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How Do Goats Sleep? Most Common Goat Sleeping Behaviors

You may wonder how goats sleep and if they sleep like humans. Goats sleep as we do at night and typically sleep about five hours a night.

Goats do not sleep standing up, as they would topple over. Goats stay in groups to make sure they are all safe and protected. They will often cuddle up and get close together. Goats are light sleepers because they need to be able to tell if a predator is coming. 

Goats lie in an upright position when they sleep so they can easily get up and run if needed. If you want to understand further about how goats sleep and their sleeping behaviors, peruse this article.

What Position Do Goats Sleep?

Goats are like people when they sleep, as they sleep lying down. It is common to see goats sleeping in an upright position. Sometimes they may sleep on their side. Goats tend to sleep very lightly because they need to be able to jump up in case a predator comes close.

They depend on their light sleep to keep them safe. You may have trouble catching a goat sleeping for this reason.

What Affects the Goat’s Sleep?

There are a couple of issues that affect the goats’ sleep. They may sleep with their eyes closed, but they must be aware of their surroundings to survive. The weather may also be another factor.

The following include factors that influence how and the way that goats sleep:

Predators Influence Goat’s Sleep

If your goat lives on the land, you should keep them in an enclosed barn at night to protect them from midnight intruders. As mentioned previously, goats are light sleepers and maybe subconsciously are aware of any harm that might be coming their way. 

Goats like to sleep in groups so that they can protect each other, as they are prey animals. You may even find them huddled up and cuddling with one another.

Common predators of goats:

  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Foxes
  • Bobcats

Coyotes are at the top of the list and the main threat to goats. Dogs are another problem for goats, but the wild canine species is their curse. Goats may agree that half of their group stays awake, and the other half gets to snooze, as doing so will protect them all.

Weather Influences Goat’s Sleep

When the weather is cold, goats like to sleep safely in their barn or a protected enclosed structure where they can feel at ease. When the weather is hot, goats like to sleep with the sun beaming down on them. They also do not like the rain or water at all.  

Goats are happier when they have things to play with. Look through these Goat Toys on Amazon for inventive feeders and large balls or toys for your goats.

Here’s a quick info video about goats sleeping, with much more info below:

What is the Sleeping Time of Goats?

Goats do most of their snoozing at night and typically get about five hours of sleep. Goats may also like to take short naps throughout the day. There is no animal or human in existence that does not require sleep. If a goat is not able to get some sleep, it may mean that they are sick, depressed, or stressed. 

Is it Normal for Goats to Sleep Standing Up?

Goats do not sleep standing up. There have been rare occurrences where a goat has slept standing up, but it is not normal. Goats will lay on the ground in an upright position.

Goats also like to hide somewhere safe from any predators and will choose locations that are commonly difficult to spot. They love to cuddle very close together to protect each other.

Why Goats Do Not Sleep Standing Up

Goats are not like horses who sleep standing up. This is because goats lack a lock-in or stay apparatus in their legs. Horses do not fall when they are sleeping, and it is because they do have this valuable gift.

They have the tendon and ligament structure required to sleep standing up. The sleeping posture of the goat allows them to be ready to run in case a predator comes their way.

If You Do See a Goat Sleeping While Standing Up

If you do happen to come across a goat sleeping while standing up, it is not normal behavior for a goat. You may see them dozed off but not comfortable. There may well be a few explanations for this phenomenon:


Goats who are suffering from sickness do not lie down to sleep. They do not want to lie down on their stomach because they may be in pain or they could be bloated.

They may sleep while standing up or lie on their side. They may demonstrate that they are ill by making sounds. If they are doing this and isolating themselves from their group, you should contact a vet.

Pregnant Goats

Pregnant goats have bigger bellies and may be uncomfortable lying down. They may stand while they are sleeping to avoid any pain. They sleep while standing, but they also risk toppling over.

They may also sleep on their side, which may cause discomfort, as they would have difficulty standing back up.

Unusual Sleep Pattern

Goats can develop odd patterns of sleeping and will sometimes get into weird positions. Baby goats new to the world and do not comprehend normal behavior will sometimes sleep while standing.

Baby goats can be quite peculiar. On the other hand, there is something adorable about the thought of a baby goat asleep while standing!

Do Goats Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Goats do not slumber with their eyes open. However, some have said they have seen baby goats sleep with their eyes slightly open during REM sleep. They are also not unihemispheric sleepers, who sleep with half of their brain awake and active.

Some examples of unihemispheric sleepers:

  • Whales
  • Dolphin
  • Fur seals
  • Sea lions

Birds are also unihemispheric sleepers, as it allows for uninterrupted flight or migration for weeks at a time. When an animal has this characteristic, they are “keeping one eye open” for predators.

Why Do Herbivores Sleep Less?

Goats are herbivores who spend most of their day eating. They do this because the vegetation is not calorically dense, and carnivores spend less time eating because their meals are meat-based. The herbivore eats and does not sleep as much.

You can compare this to an animal, such as a cat. Cats are carnivores who sleep all the time, and plant eaters spend more time searching for food than a meat eater.


Goats sleep lying upright on the ground, and they are light sleepers. They need to be aware of predators coming their way. Protect your goats by giving them a safe place to sleep at night.

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