some rest at night and others during the day. In colder climates, some also hibernate during the coldest months.
Skeletons require some sleep but due to their lack of eyelids and a tendency to rattle they can’t achieve true relaxation!
Animal transformations are common in myths from around the world, such as the aswang in Asia, who, at night, transform into boars or huge dogs. In Europe the most popular version is the werewolf. Werewolves look like people for most of the month but on a full moon they become wolfmen who are violent, howling at the sky and attacking any human or animal that they come into contact with.
Some believe that there is a link between moon phases and sleep patterns of humans. A recent study has shown a correlation between the cycle of the moon and melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that the body produces to make people sleep.
By Jen Blue
Jen Blue specializes in writing about sleep and breathing problems. For more information about Sleep Apnea visit www.devilbisshc.com/patient_information.