Do Goldfish Sleep? Do They Have Eyelids?


Goldfish are fascinating creatures. One question that is frequently asked is Do Goldfish sleep?

I’m going to explore this topic and discuss all the aspects in relation to goldfish and sleeping such how they sleep, what benefits they derive from sleeping, differentiating sickness from sleeping and more.

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How Do Goldfish Sleep?

Do Goldfish Sleep? Do They Have Eyelids?

Goldfish do not have eyelids. This means that they cannot close their eyes, so it is difficult for them to sleep in the traditional way. goldfish do sleep in their own way. They become less active when it is dark, and settle in a particular place and rest.

What type of sleep do Goldfish have? gif maker 8 4
  • Goldfish are always aware about predators and their surroundings. They cannot fall into a deep sleep and be totally unaware about their surroundings.
  • Goldfish do not have the sleep cycle of a human. Instead, goldfish have a rest-activity cycle. They do not have periods of deep sleep, dreams or REM, but they only indulge in resting.
  • This sleep can give goldfish sufficient energy once it feels rested.
  • This means that whatever a human derives from a full night sleep having gone through the full cycle of different stages is achieved by the goldfish in a shorter span of time without going through all the stages of sleep.

How Long Do Goldfish Sleep? gif maker 5 4
  • Goldfish only take short power naps. This can range from 10 minutes to about 30 minutes at a time. Although when you look at a goldfish it wouldn’t seem like the goldfish is sleeping, there are several ways to tell that your goldfish is sleeping.
  • Goldfish do not have regular hours of sleep. However, if you set up a routine of light on in light off for them, they are amenable to sleeping at night.
  • They do sleep about 8 to 12 hours of the 24-hour cycle but in pretty short cycles.
  • If you do notice is that your goldfish is sleeping, it would be best that you provide it with a silent atmosphere and dim or switch off the lights.
  • Do not switch on the lights and startle your goldfish.
  • The Short breaks that they take are power naps and waking them up will only end up breaking the process of renewal of energy.
  • Do not tap on the glass of your tank. This is also not going to help you identify any sickness.

How Do Goldfish Look Like When Asleep? gif maker 4 4
  • Goldfish are inactive when they sleep. They appear to be stationery.
  • You could also notice a mild change in their color. Goldfish fades its color while sleeping so that it can protect itself from any predator.
  • The goldfish will usually prefer the bottom of the tank but will not rest on the bottom. They will usually stay about an inch above the bottom of the tank.
  • If there are hiding places available, the goldfish will choose to hide amongst the plants while resting.

How Does A Goldfish Benefit From Sleeping? gif maker 2 4
  • Goldfish might still get some of the benefits associated with sleep even without closing their eyes or entering a deep restful state.
  • According to scientists, these fish can enter something called non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep which allows them to take short rests throughout the day.
  • While this form of sleep does not give them any time to dream like human experience during REM sleep; it may help reduce stress levels and restore energy reserves before carrying out daily activities again. Goldfish also need about 12 hours total darkness each night.
  • Goldfish do not sleep the way humans or other animals need to, goldfish still get a lot of benefits from sleeping. By staying alert during times when it would be dark and resting in places where they feel secure, goldfish are able to maintain healthy energy levels throughout their day no matter what time of day it is.
  • Goldfish are capable of regenerating their scales quickly like lizards get their tails. Sleeps helps the regeneration process.

How Do You Differentiate A Sick Goldfish From A Sleeping Goldfish? gif maker 9 4

Question then arises as to how you can differentiate between a sick goldfish and a sleeping goldfish.

  • If a goldfish is sick, you will find it leaning on the glass or to the bottom of the tank. Then you will know that it is not sleeping but sick.
  • Observe your fish. If in a span of 30 minutes your goldfish is not up and about looking around for food or exploring the tank, then you know your goldfish is definitely sick.

Pro Tip: It is important that you place decorations in a goldfish tank so that they find it safe while sleeping.

Do Goldfish Move When They Sleep? gif maker 7 4

Goldfish do not move when they sleep. You may just see the fins move occasionally. On the contrary if you find a goldfish floating or spiraling then this is a definite indication of sickness.

Timely action of transferring your goldfish into a sick tank and treating it can revive it.

So, it is important that you observe your goldfish for a span of 30 to 60 minutes and ascertain whether it was sleeping or is sick. Goldfish leaning towards the tank is not a good sign either.

How Do You Differentiate A Stressed Goldfish And A Sleeping Goldfish? gif maker 1 4

If you find your goldfish yawning frequently, it is an indication of stress. Check your water parameters to see if there are any fluctuations causing stress to the goldfish.

Remember that goldfish need frequent water change because they poop a lot and that increases the ammonia very quickly.

Goldfish are not extremely sensitive, however they can get stressed if there are rapid temperature changes which go up or low very fast.

What Can Happen If Your Goldfish Is Sleeping Too Much? gif maker 25

If you goldfish is sleeping too much then it is probably because it is stressed and lacks energy and the body metabolism is slow.

This is an indicator for you to check the water temperature. Also check the appetite of your goldfish at this point because a decrease in appetite is not a good indication.

Wrapping Up:

Gold Fish do sleep with their eyes open. It is only through observation that you can distinguish it from sickness. The activity and appetite of the goldfish is a good indicator. Just remember to give them a calm atmosphere while they sleep. gif maker 2023 04 22T201514.431

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