How Long Do Snails Sleep? Amazing Facts About Snails

For well-being, the right period of sleep is extremely crucial. That holds for humans and other animals. So, how is it for snails? Their sluggish nature makes us ask, “How long do snails sleep?”

Today, we are going to debunk the truth behind a snail’s sleeping schedule.

How long do snails sleep?

Well, you’ve heard the stories of how they can sleep for years. Yes! Years, not days. However, there is more depth to the question.

Humans and other animals have 24 hours in their day. We rise with the sun and go to sleep at night.

However, for snails, a daily cycle is of a couple of days or 3 days. So, they’re liberated from the earth’s movement around the sun, and they don’t have the cycle that other animals have.

Snail sleep cycle

So, scientists conducted studies to find out the sleeping patterns of snails. They figured out the cycle.

Snails have their sleep cycle in two to three days. At that time, they spend half a day or slightly more asleep. Interestingly, sleep is not continuous. Snails break their sleep into 7 parts to complete their time.

Then, there’s the time of wakefulness. It is of uninterrupted 30 hours. Too much for an indolent creature, right?

Hibernation in snails

Snails are one of those animals that can hibernate. However, hibernation is of a different kind. We’ll get to it shortly.

You must be wondering why do animals hibernate. Well, when the situations do not favor them, they go into the state of hibernation and return when everything works for them. Normally, animals do that in winters to make up for the food scarcity.

However, snails do the opposite. They hibernate, estivate is the right word here, in summers by tucking themselves in their shells.

Estivation period in snails

How Long Do Snails Sleep

The estivation period is longer than you might think. It can take up to 3 years. Now that’s a hell lot of time. However, it is crucial for their survival.

To survive, snails need just the right moisture. During estivation, they release mucus in their shells to provide them with it.

How would you find yourself in a snail’s sleeping pattern? I, for one, would enjoy changing my sleeping schedule.


In a nutshell, snails have a different daily cycle. It is 12 to 15 hours of sleep in 7 breaks, followed by complete awakening for 30 hours.

Apart from the sleep, snails estivate up to 3 years to survive in harsh conditions. Quite a different life snails have. Nonetheless, a lot of other animals are unique in their ways. For instance, most sharks cannot sleep at all.


How do snails sleep?

Snails have to sleep away from the sun. So, you can find them asleep attached to leaves, rocks, or on walls.

Can snails nap for 3 years?

Yes, but that isn’t their normal sleep. They hibernate to avoid harsh weather conditions and food scarcity. Nonetheless, this can on for 3 years.

How do you tell if a snail is hibernating?

When hibernating, snails seal their shell opening with mucous. Look for it and you’ll know.

Can snails hurt you?

Domesticated snails cannot hurt you. However, beware of some wild species like the cone snail which releases a deadly poison.

How Long Do Snails Sleep? Is completely explained. Now, if you want to know about “What Do Snails Eat?” Read it.