How Long Do Snails Sleep? [2024 Shocking Update]

You will be shocked when you discover how long do snails sleep? At first sight, you might not think you’re aware that land snails live very fascinating lives. However, these gastropods live quite unique lifestyles.

They are hermaphrodites, meaning they possess female and male reproductive organs. They lack hearing, and salt could be toxic to their health. But, a fascinating aspect of their lives can be how they sleep.

Certain pets can be as slow as sloths so it can be hard to determine if they’re alive. Snails are one of the animals that pet owners may be unable to tell whether or not they’re asleep.

Do Snails Sleep?

Yes, snails do sleep, however, not too much. It wasn’t known the process by which the snail sleeps until 2011 when Canadian researchers looked into pond snails and discovered they actually enter a sleep-like state.

8 pond snails in the study were sleeping intermittently, in a pattern that was repeated every two or three days, in contrast to those who slept on the 24-hour cycle that most animals employ.

About seven bouts of sleeping for 21-23 minutes at a time took place over the course of a 13 hour period. This pattern of sleeping was immediately followed by 33-41 hours of activity before repeating.

The time of day didn’t seem to play any role in the timing of when sleeping bouts occurred. The different species of snails could have distinct sleeping patterns but they have not been investigated. It is in contrast to humans who sleep from seven to eight hours over a 24-hour period, and typically during the night.

It’s crucial to find out when your snail is sleeping or is doing something else that’s more alarming, to ensure that its enclosure is secure, however.

In fact, how long do snails sleep? You will be surprised by the facts.

How Long Do Snails Sleep?

A few land snails can sleep for up to 3 years in hibernation or estivation. Yes, it’s true! Although this prolonged nap might seem appealing initially, it’s really due to less-than-ideal conditions.

Why Do Snails Sleep So Long?

Snails require moisture to survive So when the weather isn’t cooperating, they may actually go to sleep for all of three years.

There is evidence that, based on geography, snails could shift from hibernation (which is common in winter), or estivation (also known as ‘summer sleeping’), helping to escape warm climates.

In the summertime, snails secrete mucus over their bodies to shield themselves from dry, hot summers.

Although it’s as glamorous as it could seem, snails don’t sleep in their mucus for three years in their own mucus. If the weather is right, snails are known to adhere to a regular schedule of sleeping.

Does A Snail’s Sleep Schedule Differ From Humans?

As opposed to humans, snails aren’t bound by the laws of the day and night. The majority of the time, snails sleep on and off for between 13 to 15 hours. After that, they will experience a jolt of energy and energy for the following 30 hours, during which they complete all of their snail chores!

How Do You Know If a Snail Is Asleep?

It’s quite difficult to tell if snails are sleeping, since they don’t display any obvious signs, such as shutting their eyes or sleeping.

But, there are a few easy ways to aid in determining whether or the snail is sleeping:

  1. A pond snail study showed the snails were able to maintain a relaxed foot, mantle, and tentacles and that the radula (tongue) was unable to grasp anything while they were asleep. sleep-like state.
  2. The shell could flop over due to the relaxed mantle but the sleeping snails didn’t curl up into their shells.
  3. There was also a decreased reaction to touch as well as to food.
  4. The tentacles appear withdrawn and a bit

Because snails only sleep for approximately 20 minutes at a time, when you look at them, you aren’t able to tell if it’s asleep, just wait for half an hour and see whether it’s more alert.

It’s tempting to conclude you know that a gastropod is dead, but don’t make rash conclusions when you notice an inactive snail in your garden. It could just be having an afternoon power nap.

How to Wake a Sleeping Snail

If, for any reason, you need to wake your snail that is sleeping, petting it is the most effective method to get it up. The act of placing food in front of its face could wake it, but this might not be as effective as rubbing your snail. Do not ever hold a snail in its shell, regardless of whether they’re sleeping or awake, but, this could cause damage to the mantle and could even cause death. A gentle stroke or scratch will suffice. Since snails can only sleep for approximately 20 minutes at a time, it’s better to wait until they wake up in their own way.

Snail Sleeping Habits

You’ve probably noticed that gastropods often appear at times when there’s moisture all around. Being in a humid area is vital for being able to survive, and they’ll typically plan their rest according to weather conditions. You’ll observe bursts of activity coming from them, and then they’ll disappear for a couple of days.

Do Snails Hibernate or Estivate?

If your snail has been sleeping for longer than 24 hours, it is estivating or hibernating. Certain species of snails enter hibernation when they become too dry and cold. This is usually the case in the winter months in wild snails.

Their heart rate is reduced and they might appear to be dead, however, they’re simply storing energy. Certain land snails can reportedly hibernate for as long as three years, though this is not the same thing as sleeping.

This long hibernation can also be a sign that the environment of your snail is extremely dry and cold. The process of warming your enclosure and adding moisture will awaken your hibernating snail to come out of hibernation.

On the contrary, in the event that you find that your enclosure is too dry and hot, the snail could enter into estivation. When it’s wild, this can happen during summer, but if the enclosure isn’t flooded with moisture and is too hot, the sleep cycle can start.

