New research provides intriguing clues about sleep across the animal kingdom, including one that closely resembles REM sleep
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Anyone who has a pet has noticed that cats will sometimes move, seem to be dreaming, or even bark or wake up. But do animals really dream?
Science has researched this topic and has some evidence to answer this question. Researchers, e.g Matthew WilsonResearchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA conducted studies on mice indicating that during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, these animals reactivate memories and experiences from the waking period.
Furthermore, research also suggests that they may experience dream states. While a full understanding of animal dreams is still a topic of research, these findings provide interesting evidence that many animals, like humans, can in fact have dreams.
This is not limited to mammals
Little jumping spiders dangling by a thread at night. Every now and then, its legs bend and its retinas move back and forth.
“What these spiders seem to be doing is very similar to REM sleep,” Daniela Rössler, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Konstanz in Germany, told the magazine. Smithsonian.
During REM, a sleeping animal’s eyes move unpredictably, among other characteristics. In humans, rapid eye movement (REM) is when most dreams occur, especially the most vivid dreams.
Which leads to an interesting question: If spiders experience REM sleep, do they dream, too? With cameras trained on 34 spiders, scientists discovered that these creatures experienced short, rapid-eye movement-like periods every 17 minutes.
The researcher believes that it is possible to imagine that jumping spiders, as animals with high visual ability, could benefit from dreams as a means of processing the information they receive during the day.
Why do some animals sleep so little?
While some animals are lazier, some sleep very little. Science shows that the amount of sleep in animals is inversely related to the degree to which a species has to deal with the risk of predation. In other words, species at risk from predators tend to sleep less.
Some large animals, such as elephants, cows, horses, and donkeys, for example, also sleep little. This is because they spend a lot of time storing food.
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