Do Snakes Sleep?


Is the question, do snakes sleep, comes into your mind?

Well, you are not alone. Surprisingly, many people are interested to know about this. Lucky for you as we tried to do our research.

When you see a snake, and you feel that they are staring back at you, you could be wrong. