How do bats sleep and where do they sleep?

At night, bats are everywhere. They fly around the environment looking for food. However, during the day they disappear. If you have often wondered why bats are so rare to see during the daytime, then the answer lies in their sleeping habits. You see, bats are nocturnal animals. This means that they are mostly active during the night and sleep almost all through the day. The fact that their eyes are extremely sensitive to bright lights makes them stay away during the day. The question now becomes how do these creatures sleep and where do they disappear to sleep during the day?

Many modern day movies depict bats like humans such as Count Dracula sleeping upside down. These movies got the idea from the way bats sleep. Of course, humans cannot sleep upside down because our anatomy was designed for blood to flow the other way. Bats, however, can sleep hanging downwards. This allows them to huddle close to each other offering each other protection. This sleep position also ensures that bats spend less energy taking off from the ground when flying. It’s not uncommon to wonder how bats sleep hanging downwards without falling off. Some people have even assumed that bats do not sleep because they need to stay awake to prevent falling off. 

bat stuck in door

This is however not true as bats do sleep. They have specialized physiological adaptations which enables them to lock onto a surface. This adaptation enables them to hang onto the surface and sleep comfortably without falling off. When the bat wakes up, it simply stretches its wings, releases its feet, and flies away.

There are several reasons why bats love to hang upside down while sleeping. The first is the fact that it is easy to take off once the bat decides to fly away. Unlike birds that have strong wings that enable them to take off from the ground with ease, bats cannot. They therefore need a high point to help them with flight. Sometimes they use their front claws to climb to a high spot before taking off into the air. Sleeping at a high point therefore offers an advantage for flight.  

bat in cave

Another reason why bats love to roost the way they do is for protection against danger. Many predators of bats and other flying animals are mostly bigger animals that may reach them if they roost close to the ground. Roosting upside down in a tall structure helps them evade predators while they sleep during the day.

During the day when the bat is mostly inactive, it sleeps in cool, dark places. Caves, mines, abandoned buildings, and even tree hollows are a special favorite. Bats can also make their way into homes and buildings inhabited and roost there. The attics and chimneys of the home are particularly attractive to bats. They love to hide between walls of the home, coming out only at night. If you suspect that a bat or more is roosting in your home, it is important to report it to wildlife management companies who are capable of ensuring that they are removed without harming them.

bats sleeping in cave
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