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Power Nappers


Humans and animals need sleep. But we don’t all sleep the same way.

A study was published in 2023. It was about chinstrap penguins. Scientists found an odd sleep pattern among penguins. The parents don’t take one long sleep at night, like we do. They take thousands of tiny naps. Each nap lasts only a few seconds.

Keeping Safe

Chinstrap penguins lay their eggs each November. Parents take turns protecting the nest from predators. Scientist Paul-Antoine Libourel wanted to learn more. “How do they sleep when they are facing such a big challenge?” he wondered.

To protect their eggs, chinstrap penguins must stay alert.


Libourel and his team studied 14 penguins. They used special devices. The devices tracked brain activity.

The researchers saw that the penguins took thousands of naps each day. These added up to more than 11 hours of daily sleep.

Chinstrap penguins balance taking time to rest with looking out for predators.


That’s a lot of time to spend in a sleepy state. But scientists think these short rests help keep penguins safe.