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Marine Mammal Sleeping

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Things like manatees and seals have learned to sleep on beaches or rocks in the surf. Sometimes they can even be found on the bottom of shallow water. Whales, on the other hand, spend most of their time in open water. This prevents them from resting themselves anywhere. If they happened to fall into a "deep" sleep they would suffocate because they would sink to a depth from which they would not be able to resurface from in time.
In a similar respect, whales have learned to mentally control their breathing to such an extent that it is no longer an involuntary reflex. This adds obvious complications to their sleep patterns. They sleep about 8 hours in a haze each day.
Crazily, dolphins have a similar problem when it comes to sleep. But they have an interesting way of dealing with this. They have evolved into knowing how to let half of their brain rest while the other half regulates and takes care of breathing. Dolphins have been seen literally sleeping with one eye open.


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