October 2019 by V. R. Duin


This ray hunts at night
and spends days with friends.
It works out all right
that fish never sleep.

Although fish never sleep, peaceful and restful fish help people wind down to catch ZZZs, escape stress, avoid bedtime anxiety and ward off sleep-deprivation ills.

Do Fish Sleep? According to NOAA, fish behavior, habits and position show they remain half-awake. EEG equipment records electrical brain activity to calculate the percentages of time spent asleep and awake.

Blast Shield? “Eyes wide open” applies to fish. Sharks have eyelids. Two of them are fixed. They do not close. A clear nicitating membrane rises behind the lower lid of some sharks. It offers eye protection during attacks.

Fine Focus? Other fish have no eyelids. Like crustaceans, insects, snakes and spiders, their eyes stay open. Bullfrogs have three eyelids to moisten, clean and camouflage their eyes. They hibernate rather than regularly sleep.

Perfect Getaway? According to Pizard's GURPS Miscellanea, Basking Sharks may hibernate. Cave resting spots have less salt and more oxygen. Sharks may move into caves for the oxygen high of recreational oxygen bars.

Super Natural? Sleep is regulated naturally by a circadian biological clock. Sleepiness, wakefulness, hunger and other day or night functions largely track light and darkness. Environmental and genetic factors also play a role.

Contemplate Life Patterns? Diurnal round stingrays become active in daytime. Nocturnal Manta Rays power up at night. Crepuscular Great White Sharks tend to gain momentum during dawn or dusk hours.

Avoid Bedtime Anxiety

Takeaway? Feedback on noise, movement, amount of deep sleep, deficit percentages and rhythms can be inaccurate. Disruptions from wearable or nearby sleep-tracking tools may worsen sleep hygiene and impair data.

Everything Clicks? The JCSM presents an abstract about Orthosomnia: Are Some Patients Taking the Quantified Self too Far? This preoccupation with wearable data for self-diagnosis and sleep perfection can disturb sleep.

Lunar Cycle? Physiology determines sleep-wake homeostasis, or the balancing of sleep needs and intensity with biochemistry. Cycles are polyphasic (multiple), monophasic (singular) or biphasic (two periods).

Mapped Out? Animal resting cycles typically are polyphasic. Humans are split. Some people are monophasic in nature, sleeping only once over a 24-hour period. Others have biphasic schedules of two regular sleep periods.

Rebound Sleep. This increase in rest helps fish and people offset deficits. It is common after periods of deprivation or disruption. Storms, migrations, mating and parental activities tend to interfere with regular habits in the wild.

Escape Stress

Safe Resting Spots? While removed from active swimming and hunting activities, some fish hide under rocks, behind plants or buried in sandy ocean banks or bottoms. Others use group protection; guards oversee those at rest.

Rain Dates? While resting, reactions to stimulus may become sluggish. Protective schools, calm waters and repetitive movements may relax constant swimmers. Mama Ray describes trance-like tonic immobility, or “hypnosis”.

Island Time? Aquariums are conducive to sleep. They make good substitutes for escapes to the beach. Fish do not need the living space or care of most pets. A mix-and-match variety gives easy lessons about life in water.

Fish Help People

Therapeutic Fish? These social creatures listen and respond to outside attention 24/7. Hyperactive children and tense or insomniac adults may decompress with the hypnotic, sleep-inducing gracefulness of fish motion.

Drawing Inspiration? Fish are disciplined, tireless, serene and instinctive. Their movements may reduce anxiety, stress, blood pressure and heart rate. Productivity, concentration, motivation, positivity and focus may improve.

Beauty and the Elements? The calming sounds and rainbow of colors in the laid-back, aquatic world provide a soothing escape for healthy living. Little Ray's video below is a tranquil peace offering for friends, days and nights.

Take Me to Your Leader! Desire to learn about stingrays and sharks may become “addictive”. The below video is danger-free. The theme is not from any Little Ray book. Readers will recognize illustrations from his tales of the deep.

VA-VA-VOOM Service? The transcript for the video below reads as follows: We will not count sheep. They might fall to sleep. We will count stingrays. They're up nights and days. (21 seconds)