a school of blue fish

While most fish rest by reducing their activity and metabolism, the way fish “sleep” is different from the way land mammals sleep.

Most fish don’t have eyelids, but they do have a regular period of reduced activity and metabolism. This doesn’t exactly serve the same purpose as a good night’s sleep for us, but research shows that fish sleep does serve a restorative purpose. Even though fish are in this restful state, many are still acutely alert for danger. You could say that fish seep with one eye open.

Some fish float in place while resting, some wedge themselves into a secure spot in the mud/coral, and some even locate a suitable makeshift nest.  For example, some species of parrotfish actually make a “mosquito net” out of mucus to protect themselves from parasites so that they can sleep in peace.

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  1. The fish in the middle of a school control the entire school. The fish on the outside are guided by the fish in the middle.
  2. Most fish have taste buds covering their body.
  3. Some brands of lipstick have fish scales in them.


  1. Sleep.org – Do Fish Sleep?
  2. NOAA.gov – Do Fish Sleep?
  3. FactRetriever.com – 60 Fun Facts about Fish

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