Do Flies Sleep and the perils of Shooman Chew

In my apartment, there is one fly that I have nicknamed Shooman Chew who has been pestering me for a few weeks.  I’ve never seen a fly that deliberately nosedives into people on some weird ritualistic/militaristic quasi-suicide mission.  The problem with Shooman Chew’s attempted suicide missions is that he is so fat that no matter how hard he attacks us, he bounces off to attack once more.

Shooman Chew’s actual size

But, Shooman Chew never attacks at night. At first, I thought that he might be on some rotating schedule with the neighbors.  Or maybe, he had a missus at home at his buzz shelter and I was just his 9-5.  Then, I wondered out of curiosity (and murderous intent) when do flies sleep and where do they sleep? 

After some research: I found out that there sleep patterns are incredibly similar to those of humans:

  • Like humans, they sleep during the night and are awake during the day.  The longer they are deprived of sleep, the harder they are to stay awake.
  • They sleep 10 hours a night.
  • They fell asleep more easily after provided with an anti-histamine and had trouble sleeping after given caffeine
  • infant flies need more sleep than their adult counterparts.
  • Both humans and flies have portions of their sleep dedicated to slow-wave sleep.
In terms of evolution, this shows that sleep developed early in our evolutionary development – prior to the split between vertebrates and invertebrates about 600 million years ago.
Next Step in Evolution
Although, science was unable to provide me with the exact location of Shooman Chew’s bedtime quarters, flies often sleep off the ground on vegetation, like on the tips of grass.  Since grass grows not in my apartment, I’ll have to scope out those patches of mold in the corner.
So Shooman Chrew, if you are reading this, let’s call a truce.  We aren’t so different you and I.  We both need those 10 hours at night to be productive.
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