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

  • Thread starter 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
Drakkith
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No one knows why organisms sleep at all, though there are many hypotheses.
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
pinball1970
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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
BillTre
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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.
 
  • #5
98
10
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."
 
  • #6
98
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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
pinball1970
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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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