Why do ants need to sleep (is it because of ATP synthesis?)

In summary: The researchers found that the average worker ant took approximately 250 naps each day, with each one lasting just over a minute. That adds up to 4 hours and 48 minutes of sleep per day."
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Cobul
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I read that "Ants Get Their Sleep Through Power Naps. A recent study of ants' sleep cycle found that the average worker ant takes approximately 250 naps each day, with each one lasting just over a minute. That adds up to 4 hours and 48 minutes of sleep per day."

But why do ants need to sleep? Does it have to do with synthesis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate)?
How do you alter living things so they don't need sleep?
What living things still sleep yet doesn't have any ATP power source?
 
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  • #2
No one knows why organisms sleep at all, though there are many hypotheses.
Cobul said:
What living things still sleep yet doesn't have any ATP power source?
All living things use ATP as far as I am aware (unless you count viruses and sub-viral particles as 'alive').
 
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  • #3
Drakkith said:
No one knows why organisms sleep at all, though there are many hypotheses.

All living things use ATP as far as I am aware (unless you count viruses and sub-viral particles as 'alive').
One of those questions I always just accepted the answer “Recharge” without thinking what that would entail.
We studied circadian rhythms at uni but I cannot remember much about it.

It was certainly was not as complicated as this
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5634544/
 
  • #4
ATP production is not the answer.
ATP is a universal biochemical energy currency in living cells.
ATP use needs to be replenished continuously and close to immediately. You don't have enough around to wait until you go to sleep to make more of it.
Cyanide, which blocks the production of ATP, is a fast acting poison. It doesn't wait till night time.

ATP is even used by viruses, when they are actively parasitizing a living (and ATP producing cell).
They use the ATP of the cell to get things done biochemically (making more viruses).
Otherwise they will be metabolically inactive.
Having ATP around is part of the environment they have evolved to take advantage of.
Cyanide will kill the production of new viruses in poisoned cells by eliminating ATP stores.

You should reference the original study you are citing:
I read that "Ants Get Their Sleep Through Power Naps. A recent study of ants' sleep cycle found that the average worker ant takes approximately 250 naps each day, with each one lasting just over a minute. That adds up to 4 hours and 48 minutes of sleep per day."
If it is not an original study, you should dig through the article to find the research behind it.
If you can't find a reference to a real science article, than it is probably not a good source.

You may have misunderstood something in it that someone else could point out to you.
Can't do this without a good reference.
 
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  • #5
BillTre said:
ATP production is not the answer.
ATP is a universal biochemical energy currency in living cells.
ATP use needs to be replenished continuously and close to immediately. You don't have enough around to wait until you go to sleep to make more of it.
Cyanide, which blocks the production of ATP, is a fast acting poison. It doesn't wait till night time.

ATP is even used by viruses, when they are actively parasitizing a living (and ATP producing cell).
They use the ATP of the cell to get things done biochemically (making more viruses).
Otherwise they will be metabolically inactive.
Having ATP around is part of the environment they have evolved to take advantage of.
Cyanide will kill the production of new viruses in poisoned cells by eliminating ATP stores.

You should reference the original study you are citing:

If it is not an original study, you should dig through the article to find the research behind it.
If you can't find a reference to a real science article, than it is probably not a good source.

You may have misunderstood something in it that someone else could point out to you.
Can't do this without a good reference.

This is the reference:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8100000/8100876.stm

"Deby Cassill of the University of South Florida in St Petersburg, US teamed with colleagues Skye Brown and Devon Swick of the same university, and George Yanev of the University of Texas in Arlington, US to study the sleeping patterns of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

"I decided to see just how lazy the queens really were," says Cassill.

o.gif
start_quote.gif
The large number and short naps by workers means that jobs in the nest never go unattended
end_quote.gif
Entomologist Deby Cassill

She and her colleagues raised a colony of fire ants in their laboratory, and created an artificial chamber containing three queens, 30 workers and 30 large larvae. They placed a glass cover over the top of the chamber, allowing the ants to be continuously filmed from above.

Because fire ants generally live underground, the researchers expected that their sleep patterns would not be determined by light and dark cycles. And that is what they found.

