Why do Lions sleep so much? Why are they so lazy?

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Why do lions sleep so much?

Lions sleep so much during the day time because it’s their free time as they are very good night hunters and are very often seen hunting at night time.

They do also sleep so much during the day time to conserve their energy, due to lack of prey, and also in order to avoid the heat of the scorching sun to keep themselves cool.

They sleep for at least 13 to 16 hours during the day time and come out for the hunt very often at night. They are also seen hunting during the day.

Due to being able to see 6 to 7 times more sensitively to light than humans, they are considered very good night hunters. This gives them an advantage over some prey species when hunting during the night.

They do also see very well in the dim light conditions after dusk. They are also crepuscular, that is they become the most active at twilight or before sunset as well.

They see so well at night times because they have more rod cells than cone cells in the retina of their eyes. The rods are responsible for vision at low light levels.

During the daytime, their vision is a bit faded (blurry) as compared to that of the humans. So, to have a clear vision, they must need to go near the object (at least 20 to 30 feet away from their prey) that they want to see clearly.


So, being nocturnal is one of the reasons, and also having very few sweat glands they wisely tend to conserve their energy by resting during the day while avoiding the heat of the day Sun.

Sleeping the most at day time is a type of their adaptation to survive, as it is seen that all lions dwell in harsh environments.

Why are lions so lazy?

It’s true that lions are very lazy but it’s only when they sleep. They are called lazy animals because they do sleep a lot which is actually their type of adaptation to survive in harsh environments.

But, when it’s the time to protect their mates, territory, cubs, while hunting, or while choosing a mate they can’t be considered lazy. During those times they get very active.

So, Lions lying sleeping in the shade on a hot day are actually not being lazy. This is their energy-conserving adaptation.

And, it is very less likely to find them getting successful kills when it is hot during the day. So, they get lazy and take a nap.

Not only lions, but all of the Felines that include any of the 37 cat species that among others include the cheetah, puma, jaguar, leopard, lynx, tiger, and domestic cats are considered very lazy when taking a nap.

If you study the lions’ way of living, you will clearly know that their laziness is simply their way of opting to wait for the very best time to get active.

It has been also seen that when a lion eats enough food, they get very lazy and take a nap the whole day. This is their way to conserve enough energy waiting for their next hunt to begin.

And, it is to be also noted that they are sometimes seen stealing kills from other animals like leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, etc. This adds the characteristics of being lazy in their behaviour.

How long do lions sleep?

Lions can sleep for about 13 to 16 hours a day. Some have also been seen sleeping between 16 and 20 hours each day.

Male lions spend 18 to 20 hours a day taking a short light sleep, especially during the day, while females get 15 to 18 hours of relaxing sleep only.

Stating that their average total sleep time (% of 24 hours) is between 54% to 66% each day. The rest of the time i.e. at night they become more active when it is cooler.

Not necessarily they will always sleep so long. During times of emergency like protecting their cubs, territory, kill, etc. they can also sleep less than 10 hours a day.

So, it can be well stated that the male lions sleep the most while the females sleep less than the males.

And it is also to be noted that during times of cooler weather and hunger it can lower the sleeping time of both sexes.

So, during the day time you will have a better chance of seeing a lion sleeping than going for a hunt or roaming around.

How do lions sleep?

All members of the lions pride sleep together under the shade of the trees lying close to each other. They can be either seen sleeping atop the trees or under the canopy of the trees.

Lions may or may not have any specific spot for sleeping. But, wherever or whenever they do sleep they will always be in search of a cool and comfortable place to catch their snoozes.

In spite of the disturbances they get during their sleep time, they can pretty much sleep anywhere within their territory, but never out of their territory.

However, anytime during sleep if they hear striking alarm calls of other intruders encroaching inside their territory they make wake up after getting the alert and will readily opt to check and inspect the issue.

Males that are thrown out of the pride are seen to stay and sleep all alone or with other males.

Most of the time you will see the lions sleeping at the center of the pride, while the lionesses sleep around surrounding the lion.

The cubs are mostly seen sleeping with their mothers or with other females of the same pride. Male lions are rarely seen sleeping with the cubs.

It has been also reported in the wild that the cubs feed on the mother’s milk when she is still sleeping.

Lions prefer to sleep on their sides and love to roll from one side to the other, just like our house cats. They very rarely sleep on their backs.

When they are in a good mood and complete relaxation and with trust towards their environment and siblings, they are seen sleeping on their backs with all their four legs in the air with their backs for support.

The reason why lions sleep for long hours is to conserve energy and rejuvenate.

They are very often seen yawning just like any other cats. This lets them take in more oxygen signaling their brain to stay alert.

What do lions do for most of the day?

During the daytime, they spend most of their time sleeping and relaxing in the shade. Some lion prides are also seen being involved in hunting during the day.

You will often see them lying on their backs with their feet upright position, or also they may be lying on their side and sleep with comfort. Some maybe even seen climbing a bit up the tree and taking a snooze in one of the stronger branches.

While lazing and relaxing around in the afternoon time, they are seen to be very affectionate towards one another, rubbing heads, grooming, purring, and licking each other’s faces while moaning quietly.

Pride members are known to roam around inside their territories and keep track of one another by roaring. Both males and females make very powerful roars.

Lions have even been known to roar in chorus as a form of social communication.

They are also seen marking their territory and guarding the boundaries for some time by roaring, marking it with urine, and chasing off intruders during the day.

They do also take care of and protect their cubs. Most males are involved in guarding the territories while both of the sexes are seen guarding the cubs.

Do lions sleep as long in the zoo as they do in the wild?

In the wild, you will see them sleeping most of the daytime, but in the zoo, they’re just doing what comes naturally.

Meaning that they can either roam around inside their cage or just lay down with or without taking a nap.

Unlike the wild lions who need to hunt and conserve their energy for the next hunt, in the zoo they are adapted to getting the luxury of napping since they do not need to hunt or forage for food.

In the zoo, they are seen sleeping and relaxing for about 15 to 20 hours if left undisturbed by the Zoo visitors.

So, that’s why it’s said that the zoo animals are lazy and sleepy compared to the wild ones because they they get their food and comfort without any hardship.

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