A mucus layer may be evident as an indication of your snail’s effort to shield itself from scorching heat. It’s an indication of the need to cool your enclosure.

Certain species of snails are able to burrow into their substrates in estivation. In the event that your snail’s enclosure is in the range of 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it is unlikely to observe the snail hibernating and/or estivating.

How Long Do Snails Live?

While your snail could be asleep, it’s crucial to be aware of the length of time a snail usually lives.

If you own the wild-caught garden snail you discovered in your backyard, the lifespan is generally lower than 5 years, however, it’s not unusual for snails to live into the double digits when in captivity.

More massive land snails like giant African land snails are also expected to live for a minimum of 10 and more. Based on the species of snail and the age it was when you first got it (which you may not find out if it was in your backyard), your snail may just be in your possession for a brief period of period, or you may be enjoying your tiny gastropod for the next 10 years or longer.

How long do snails stay awake?

Snails sleep on and off for up to a few hours. After they’ve rested, they’ll be awake for up to 30 hours.

Do snails rest at night?

They don’t appear to have their own sleep-wake cycle as other creatures, which are able to sleep in predictable patterns either at night or during the daytime. Instead, they rest in spurts that are in accordance with changing environmental conditions. If the conditions are favorable, they can be awake and active for 30 or longer hours.

Because they enjoy moisture and don’t like the sun, it’s natural that they’d be more active in the evening than during the daytime.

Do snails sleep upside down?

They are able to sleep upside down if the circumstances call for it. This isn’t referring to them sleeping hanging upside-down on their shells with their bodies exposed. Moreover, the situation occurs when they get onto the leaf, like, hanging upside down.

This happens in the event of ground conditions that aren’t perfect. They could find themselves too warm or cold to be able to sleep comfortably, therefore they search for an area that is more suitable to their needs.

Fun Facts About Snails

They Can’t Hear

Did you try to talk about one with them? They can’t understand what you’re saying. However, they can, however, sense, and they may still be able to discern your body language as you attempt to communicate.

They Don’t Like the Sun

Since they require moisture for them to survive, they stay away from the sun. They’re like the weird Aunt Peggy who strolls through the day with an umbrella, keeping the sun shining. But, in place of umbrellas, these little creatures wear shells.

Snails Do Not Copulate

Well, it’s not quite true.

What’s more, snails can be described as hermaphrodites, that is, they possess male and female organs for sex. They can effectively reproduce independently, but they require assistance to fertilize their eggs. This is where mating takes place.

The hermaphrodite species is still required to perform the act to enable their eggs to be able to hatch. The thing that is interesting in this case is the fight that is waged between them when they determine who gets the semen and who gets the semen.

Overall, the healthier of the two parties in this arrangement is the one who gives semen since they aren’t interested in weak or sickly semen to become the daddy to their clan. But, until we’re able to talk to these amazing creatures, we’ll never be able to know the specifics of this deal.

Another intriguing tidbit to keep in mind the mating rituals of their species take anywhere from one to three hours. They do everything very slowly!

They Have a Great Family

The slugs are part of the Molluscan family, which comprises around 200,000 species. Snails and snails are referred to as gastropods. They are able to live on land and in oceans, along with their cousins, which are spread across six continents. If you include the oceans from Antarctica, it may technically be seven continents.

Made from Shells

It is part of the intrinsic part of the body and technically is part of an organ. When an infant arrives, its shell appears thin and translucent. Through its existence, it starts to get harder. The infants will eat their eggshells to stimulate the development of their shells.

Unbelievable Sizes

The majority of the garden species have shells that measure smaller than an inch in diameter, however, some species, such as Syrinx aruanus, also known as the trumpet snail, is a sea species with a shell that could be as large as 30 inches. But, other species are microscopic!

Salt Can Kill Them

Salt dries them out and kills them fast and painlessly. The majority of kids have at least once, or in another, put salt on snails. This is just a snide act. Do not do it, and do not let your kids get away with it. There’s a special place in the afterlife reserved for people who torture innocent and helpless animals.

They Are Strong

Have you ever attempted to lift one from the ground? They provide a completely new meaning to bearing down. They’re extremely tough and are able to lift up to 10 times more weight. Do not mess with them. They’d ruin your life If they had teeth or hands, or be chasing you.

They Love to Eat Plants

They wreak havoc on gardens and are known to eat plants. They’ve got around 500 varieties which are listed among their favorite varieties. They also eat about every algae they find.


Snails are complex creatures, and their life span goes way beyond eating leaves in the garden. What we discovered about “how long do snails sleep” was particularly interesting during our study was the length they live and the length of time they are able to sleep. Snails are more sluggish than bears!


Dibyajyoti Bordoloi is the creator and author of, a third-generation experienced fish keeper and owner of a successful pet breeding farm. He is also a member of the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation And Conservation (Assam), the Marine Aquarium Societies of North East India, and the Kaziranga Nature Conservancy of Assam.

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