Horses are classified as short-sleeping grazers, presumed to have short daily resting time, as they need lots of time to consume large amounts of low-calorie foods. Adult horses have been reported to sleep mostly during the night and the total sleep time has been estimated to be 2.5–5 hours per day. Horses sleep in short ten-minute bouts, consisting of approximately 5 minutes of NREMS and REMS, with considerable variation among individuals. Horses are a unique species, as they can postpone their REMS up to weeks in a hostile environment. However, it not known if any compensatory mechanisms or recovery phases exist during and after postponed REMS in horses.
Sleepless in the Stable?
Horse resting behavior and sleep disturbances are studied in a research project together with University of Helsinki, Nord University and Finnish Equine Information Centre. A questionnaire targeted to horse owners is launched to discover the prevalence and factors associated with sleep disturbances. The questionnaire is open 27.12.2022–28.2.2023 and can be answered in Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and English. Two gift cards to a horse accessory store is drawn among the respondents.
Multiscientific group consists of equine veterinarians, neurologists, ethologists, animal trainees and sleep researchers. Group has seniors, post graduate and graduate students.
associate professor Anna Mykkänen, firstname.lastname@example.org, kotisivu
specilising veterinarian, doctorate student Iina Brotherus, email@example.com
adjunct professor Laura Hänninen, firstname.lastname@example.org, kotisivu
associate professor Tarja Pääkkönen, email@example.com, kotisivu
adjunct professor Marianna Norring, firstname.lastname@example.org, kotisivu
associate professor Peter Krawczel, email@example.com, home page
doctoral student Heli Suomala
lecturer, PI, Henna-Kaisa Wigren, home page
DVM Anna-Mari Olbricht, animal trainer
specilising veterinarian Mira Hämäläinen
animal trainer Tuire Kaimio
associate professor Emma Ternman, Nord University, Norway
The study has got funding from the Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry and Finnish Veterinary Foundation