Before discussing do sharks sleep let’s know about sharks. Sharks are elasmobranch fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven-gill slits on the sides of the head, and unfused pectoral fins. Modern sharks are part of the Selachimorpha (or Selachii) clade, which includes rays.
Some of the species of sharks are nocturnal and remain active during the night. They predate and attack their prey at night time for the rummage of their food. Although they stay active during the night, the question is, when do sharks sleep? Or do sharks sleep?
Sharks are different from other animals; they are sea creatures, so they have to move the water throughout their gills for breathing. They constantly move the water and receive oxygen to survive.
So sharks have to remain active all the time to live long. It presents that they could not stop and could not sleep. But sometimes they need to take a rest whenever they are tired. They often do engage in periods of rest in the daylight.
Their conscious sleep is quite different from other animals. Arks do sleep but slightly with parts of their brainless active. En sharks are unconscious, and their spinal cord remains swimming.
While sleeping, they never stop swimming because it will cause their drowning due to lack of swim bladder. So we can say that sharks don’t sleep but a little to remain alive.
Do Great White Sharks Sleep?
White Sharks are known as the biggest and most aggressive species of sharks in the world found in temperate coastal waters. Unlike all other species of sharks, the great white sharks tend to stay in deep waters to bust on their prey in the daylight.
Here the question arises what task do they perform at night? Do the great white sharks sleep at night?
The great white sharks began to change their behavior at night, and they moved closer to the sea’s shore. White sharks, including other species such as hammerheads and megamouths, move in a restful state to keep oxygen water moving through their gills at night.
The great white sharks, like other sharks, don’t go into unconscious States. While moving, they may experience mental indolence along the seafloor. But once, footage from the discovery channel tracked a great white female, Emma, floating at night around Guadalupe islands.
It was the first time scientists observed that a shark’s behavior began to change in a sleep-like state. She was hugging the coastland and swallowing water. According to researchers’ observation, we can say that the great white sharks sleep during the night in a conscious state.
It is believed that the spinal cord coordinates the swimming motion of sharks instead of their brain. So they keep swimming when sleeping.
Where Do Sharks Sleep?
Sharks usually swim on the middle and surface of the water, but where do they sleep? Common sharks sleep in groups, often close together under shelves or in small caves during daylight. These sharks have spiracles.
Spiracles help move the water through the gills in a sleeping state for breathing because their seabed or coral reefs are deeper than their habitats where they rest. This structure is best for bottom-dwelling sharks, rays and skates, and wobbegong sharks who bust on their prey at the bottom of the sea.
Some species of sharks, such as lemon sharks, reef sharks, and nurse sharks, sleep on the bottom of the sea or caves. So they are not sleeping. But they can still watch what is going to happen around them.
Moreover, white sharks tend to sleep in the deeper part of the ocean or the sandy seabed and oscillate between wakeful and restful periods in the daylight. They sit stationary in small gullies or into the current, letting water flow through their gills.