Do Goldfish Sleep? (Sleeping Pattern Of Goldfish)

| Published On:
Fishingery.com is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
Guide on Do Goldfish Sleep

Goldfish are very prominent pets, whether they live in an aquarium or a pond. I find it unusual for aquarists to discuss goldfish’s sleeping patterns, but this raises an interesting question do goldfish sleep?

If so, how do goldfish sleep? And how long do goldfish sleep? I decided to do adventurous research to find out how goldfish sleep because I was so eager about them.

Yes, Goldfish sleep, but not like humans do. Since goldfish don’t have eyelids, they don’t close their eyes at night to get to sleep. A healthy goldfish has to sleep all night long since it’s essential to their well-being.

However, fish don’t need to sleep at night as some Goldfish take daytime naps while others do not fall asleep until the evening. Read on if you want to know more about their common sleeping patterns and how their different subspecies sleep.


Do Goldfish Sleep? Sleeping Patterns Of Your Goldfish


Goldfish sleep like any other living creature on this planet, but certain things make them different. Don’t expect your little fellow to bury itself under the gravel as it sleeps because that does not happen. It won’t hide behind something to get a good day’s sleep.

Provide them with darkness, and you’ll see how their movements would turn slow; that is because they fall asleep! It is that simple. They do not have a sleeping schedule as they’d only be able to sleep when a suitable environment is provided.

image of ranchu goldfish sleeping

It means that they can take naps, too, if the lights are dim during the daytime. Ideally, you should make sure that your goldfish sleeps the whole night.

Goldfish sleep 12 hours, to be exact, but it depends on you. You should ensure that they have a calm, dark environment to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.


How Long Should Your Pet Sleep?  


Keeping a pet is a big commitment; being its owner is liable for your pet’s health and wellness. Almost all pets require you the same effort, good food from your side, affection, care, and some love, whether it is a cat, dog, parrot, or goldfish.

You should ensure your pet gets the same sleep at the same time as you. It is not ideal to sleep when your pet is left unattended. Watching your pet sleep when you wish to interact with it can be unpleasant.

The same case is for a goldfish if you have one. A human being sleeps 6-10 hours, the same as a pet’s requirement for a hearty life. Your pet should sleep for 10 hours.

More goldfish guides:


Where Do Goldfish Sleep?


Goldfish inside their tanks prefer to choose a precise place to rest and sleep. Do goldfish sleep with the light on? Not at all; because of their wide eyes, they cannot sleep at all with lights. It is a reason why you can find goldfish sleeping at the bottom of the tank. It is a lot darker in there.

image of goldfish at the bottom of tank

If you see your goldfish sleeping at the top of the tank, I shall warn you that it might be alarming. It can signify that your poor fish is stressed out and infected. It is not normal for a goldfish to sleep at the top of the tank; it sleeps at the bottom.

Also, you may wonder, do goldfish sleep together? Yes, they do. If there are many fishes in your tank, they will hover at a spot while they sleep together.


When Do Goldfish Sleep?


Goldfish would fall asleep if provided with a quiet and dark environment. Who can resist a calm environment anyways? If I were in their place, I would sleep too. Timings don’t matter to them.

They can take naps whenever they want and sleep the whole night too. Being a goldfish is easy, isn’t it? Especially at night, when all the lights are diminished, and it gets dark and peaceful, goldfish fall asleep. It is an ideal time for them to sleep.

How many hours do goldfish sleep? Certainly many. It is interesting how they can sleep at any time. But a goldfish sleeping a lot can be a problem too. Nothing is good in excess; it can indicate a low oxygen level in your tank.


How Long Should A Goldfish Be Asleep Each Day?


What happens to a person when sleep deprived? They become depressed and stressed. A person’s immune system becomes weak and, in most cases, dies an early death. Scary right? The same happens to your goldfish.

image of Ranchu goldfish at the bottom of tank

It may not sleep like human beings, but it needs a sleep of 6-12 hours to live a healthy life. Lack of sleep can impact health in many unfavorable ways. They lose all their energy to carry out their activities, get infected easily, and fail to live long.

Is your Goldfish sleeping at the bottom of the tank? Let it rest, and try not to bug it. After all, a night of long peaceful sleep is essential for your golden friend to shine bright inside your aquarium.


