Many humans hate going to bed alone — and so do plenty of other creatures.
Each creature gets unique benefits from doing so. Many researchers observe that some species sleep in herds as a means of survival. After all, sleeping with friends could be the difference between whether they get munched by a predator or not. But while protection is the main theme, each species is a little different in the benefits they draw from it.
Baboons share a sleep ritual
As a way to strengthen their bond, baboons groom each other after waking up and before they turn in for the night.
These omnivores travel, feed and sleep together in groups of 50, typically consisting of much more females than males. In short, your squad’s got nothing on a baboon squad.
Zebras ward off the 'bros'
Zebra families do everything together, and that includes sleeping. By staying in a group, the equids protect female zebras from potentially cuckolding males who may stumble across the herd.
Zebras don’t actually get much sleep, according to Daniel Rubenstein, a zoologist at Princeton University. In an email exchange with Van Winkle’s, he explained they usually only snooze an hour between noon and 2 a.m., and then take short naps throughout the day.
Sheep just want to relax
If they're under stress, they, like humans, will even grind their teeth at night and sleep in groups to essentially relax and stay safe. They’re constantly on the lookout for predators (which can include coyotes, cougars, bears and foxes) and their only form of defense is to sleep together in herds. As tasty as they look, sheep, like zebras, don’t sleep very much. The puffy animals average about 3.8 hours of sleep per day and only two percent of that is spent in deep sleep.
Goats get lonely
Domestic goats are social animals and enjoy the comfort of others. If you own one and do not get it a companion, it will scream at night because it is lonely and bored. The bucks, does and kids do everything together, including cuddling and sleeping in herds.
Ducks like to wait their turn
Ducks are unihemispheric sleepers, meaning they have the ability to sleep with only half of their brains while (literally) keeping an eye open for potential predators.
Why do we bring this up? Because one study looking at mallard ducks found that those at the end of the line are more likely to engage in unihemispheric sleep than those in the middle. In short, they sleep together in a lineso that those at the end can remain more alert and protect the ducks in the middle (who are free to sleep normally).
Some scientists have even observed that the aquatic birds have a rotation system, switching spaces throughout the evening.