Do Ants Sleep? Researchers Are Investigating This Question. 

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Do ants sleep like humans? If you are asking this question, this article is for you. Though it might be surprising to some, different animals sleep in different ways and at various times.

While humans need a good night’s sleep for our health and well-being, ants don’t require sleep for their memory recall processes to stay intact. Ants that have been working hard can take a quick nap and still be able to function properly.

Continue reading to find out more about ants and their sleeping habits. 

Do Ants Sleep? Researchers Are Investigating This Question.

Close-up on red wood ant Formica rufa isolated on white background

Ants are one of the most hardworking creatures on Earth. They can be found everywhere and are known for their incredible efficiency. However, even ants need sleep from time to time to survive and function properly.

Though it’s been a long-standing question, researchers are still investigating whether ants sleep or not.

Worker ants take hundreds of little naps spread throughout the day and take 4.8 hours of sleep daily. Additionally, worker ants doze off deeply for 9.4 hours and sleep at different intervals.

Ants are a very interesting species when it comes to sleep. Researchers are still investigating whether or not ants sleep and what kind of sleep they get. Interestingly, queens sleep for about 6 minutes every 90 hours.

What’s more, their antennae move around involuntarily during slumber. Worker ants are known to be very efficient in their work, but scientists are still trying to determine if they get enough rest.

Queen ants live for years, while worker ants only live for a few months. Interestingly, the queen ant sleeps, but the worker ants sleep in short intervals, so there is always a workforce present. If all of the worker ants were to sleep at once, the colony would be left unprotected. 

Do ants sleep in winter?

Yes, ants sleep during the winter months. Ants do not hibernate during winter. The worker ants continue to forage and do tasks such as caring for the young and building the nest.

Do ants work at night?

Do ants work at night?

It is a question that researchers are still investigating. The answer may vary depending on the species of ant. Some ants rest during the day while others work, and some are active at night.

To see in the dark, ants rely on their eyes or antennae. They have perfect night vision due to their large number of light-sensitive cells.

Though ants that travel at night take longer to reach their nests, researchers have found that they can still find their way home.

However, when the ant colony works at night, fewer ants may travel as compared to during the day. It is because some ants may be sleeping while others are working.

Do ants sleep at night?

Do ants sleep at night?

There is still some debate over whether or not ants sleep. Researchers are investigating this question to understand better how ants rest and what role sleep plays in their lives.

Some believe ants only take short naps during the day, while others think they may sleep at night like other animals. 

Though the jury is still out, ants may take advantage of the quieter periods at night when they aren’t leaving the nest to nap more. Nocturnal ant species may move slowly because it is cooler at night.

What is the queen ant’s resting period?

What is the queen ant's resting period?

The queen ants have a different sleep pattern than the worker ants. The queen ant sleeps for about six minutes at a time and enters into a deep sleep. Her antennae are lowered, and her mouth is closed during this time.

On the other hand, the worker ants only sleep for about two minutes and enter a dozing state where their antennae are slightly raised, and their mouth is open.

Queens will sleep for a long time and not dream. It’s currently unclear why queens go into a deep sleep instead of just dozing off. What is clear, however, is that the queens’ sleeping habits help them live longer lives.

Are ants nocturnal?

There are many different ant species, and many of them are nocturnal. Nocturnal animals are those that are active at night.

Carpenter ants, for example, follow trails along fences, tree limbs, and other linear objects as they search for food. Sugar ants invade your kitchen at night because they are most active.

Why do ants come out at night?

Why do ants come out at night?

Ants come out at night because they are the most active. The darkness does not deter them from doing what they do, including foraging for food and building their nests. It is still relatively unknown why ants are so active at night, but researchers investigate this question.

To better understand ant behavior, it is important first to know more about the species and habits of different types of ants.

Do queen ants bite?

Yes, queen ants bite. When a mutiny breaks outs within the ants, the queen ant bites to protect herself.

When do queen ants come out?

Macro photography Queen ant with wings on white background

Queen ants come out in the spring and summer when they mate. After mating, the males die, and the females lose their wings.

They then search for a suitable nesting place to raise their first brood of eggs. Each queen feeds her first brood of eggs on her own using stored fat and her wings.


Ants sleep, and it is a critical part of their survival. Queens need plenty of sleep to reproduce, and worker ants do not get the luxury of sleep despite working the most.

Though ants are found more commonly at night, researchers are still investigating why they spend most of their daylight hours underground. It is possible that the ants are conserving energy and preparing for the night shift, or they have some other reason for staying hidden during the day.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.