Do Snakes Sleep? (Sleeping Habits)

It’s an intriguing question, and most people automatically assume they dont sleep and get confused by the non-existing eyelids of a snake.

Yes, snakes sleep, just like any other living creature on this planet. Regardless of having no eyelids, it doesn’t stop a snake from sleeping. Sleep is an essential function that allows a snakes body and mind to recharge.

Sleep is vital

All living beings need sleep. In addition, sleep plays a significant role in keeping us healthy. We all know what it’s like when we lack sleep, such as feeling moody, yawning, even difficulties concentrating. Well, snakes are no different to us, and they need their rest too, with or without eyelids.


Snoring happens in humans, dogs, and other animals when the throat muscles relax during sleep, blocking airflow through the mouth or nose. The blocking then creates vibration in the surrounding tissues, resulting in that snoring sound. On the other hand, a snake’s anatomy is made different from humans, and they physically can’t snore. For example, the tongue doesn’t go all the way down the throat, nor do they have any possible loosing of any skin or muscle in the nose and throat area. If your snake is making snoring sounds, you should take them to a specialist vet as this could well be a sign of a respiratory infection.

How many hours does a snake sleep for?

Depending on the age, size, type of snake, they can sleep from 5 hours to 20 hours a day.

Do snakes curl up when they are asleep?

No, not always. Often, a snake will curl up to protect itself from predators, not to get comfy.

A snake curled up in defence mode
A snake curled up in defence mode

Do snakes curl up together?

Yes, snakes, if they are friends, will curl up together as it’s extra protection from preditors, and also, they can hold some heat and keep each other warm.

Do snakes sleep at night?

Some snakes will sleep at night and are more active during the day; these types of snakes are considered diurnal. However, some snakes that sleep during the day and are more active at night are called nocturnal snakes. It all depends on the snake’s breed, location and environment.

Can snakes see in the dark?

Yes, they can; the nocturnal snakes have evolved into seeing clearly in the dark. Most of the snakes love to dwell in darker places. They possess infrared heat-sensitive vision, which makes them exceptional night-time hunters. It’s called the pit organ located side of the snakes head and is wired straight into a snake’s brain.

Do snakes sleep in the same place?

Wild snakes do not sleep in the same place each time. This is because they are generally not houseproud creatures. Also, returning to the same sleep area could open them up to potential predators in waiting.

Snakes in captivity are not so alert or paranoid and will often set up sleep time in the same area within its tank, with less space also; this would also encourage them to seek out the same place each sleep. 

How do you know if a snake is sleeping or not?

In the wild, the most obvious sign that a snake is not sleeping is when they are visible to you, either out in the open or basking in the sun. These snakes are usually fully awake or in a state of light rest. 

Wild snakes like to hide when it’s time to go to sleep, under rocks, in caves or high up in the trees.

Having no eyelids makes it difficult to judge if they are asleep or not. However, the non-movement and the snake’s location is the best sign possible, if they are sleeping or not.

If you’re wondering about your pet snake, now this can be a little more tricky. Since the area is much smaller for them to move around, non-movement is the most obvious sign. It would be best to observe your pet snake for ten minutes and look for any signs of movement. You may find your snake will head to the same spot each time. First, however, you need to start understanding your snake’s behaviours, which can take some time. Observing your pet snake as much as you can; will help you.

Remember, your snake could also be hibernating. Hibernating can give off the same signs of sleeping. By allowing the ten-minute observing time before you handle your pet snake would be best.

When does a snake sleep?

Snakes usually go to sleep during the day and at night, though they may also rest between meals. Depending on the type of snake, and its surroundings, the temperature will depend massively on sleep time for a snake.

Do snakes make a bed like birds?

No snakes often look for the perfect place and won’t make it any comfier, such as a bird will create a cosy nest or a harvest mouse and the rabbit, making their sleeping areas comfortable. But, on the other hand, Snakes love dark places, like dead trees, under logs, rocks, and away from any loud noises.

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By Teresa Mine

Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. She loves binge-watching animal documentaries. Teresa has some pets; she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.