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 catch ZZZs and escape stress to avoid the ills of sleep deprivation.

Little Ray's friends often ask: Do Fish Sleep? Electrical activity of the brain is recorded by EEG equipment to monitor sleep. Behavior and position show fish remain half-awake.

Stingrays and sharks are nocturnal hunters. These opportunistic feeders consume food whenever it is available. Stingrays in interactive lagoons remain alert to and receptive of visitors bearing food for daytime feedings.

Sharks are the sole fish with lids to shield their eyes. Two lids are fixed and do not close. A clear “nicitating membrane” rises behind the lower lid of some sharks as added eye protection during attacks.

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.

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 a recreational oxygen bar.

Fish breathe with water flowing over gills. Resting sharks work to breathe. Some inactive sharks pump water from their mouths to gills. Others force water over them with “spiracles”.

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

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

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

Sleep patterns and needs differ widely among people and animals. Rest and relaxation improve productivity, memory and health. Fish do not rely on unnatural scents and flavorings for a relaxing experience without sleep.

The beauty and tranquil sounds of ocean life offer peace. Calming sounds and images of the aquatic world provide a soothing escape for healthy living. Little Ray is available for friends, days and nights.

Aquariums are conducive to sleep. An aquarium is 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.

Fish tanks fit any decor, arrangement, space or location. According to Aquarium Adviser, The Benefits of a fish tank at home are health, wealth and luck. The Chinese Art of Feng Shui puts them in homes and offices .

Fish motion is therapeutic. 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.

The calming movements of fish may reduce anxiety, stress, blood pressure and heart rate. Productivity, concentration, motivation, positivity and focus may improve. Fish are disciplined and instinctive.

Fish are quiet. People think of stingrays, sharks and armadillos as active animals. Sharks and rays are associated with powerful movement. Armadillos sleep. Fish provide relaxing alternatives.

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

The desire to learn more about stingrays and sharks may become “addictive”. The video is free of dangers. The theme is not from any Little Ray book. Readers recognize illustrations.

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