Can you picture spiders sleeping on the beach and dreaming about rainbows and cupcakes?
Well, you need to get that out of your head because that is not the way spiders operate at all.
Of course, we all know spiders don’t relax on a hammock and think about what they are doing tomorrow.
Spiders operate on instinct and follow a circadian rhythm when resting.
But do spiders sleep? Do they close their eyes and enter lala land?!
Let’s find out!
Do Spiders Sleep?
Humans define sleep as a condition of nervous system inactivity with eyes closed, muscles relaxed, and consciousness suspended.
Spiders do not sleep based on what humans define as sleep. Instead, when spiders sleep, they enter into a state of inactivity to lower their metabolic rate to conserve energy.
Going into a state of inactivity allows spiders to expend very little energy and helps them stay alive for long periods of time (months for some) without eating.
Spiders follow a circadian rhythm (active day and night cycles) based on their species and their location in the world.
Some spiders will be more active during the day while other spiders will be more active at night.
Do Spiders Sleep During the Day or Night?
Some spiders are more active during the day and are known as diurnal spiders. Other spiders are more active at night and are known as nocturnal spiders.
Diurnal spiders are typically spiders that don’t use webs for catching prey.
Jumping spiders are a good example of diurnal spiders because they hunt and stalk their prey during the day when it is easier for them to hunt.
Web spiders are mainly nocturnal spiders and rely on their webs to catch prey.
However, there may be periods in the day when they become active if an unsuspecting insect ends up caught in their webs.
But they are mainly active at night choosing to build and repair their webs during the nighttime hours and becoming less active during the day.
How Do Spiders Sleep?
Spiders don’t technically sleep as humans do. Their systems are never downgraded to a point that they are not aware of their surroundings.
Spiders rely on their senses to indicate when prey and predators are close by.
Because they have to always be on alert, they never enter into a deep state of unconsciousness or anything of that nature.
Instead, spiders go into a state of inactivity either during the day or the night based on their circadian rhythm.
During this period of inactivity, spiders are still aware of their surroundings but they become inactive and lower their metabolic rate to an extremely low point in order to conserve energy expenditure.
While inactive, spiders still require the ability to sense when danger is near or when prey is caught in their webs.
Because of this and other factors, spiders don’t become completely inactive and don’t enter into sleep because they still need some level of brain activity for their senses.
How Long Do Spiders Sleep?
Spiders sleep based on their circadian rhythm. Spiders that are active during the day will become inactive during the night and stay that way for much of the night.
Spiders that are active at night will become inactive for most of the day and become active again at night.
This doesn’t mean that a spider sleeps all day or all night. It just means that spiders are less active and sometimes inactive during their periods of rest.
There is no set time for how long spiders become inactive. It just depends on the spider species and the environment.
Spiders will become pretty inactive during the winter months and some will enter into a state of inactivity for long periods of time during these months (hibernation).
Where Do Spiders Sleep?
Spiders sleep in various locations depending on their species and environment.
Web spiders will rest in their webs and just wait for prey to get caught.
Once prey gets caught in their webs and they feel the vibration of the prey struggling, they jump into action.
Since they rest in their webs, they don’t have to be very active at all unless they are handling prey or fixing and building out their webs.
Spiders that don’t rely on webs – such as jumping spiders and wolf spiders – actively hunt during the day and rest during the night.
Most spiders that are active during the day and don’t cast webs rely on covers such as leaves, plants, and other types of foliage to hide in while resting.
Some spiders have burrows that they rest in while others use holes and burrows as a way of catching prey (trapdoor spiders).
Do Spiders Sleep Upside Down?
Yes, spiders do sleep or rest upside down. However, this doesn’t mean that every spider you see will be sleeping if they are upside down.
Spiders sleep in various positions depending on their environment and how they spend their inactive periods.
Web spiders will sleep upside down or sideways or whatever way works best for them to be ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice when the prey gets caught in their webs.
Spiders that don’t use webs to catch prey will spend most of their lives upright and will also rest in that position.
Spiders without webs don’t typically sleep lying down and always need to be ready to move in case of prey or predators.
Do Spiders Sleep on Their Backs?
Spiders don’t typically lay on their backs for any reason. If you see a spider laying on its back, it is either dead or somehow got in that position and is having a hard time flipping over.
Spiders are typically upright when they rest, but some will tuck their legs in closer to their bodies when they rest.
Many spiders will also tuck their legs in when they go into hibernation.
This is another way to conserve energy and stay a little warmer during the colder months.
When spiders bring their legs closer to their bodies, it may also indicate some level of comfort but it is mainly seen in spiders that are resting or in hibernation mode.
Do Spiders Have Eyelids?
Spiders do not have eyelids. Since spiders don’t sleep in the same way humans do, they don’t need eyelids when going into their inactive state.
Spiders don’t need to close their eyes since they don’t sleep the way we do.
In their inactive state, spiders still need the ability to sense what is going on within their surroundings.
They can sense what is going on around them by feeling the vibrations.
But also by having their eyes constantly open with no eyelids, they have the ability to become inactive but still aware.
Do Spiders Dream?
Since spiders don’t technically sleep and only enter into a state of inactivity, they do not dream.
Spiders do not fully enter into an unconscious state when they are resting, so they do not have the ability to dream since they don’t really sleep in the way humans and other animals do.
So, no spiders are not dreaming of plentiful insects caught in their webs, nor are they dreaming of rainbows or cute jumping spiders.
After reading this article, you should now know that spiders don’t really sleep in the way that humans and other animals do.
Instead, spiders enter into a state of inactivity and have a lower metabolic rate to conserve energy and reduce the need to feed.
Spiders don’t sleep in the way that humans sleep because they don’t have eyelids and they need to stay aware of their surroundings in case prey or predators are nearby.
All spiders follow a circadian rhythm based on light and dark.
Spiders in webs typically are more active at night while spiders that hunt on the ground are usually more active during the day.
Spiders sleep upside-down sometimes in webs but are usually upright when resting.
If you enjoyed this article and want to read more like it, give our Spider Behavior section a try and see which articles you find interesting about various spider behavior!