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Do worms sleep?

November 16, 2005

Do worms sleep? They don't really have much in the way of a nervous system to allow them to sleep. I am just wondering, since right now I can't sleep myself. Perhaps I have been spending too much time with the worms.

Comments (5)

  • sqh1

    This post has "Kelly response" all over it. Chuckiebtoo may take a stab at it too..( Sounds like Milner). I have read that after defining "sleep" and "brain", they probably do not "sleep" quite like you and I. They do spend long periods completely inactive in the ground during hot/dry summers. I think it's called "estivation." When there is plenty of stimuli in day-to-day activity of staying alive (eating, mating, drinking), the worms would be active. When those stimuli are not around the worm would be very still, unless startled by a predator, perhaps.

  • chuckiebtoo

    This is a question that has troubled mankind for a long time. It's kept people awake at night since way before television took our minds off things like independent thought and reason. One of the biggest problems about proving a worm sleeps is catching one doing it. Digging up a worm without waking it is, apparently impossible.

    Common logic would indicate that a worm, being sexually ambidextrious, blind, without potential dental problems or commute difficulties to work, would have no reasons to stay awake at night worrying about stuff.

    On the other hand, the lack of those little everyday inconsistencies could tend to create a very mundane, inconsequential existence which could create an environment condusive to insomnial episodes...especially with "kept" worms wih which we wormers are familiar.

    Then too, the personality of a particular worm would seem to preclude determinatiion as to whether or not it were, in fact, sleeping at a time when it appeared to be since some tend to be more animated than others, who, like idlers of most any specie, lie around like professional welfare recepients with brand new social security identities and 26 more weeks of extended benefits. Therefore, just the physical inactivity of any worm could not determine the status of whether it's napping or not, and we all know they don't snore....so no help there.

    All in all, without directly quoting Slocumese here, there is much uncertainty regarding this subject and various interpretations as to the veracity of the preponderance of supposition which, like all vermi conundra, seem to multiply and build upon themselves with each extrapolation presented in any particular post. And so it is with Jason's.

    Like all questions concerning worms, the expected, simple answers invariably tend to develop into, well, a can of worms, so to speak.


  • billr12

    Chuckie you must stay up all night every night to come up with some of these responses. :-)

  • chuckiebtoo

    BillR12, you can't think this stuff up. Tucked away down in these responses somewhere are always a lucid and valid point or two pertinent to the subject. Whether well taken is for the reader to determine.

    My stay-awake nights usually result from eating something that had a violent disagreement with my digestive tract, or paying too much attention to what's happening in our world at any particular moment...that'll keep anybody awake.


  • jason_mackenna

    Chuckie, your response kept ME up all night pondering what the heck you were talking about. Like a Zen koan, I am sure that wisdom will be revealed after much reflection. Perhaps the application of beer might help.

    I've noticed that my worms have been slowing down a bit on turning garbage to dirt. Perhaps it was due to stress, watching CNN, or Chinese leftovers upsetting their stomachs, but they seem to have gotten over their bout of hyperactivity and definitely seem to be resting more.

    Or it could be that Chuckie's answer stunned them into insensibility.

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