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Do Spiders Dream of Silk Sheep? A Researcher Says “Maybe”

written by / August 30, 2022
Do Spiders Dream of Silk Sheep This Researcher Says Maybe

Although not the most dreamy of creatures, spiders have dreams just like we do, new study finds. How do we know this?

Daniela C. Rößler, a behavioral ecologist, noticed some strange body movements from local jumping spiders on her porch. Namely, they were sound asleep!

While suspended they twitched their tiny legs (all eight of them) and made peculiar eye movements reminiscent of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) in humans — the most restorative stage in our sleep cycle.

During REM sleep, our brain analyzes the most recent information, decides which memories to keep, and makes us dream. Moreover, the lack of REM sleep is detrimental to our health.

After capturing this unusual movement on a video, Rößler and her “dream team” set out to uncover whether this leg twitching is, in fact, a sign of slumber or something else. The data was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and according to the results, spiders could very well be dreaming something.

For quite some time now, scientists have known that some animals, like birds and fish, undergo REM sleep during their slumber. Yet, nobody suspected such a distant animal family as the arachnids to do the same. After all, the spider’s nervous system is a lot more rudimentary than our own.

That makes this finding all the more fascinating! Yet, more research is needed to determine the validity of this discovery. Not to mention the repercussions this could have on our understanding of sleep in general. Consequently, researchers are hopeful this finding could help us improve our own snooze time.

Marija Kovachevska is a content writer at, Biochemist and Activist. After obtaining her BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology she changed her microscope for content research tools and continued researching in the fields of Medicine, Biology, and Communication. Her insatiable curiosity flare drove her to become a “content scientist writer” as she likes to say. Reality fascinates her and facts and statistics are a must-have feature in her articles. Fluent in English and French, she is a volunteer and communication associate for several non-profit organizations. French culture and handcrafting are her passion, but in her free time, she indulges in long walks and traveling, or as she likes to say “experiencing the inexperienced.”

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