How Do Donkeys Sleep? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

This fascinating question gets asked a lot; People are usually curious to know how donkeys sleep.

Well, donkeys usually sleep standing. Donkeys typically sleep standing; although you find donkeys laying down to sleep, the popular way donkeys sleep, as known by many, is standing like horses.

Donkeys are common animals with great economic value.

To get the best out of your donkeys, you need to know as much as you can about them.

Knowing how they sleep and things relating to how the rest is very important, and this is what we’re going to explore in this article.

How do donkeys sleep?

How Do Donkeys Sleep

Donkeys typically sleep standing; although you find donkeys laying down to sleep, the popular way donkeys sleep, as known by many, is standing like horses.

The way donkeys sleep is dependent on a lot of factors, such as safety, evolution, comfort, time of day, and the type of sleep they need at that moment.

At the end of this article, you would know a number of things that would help you appreciate how donkeys sleep.

Do donkeys sleep at night?

You might wonder that if donkeys sleep, standing do they sleep at night.

Yes, donkeys sleep at night just that even at night while sleeping there could be standing, although if they feel secure about where they are, they could sleep laying down.

Nighttime sleeping for every animal is very important, except for nocturnal animals, and donkeys are not nocturnal.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on how do donkeys show affection

How much sleep do donkeys need?

Of course, every animal has to sleep at some point, and donkeys are not an exception.

The number of hours an animal needs to sleep depends on a number of factors like size, nature, environment even diet.

Every 24 hours, donkeys don’t need more than 3.1s hours of sleep.

Many animals need more hours of sleep than donkeys; even horses sleep longer than donkeys even though they sleep standing.

If your donkeys do not get enough sleep daily, it will adversely affect their health, vibrancy, and even memory.

So it is advisable that you let your donkeys get at least 3.1 hours of sleep daily if you don’t want tired-looking and unhealthy donkeys.

What kind of sleep do donkeys need?

As we already know, donkeys need to sleep for at least 3.1 hours every day, but you might not know the kind of sleep they need for specific hours every day.

Typically donkeys need both rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and casual sleep.

Donkeys usually only achieve REM sleep when they are extremely tired and lie down to sleep.

Because they don’t regularly lie down to sleep getting enough REM sleep is usually difficult, this is part of the reasons they have evolved to not need many hours of REM sleep.

They just need ½ hour of REM sleep every 24 hours. This kind of sleep is very important for the overall welfare of donkeys.

Donkeys also need casual sleep, which is the one they get standing; they don’t need to be tired to sleep this way; they just need to stand idle for a short time and relax.

REM sleep is very important for donkeys; they would not get it if you do not provide an environment that feels good enough to encourage them to lie down and sleep.

It is during this type of sleep that your donkeys dream, and their memories are solidified.

If you see your donkeys lying down, sleeping, and kicking, they are most likely dreaming while experiencing REM sleep.

It is good that you know the types of sleep donkeys need; this will go a long way in helping you help your donkeys get the right type of sleep.

Also check out this article I wrote on are donkeys really smart?

What time should donkeys sleep?

Donkeys don’t have specific times that they sleep because they sleep at night and during the day.

Since donkeys don’t need to sleep for long hours, their sleep doesn’t affect their productivity much.

So it would help if you were not worried that your donkeys would sleep for too long during the day or at night.

Your donkeys should sleep at night and during the day when they don’t have things to do.

Don’t be alarmed when you see donkeys standing and sleeping during the day or when they don’t sleep at night.

Just create the right environment for your donkeys to get enough rest whenever they desire it.

Where do donkeys sleep?

Donkeys will sleep anywhere they can; since they sleep standing, they do not need special space for sleeping.

They could sleep in a barn, in the yard, or anywhere on your farm.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you will not provide a special, secure, and safe space for your donkeys to sleep.

You should make a shelter for your donkeys if you can; this will help foster a sense of security and safety for your donkeys and help them sleep better

So, though your donkeys do not need special places to sleep, you should seek to get safe and secure spaces for them to sleep.

Failure to do this, they will rarely get REM sleep.

Eventually, it would tell on their health; this would inadvertently be detrimental to their productivity.

How long do donkeys sleep?

Donkeys typically do not sleep long because they do not need to sleep long; they need just about three hours of sleep daily.

However, you will catch your donkeys snoozing at different times during the day when they don’t have things to do.

This could add to the overall time that your donkeys sleep. But commonly, donkeys do not sleep very long.

Why do donkeys sleep the way they do?

Donkeys sleep the way they do because they are usually alert even while they sleep.

Donkeys have evolved not to feel safe because people and predators could attack them at any time.

Sleeping the way they do ensures that at a moment’s notice, they could spring to safety or run away from the threats.

The way this sleep gives them an evolutionary advantage, and it is part of the reasons they are still in existence today.

Even horses sleep this way; it is considered if a necessary form of adaptation.

This doesn’t mean they don’t sleep lying down; it is just that donkeys sleep standing most times.

How to get donkeys to sleep well

If you want your donkeys to sleep well without being afraid, alert, and expectant of danger, there are certain things that you must provide for them.

Providing these things for your donkey will help them feel safe, secure, and more likely to sleep lying down, which results in better sleep overall.

1. Secure sleep space

If you want your donkeys to sleep well, you need to provide a secure space that they can sleep.

This doesn’t need to be in a barn with a roof; it could be a well-fenced yard.

The fence should be able to keep out things that will scare or startle your donkeys.

If the sleep space you provide for your donkeys is in a barn, then you need to make sure that it is secure and able to keep predators out.

When you do this, your donkeys will feel better about sleeping well.

2. Comfortable floor:

If your donkeys sleep in the barn, then the floor of the band should be comfortable.

It should not be hard. It would help if you padded the floor of the barn with straw, hay, or tree shavings.

If they are going to sleep outside, then the floor of your compound should not be hard.

3. Provide them with copany

If you want your donkeys to sleep well, you should make sure that you have more than two donkeys.

This is so because the presence of many donkeys can make the individuals feel secure and sleep well.


At this point, you should be well informed about how donkeys sleep and how to get them to sleep well.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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