sleeping cockroaches

Do Cockroaches Sleep?

sleeping cockroachesCockroaches are nocturnal animals, so they are more active at night compared to morning or evening. You’ll see their numbers reaching its peak after approximately 4 hours after getting dark. So if they are active at night then when do they sleep?

Or do cockroaches sleep? Yes, cockroaches sleep. They have a circadian rhythm much like us, but, their cycle is different than us. Four hours after getting dark, they eventually enter a stage of immobility, and this stage is what we call sleep; unfortunately, we fail to notice them during this time.

Circadian Rhythm And Sleep  

You can see circadian rhythm in humans, animals, insects, plants, fungi etc. This cycle tells our body to do a certain thing during a certain period of the day. 

So, during the night, we automatically start to feel sleepy. Sleeping hormones start secreting from our brain, and we feel drowsy. 

This rhythm is the internal clock that helps us to do things at a proper time. Our brain controls this rhythm. 

Cockroaches also have this rhythm, so they sleep at a proper time and wakes up at a suitable time. Although it feels like they are always active but fortunately, that is not the case. 

Where Do They Sleep

They usually sleep inside your house cracks and crevices, below your bed, inside a drawer etc. They like moist and dark places, so any place that fits the criteria can be their home. 

They lay 16-20 eggs at once, and baby cockroaches grow fast. 

These baby cockroaches or nymph are problematic. They are curious, and inexperienced beings and they can venture all-around your house which an adult cockroach probably won’t.

These cockroaches can practically sleep anywhere. 

They can also sleep on your bed. Although curious they are careful creatures, and the moment these nymph senses danger, they will immediately flee. 

So, the chances of seeing them sleeping on your bed or couch are relatively low unless your house has a heavy infestation.

Why Is Sleeping Important For A Cockroach?

Much like us, cockroach also needs proper sleep. Without adequate sleep, cockroach functionality can decrease to a great extent, and they can found to be sleeping at a weird time in weird places. 

Usually, a cockroach can go for a few days without sleep, but as the days pass by the need for sleep increases. Lack of sleep can also be dangerous for a cockroach because predators can eat them.

A sleep-deprived cockroach has less reaction time, fatigue which can become a significant issue when trying to flee away from a predator. They can make mistakes when they are sleep deprived.

Can A Cockroach Sleep While Moving?

Cockroaches go through a few stages of sleep. On the first stage, there is little movement in their legs and antenna, and after that, 

which is the final stage of sleep, cockroaches become immobile, and this is what we call sleep.

So, if you see them moving their legs or moving their antenna then remember they are not entirely asleep; however, if a cockroach is not moving an inch know that they are in their final stage of 


although the chances of seeing them in this condition are meagre as they usually sleep in a dark and damp place.

Can Sleeping Cockroach Attack You?

Firstly cockroach doesn’t attack human. Unless you wake up the cockroach, it won’t try to run away for the chase after you to escape from you. Chasing after you doesn’t mean the cockroach is going to attack you; instead, they do it just to escape. You can read this blog post to know why cockroach chases you.

They usually sleep in a dark, damp and hidden place because they are vulnerable during this time and predators can eat them, so this is the best place for them to stay away from predators.

Can Cockroach Sleep On Food?

It’s not impossible; however, it’s is not easily seen. I personally never saw it.

The reason is simple when a cockroach comes out to eat food; it is highly cautious because cockroaches know that they are going to come in contact with humans and potential predators. 

Once they consume their food, they immediately flee. This behaviour can be found in almost all animals when they know that there is some risk involved in it. 

But if this happens then, you need to throw the food away as a cockroach can spread various diseases.

Can Cockroach Sleep On Humans?

Yes, a cockroach can climb up on your bed when you are sleeping and then can stay there as long as you don’t move. 

Many people remain entirely still while sleeping and if someone has too much infestation in the house, then it is very likely. 

The best way to avoid this situation is to get rid of the infestation is to find the source for the outbreak and get rid of it.

Can You Kill A Cockroach By Sleep Depriving It?

I personally never done this experiment, but you can decrease their functionality by sleep depriving it. However, catching a cockroach and doing so can be tricky. 

As you know, cockroaches are small and fast, catching them is a challenge. However, if you manage to capture one, then you need to keep them in a container and give them carbon dioxide to keep them awake.

Check this article published by Journal of Experimental Biology to know how they did it. Although the cockroach didn’t die, they were sleep-deprived. 

Will A Cockroach Die If They Sleep Underwater?

Cockroach won’t do that however if for some reason they get trapped underwater then they will die. A sleeping cockroach will immediately wake up when taken underwater.

So, taking a cockroach underwater without waking up will be very tricky. You will probably need some chemical to do that.

Cockroach also lives in drains where there is plenty of dirty water, but while sleeping, they are careful so that they don’t get carried by the current of the drain water or get drowned by that water. 

They usually stick around on all those places where the water won’t reach, but if the water somehow manages to sway them, then they will immediately wake up. 

They will not die immediately, as they are lightweight. The cockroach will go where the current takes it and will probably survive because cockroach doesn’t drown easily.

My Experience

cockroach in bathroom Luckily one day, I was able to find a cockroach in my bathroom which was not moving, which means it was in its earlier stage of sleep. Its antenna was moving. I noticed the cockroach carefully and was amazed that even after seeing me, the cockroach was not running. 

I got a little curious, so I decided to pour a mug of water to check how the cockroach reacts. After I did that, the cockroach immediately responded and went close to the drain inside my bathroom, but it stopped moving again.

I thought the cockroach is perhaps injured, so I tried to look for a sign of injury, but I couldn’t find it. I again decided to pour a mug of water to check it’s a reaction.

Upon pouring the water, the cockroach moved and slowly crawled inside my bathroom drain. I couldn’t figure out what happened on that day.

Later, when I carefully thought about it and studied some materials, I found the cockroach was probably sleep deprived. Although this is a rare phenomenon, it can happen sometimes.

Why Are Cockroach Idle Sometimes Are They Sleeping?

A cockroach can be idle because of multiple reasons. For example, they can sense what’s going on in their surroundings.

This sensing can sometimes take a while, and cockroach may seem like they are idle. If a cockroach sense any predator, they can also become idle to decide what they are going to do in that situation.

It is also possible that if you approach a cockroach, they can become idle to assess the situation to decide whether you are a threat or something they can ignore. 

This idleness is a common phenomenon, and there are chances that you have already encountered this. 

Another essential thing to keep in mind when a cockroach dies it that it dies on it’s back. If you see a cockroach is straight, that means the cockroach is not dead but just idle for some reason.

Related Questions

Do Cockroaches Like Bed? Cockroaches don’t necessarily like bed they like a moist and dark place. Kitchen, washroom these are their favourite places, but they can get on the bed when you are sleeping and this quite common. If your bed is damp, then it can be a big problem.

Will keeping lights on keep roaches away? If the infestation is high, then keeping the lights on will not keep cockroaches away, but they will get confused and will show up at random times. Cockroach determines their activity based on light, and if it’s always on, they will fail to determine the time.

Do cockroaches like carpet? It depends. A carpet can be a comfortable place for them because the carpet is moist, dark and also protects them from various predators. It provides the ideal condition for them. If your carpet is rarely removed or clean, then there can be cockroaches hiding beneath it.

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