Workers fell asleep at irregular intervals, and not at the same time. But the sheer number of incredibly short naps they took was striking.

On average, a single worker ant would take 250 naps each day, with each one lasting just over a minute. That equates to 4 hours and 48 minutes of sleep a day."

Ants do not sleep in the same way that humans and some other animals do. They do not have a central nervous system or a brain that goes through sleep cycles as mammals do. However, ants do have periods of rest, which can be considered somewhat analogous to sleep.

Ants are highly organized social insects with different castes (worker ants, soldiers, queen, etc.), and their activity patterns are closely linked to their roles within the colony. Ants are typically active during the day and return to their nests at night. During the night, they have periods of rest, which can be considered a form of inactivity.

This inactivity serves several purposes for ants:

  1. Energy Conservation: Resting during the night allows ants to conserve energy for their daily activities, including foraging and nest maintenance.
  2. Protection: Ants are vulnerable to predators and environmental conditions during the night, so staying within the safety of their nests provides protection.
  3. Colony Maintenance: Within the nest, ants engage in various tasks like caring for the young, tending to the queen, and maintaining the nest structure. Rest periods give them time to focus on these duties.
It's important to note that the level of activity and rest in ants can vary based on the ant species, environmental conditions, and the needs of the colony. Some ant species may have more pronounced rest periods than others.

In summary, while ants do not sleep in the way mammals do, they do have periods of rest during the night when they are less active. These rest periods are essential for their energy conservation, protection, and colony maintenance.
 
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pinball1970 said:
One of those questions I always just accepted the answer “Recharge” without thinking what that would entail.
We studied circadian rhythms at uni but I cannot remember much about it.

It was certainly was not as complicated as this
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5634544/

If sleep patterns (like in ants) would not be determined by light and dark cycles. Does it mean at least the worker ants has no circadian rhythms?

(don't miss the main reference in the message right before this)
 
  • #7
Cobul said:
If sleep patterns (like in ants) would not be determined by light and dark cycles. Does it mean at least the worker ants has no circadian rhythms?

(don't miss the main reference in the message right before this)
My knowledge is a very sketchy on this.

Organisms respond in different ways to light but I would have thought circadian rhythms would be restricted to animals with a sophisticated hormone system and highly developed CNS not insects.
That was wrong.

I found the link below, it is aimed at a younger audience but I found it interesting.

The part in italics was a side note on the web page and there are more links at the bottom of the page.

In 2017, researchers Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young won the prestigious Nobel Prize for their circadian rhythms research. By studying fruit flies, which have a very similar genetic makeup to humans, they isolated a gene that helps control the body’s clock. The scientists showed that the gene produces a protein that builds up in cells overnight, then breaks down during the day. This process can affect when you sleep, how sharply your brain functions, and more.

https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education...ysical, mental,the study of circadian rhythms.
 
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1. Why do ants need to sleep?

Ants need to sleep for the same reasons that other animals need to sleep - to rest and recharge their bodies. During sleep, their bodies can repair and regenerate tissues, consolidate memories, and conserve energy.

2. Is it true that ants need to sleep because of ATP synthesis?

No, the need for sleep in ants is not directly related to ATP synthesis. While ATP is an important energy source for all living organisms, including ants, sleep is not solely for the purpose of ATP synthesis. Ants need sleep for a variety of physiological and behavioral reasons.

3. How much do ants sleep?

The amount of sleep that ants need varies depending on their species and age. Some ants, like the fire ant, only sleep for a few minutes a day, while others, like the black garden ant, can sleep for up to 9 hours a day. Younger ants also tend to sleep more than older ants.

4. Do all ants in a colony sleep at the same time?

No, ants in a colony do not all sleep at the same time. Just like in humans, sleep patterns in ants are staggered, with some ants sleeping while others are awake and performing tasks for the colony. This ensures that the colony is always active and functioning.

5. Can ants die from lack of sleep?

It is unlikely that ants will die from lack of sleep alone. However, sleep deprivation can have negative effects on their health and behavior. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived ants have reduced immune function and are less efficient at foraging and other tasks. In extreme cases, prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to death due to exhaustion or increased vulnerability to predators.

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