October 2018 by V. R. Duin


This ray hunts at night
and spends days with friends.
It works out all right
that fish never sleep.

Although fish never sleep, peaceful and restful fish help people wind down to catch ZZZs, escape stress, avoid bedtime anxiety and accompanying sleep deprivation ills.

High Tide? Little Ray's friends ask: Do Fish Sleep? Behavior, habits and position show fish remain half-awake. EEG equipment records electrical activity of the brain and calculates percentages of time asleep and awake.

Just Dessert? “Eyes wide open” applies to fish. Sharks have eyelids; two are fixed and do not close. A clear nicitating membrane rises behind the lower lid of some sharks. It gives protection during attacks.

Fine Focus? Other fish have no eyelids. Like crustaceans, insects, snakes and spiders, their eyes remain open. Bullfrogs have three eyelids to moisten, clean and camouflage their eyes. They hibernate rather than regularly sleep.

Perfect getaway? According to Pizard's GURPS Miscellanea, the Basking Shark may hibernate. Cave resting spots have less salt and more oxygen. Sharks may move into caves for the oxygen high of recreational oxygen bars.

Perpetual? Fish breathe with water flowing over gills. Resting sharks work to do this. Some inactive sharks pump water from their mouths to gills. Other sharks and rays pull water with spiracles, external respiratory openings.

Quality Control? Spiracles aid bottom dwellers with mouths under their bodies. Breathing through their mouths, like sharks and mantas, they would suck in sand and other grit from the ocean floor. This would impede rest.

Sorbet Style? Spiders and insects have spiracles. They are called “blow holes” on the heads of whales and dolphins. They also assist the breathing of stationary rays, except mantas. In manta rays the spiracles are nonfunctional.

Super Natural? Sleep is regulated naturally by a circadian biological clock. Sleepiness, wakefulness, hunger and other day and night functions largely track light and darkness. Environmental and genetic factors affect patterns.

Flower Power? Sleep patterns and needs differ among people and animals. Rest and relaxation improve productivity, memory and health. Fish do not need unnatural scents and flavorings for a relaxing wind-down experience.

Golden Hour? Fish symbolize abundance, serenity and awareness. Dreams about fish have good meaning. Catching one in your sleep may give rise to hidden insights. Pending troubles may be foretold by dreams of dead fish.

Sleep tracking tools may be inaccurate and disturbing. Feedback on noise, movement, amount of deep sleep, sleep debt percentages, rhythms and disruptions from wearable or nearby devices may may worsen sleep hygiene.

Dopamine High? Efforts to perfect goals may produce unhealthy obsessions. Checking or bumping into apps or devices in bed is unlikely to improve slumber. Sleep tech may improve awareness of regular behavioral patterns.

Everything Clicks? The JCSM presents an abstract about Orthosomnia: Are Some Patients Taking the Quantified Self too Far? This preoccupation with wearable data for self-diagnosis and sleep perfection may reduce sleep.

Lunar Cycle? Physiology determines sleep-wake homeostasis, balancing sleep needs and intensity with biochemical drivers. Cycles may be polyphasic (multiple), monophasic (singular) or biphasic (split into two periods).

Mapped Out? Animal resting cycles typically are polyphasic. Humans are split. Some people are monophasic in nature, sleeping only once over a 24-hour period. Others have biphasic schedules of two regular sleep periods.

Rebound sleep. This increase of rest helps fish offset deficiencies. It is common after periods of deprivation or disruption. Storms, migrations, mating and parental activities tend to interfere with regular habits.

Contemplate Life Patterns? Diurnal round stingrays are most active in daytime, nocturnal Manta Rays are most active at night, and crepuscular Great White Sharks tend to pick up speed at dawn or dusk.

Don't let your guard down. During sluggish periods, sharks are aware of their surroundings and alert to potential feeding opportunities. Sharks and rays can respond 24/7 to exterminate or ward off any perceived threats.

A misnomer? The Japanese Sleeper Ray disappears under the sand. This little electric ray lies in ready wait. It is ready to pack a strong electric punch, should something or someone interrupt its peaceful moment.

Safe resting spots? While removed from active swimming and hunting activities, some fish may hide under rocks, behind plants or in nests of sand. Others use group protection with guards overseeing those at rest.

Rain Dates? Resting fish are less responsive to outside stimulus. Mama Ray discusses trance-like tonic immobility of fish “hypnosis”. Constant swimmers may relax with protective schools, calm waters and repetitive movements.

Free spirits? Helpful fish join rays and sharks for mutual benefit. Remoras, or “sucker-fish”, clean parasites from them. Pilot fish swim alongside, feeding on parasites and dropped food. Sharks and rays proffer safety.

Island time? Aquariums are conducive to sleep. They are a good substitute for those who cannot escape to the beach. Fish do not need the living space or care of other pets. They give relaxing lessons about life in water.

Pure poetry? Water is fluid and flowing. It circulates, cushions, lubricates, maintains, purifies, renews, saturates, sustains, transforms and transports. This transparent and odorless liquid is critical for all life forms on earth.

Fish are quiet. Stingrays and sharks are considered active. Associated with powerful movement, these cartilaginous beings connect us to the water element and offer calming sleep alternatives shared with bony cousins.

Pastel Play? According to Aquarium Adviser, The Benefits of a fish tank at home are health, wealth and luck. Chinese Feng Shui metaphysics harmonize people with their surrounding decor, arrangement, space and location.

Therapeutic Fish motion? These social creatures listen and respond to outside attention 24/7. Hyperactive children and tense or insomniac adults may decompress with the hypnotic, sleep-inducing serenity of fish.

Drawing Inspiration? Fish are disciplined, tireless, serene and instinctive. Their movements may reduce anxiety, stress, blood pressure and heart rate. Productivity, concentration, motivation, positivity and focus may improve.

Beauty and the elements? Calming sounds and tranquil images of the aquatic world provide a soothing escape for healthy living. Little Ray's video below is a tranquil peace offering for friends, days and nights.

Take Me to Your Leader! It is not necessary to wait until lights out or to belly up to possible risks of an oxygen bar. Little Ray's fish insights have no toxic side effects. There is no worry of allergic reactions or complications.

On the sunny side? The desire to learn more about stingrays and sharks may become “addictive”. The video is free of dangers. It's theme is not from any Little Ray book. Readers may recognize the illustrations.

VA-VA-VOOM Service? The video text is as follows: “We will not count sheep. They might fall to sleep. We will count stingrays. They're up nights and days.” (21 seconds).