Do Goldfish Sleep At Night?


Goldfish enjoy having an undisturbed sleep at night. They sleep at night, regardless of the hours they have spent napping during the daytime. You should be vigilant enough to close all your room and aquarium lights at night.

Goldfish sleep at night, and if a goldfish sleeps peacefully at night, it will stay happy all day. It will even live a longer lifespan. Goldfish need to get their sleep at night, and you should avoid any disturbances near their tank while they sleep.


How Do I Tell If My Goldfish Is Asleep?


It is not very complex to figure out if your goldfish is asleep. But yes, goldfish sleeping or dead, differentiating these two situations can be tricky. When a goldfish sleeps, it is mostly near the bottom of your tank, with its body tilted slightly downwards from its mouth.

image of two goldfish

It hovers above the gravel. Its color also fades a little as it sleeps as it is cold-blooded. A dead fish floats above the water instead, upside down. A sleeping goldfish would also respond to any disturbance or noise near it; a dead one won’t.


Is Your Fish Sick Or Sleeping?


It is a fact that goldfish sleep a lot, but any sleep that exceeds its normal sleeping time can indicate sickness. Goldfish can sleep excessively due to a weak metabolism and bacterial infections, which goldfish are very prone to have. One thing that can indicate your fish’s sickness is its sleeping place.

Goldfish sleeping at the top of the tank? Its oxygen levels are low, which can be lethal. Goldfish sleeping upside down? It is sick with swim bladder disease. Goldfish sleeping at the bottom of the tank? Don’t worry; there are no abnormalities here; that is completely normal.


Do Goldfish Dream?


No, goldfish don’t dream, and even if they did, how sad that humans would never know what they dreamt. Humans experience REM (rapid eye movement sleep), which enables them to sleep. But goldfish sleep in a way their brains are always active; they do not enter into REM sleep.

image of five Ranchu goldfish

This means they can never dream of anything. But on the other hand, many people see goldfish as good omens. It is considered very lucky to dream about goldfish.

They signify growth, fertility, prosperity, and opportunities in many cultures. Dreaming about them brings you luck.


Final Verdict:

People love keeping goldfish as pets, but most of the time, their goldfish die early because of their lack of care. Not caring about a goldfish’s sleeping pattern can be a major reason. Goldfish do sleep, and that too for up to 12 hours a day, so you must be really observant about their sleep.

If you want to prolong your golden pet’s life, refrain from lighting the room where you have your tank at night. Make sure they are not stressed out while they are sleeping because of any unpleasant noise or disturbance.

Also, feeding them anything during their naps is not recommended as it can wake them up. Proper sleep plays a vital role in a healthy human’s life, and now you know how crucial it is for a goldfish.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Do Goldfish Lay On The Bottom Of The Tank To Sleep?

Yes, you can find goldfish sleeping at the bottom of the tank, but they do not lay down there to sleep. They are searching for darker places, and the bottom of the tank is perfect for them.

But they do not completely lay down there. They float near it; if you look closely, you will find they are always slightly above the ground.

#2 – Do Goldfish Like The Light On Or Off?

Light won’t bug a goldfish when it is active. But when it needs to sleep, it definitely would require the lights to be switched off.

Do goldfish sleep with the light on? Of course not. Their wide-open eyes would never allow them to sleep while the lights were still open.

#3 – Do Goldfish Sleep At Night?

Yes, Goldfish sleep at night when it gets pitch-black, and there is pin-drop silence. Both of those qualities are necessary for them to have a restful night’s sleep. You should switch off aquarium lights so your goldfish will sleep at night when you do.

#4 – Do Goldfish Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Naturally, Goldfish are without their eyelids. It means that their eyes remain open no matter what the situation is. Goldfish sleep with their eyes open, as they have no other choice.

Because of their no-eyelid feature, the fact that lights should be completely closed while they sleep is emphasized. Therefore, it is correct to say that goldfish do not close their eyes when they are sleeping.

#5 – Do Goldfish Sleep Together?

Goldfish do indeed huddle together to sleep even when there are a lot of them in the tank. Goldfish are one of the friendliest and social fish out there, who love staying together as a school all the time. They gather together in one place, floating in the water when they sleep.