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 ward off 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 offers eye 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 also 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 by mouth to their gills. Other sharks and rays pull in water with spiracles, external respiratory openings.

Quality Control? Spiracles aid bottom dwellers. With mouths under their heads, were they to breathe through them, like mantas and some sharks, they would suck sand and other grit from the ocean floor. This would impede rest.

Sorbet Style? Spiders and insects have spiracles. On the heads of whales and dolphins, they are called “blow holes”. 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.

Avoid Bedtime Anxiety

Takeaway? 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 worsen sleep hygiene.

Dopamine High? Efforts to perfect goals may produce unhealthy obsessions. Checking or bumping into monitoring apps or devices in bed interrupts 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 impair sleep.

Lunar Cycle? Physiology determines sleep-wake homeostasis, the balancing of sleep needs and intensity with biochemistry. 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 and people offset deficits. It is common after periods of deprivation or disruption. Storms, migrations, mating and parental activities tend to interfere with regular habits in the wild.

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 gain momentum during dawn or dusk hours.

Don't Let Your Guard Down. During sluggish periods, sharks are aware of their surroundings and alert to potential feeding opportunities. Agile 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. Should something or someone interrupt its peaceful moment, it is fully prepared to pack a strong electric punch.

Escape Stress

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 tells of trance-like tonic immobility, or 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 an escape to the beach. Fish do not need the living space or care of most pets. A mix-and-match variety gives relaxing lessons about life in the 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 also connect us to the water element and the calming sleep alternatives shared with their 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.

Fish Help People

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 gracefulness 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? The calming sounds and rainbow of colors in the laid-back, 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? Desire to learn about stingrays and sharks may become “addictive”. The video is free of dangers. The theme is not from any Little Ray book. Readers may recognize illustrations from his tales of the deep.

VA-VA-VOOM Service? The text within the video below 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).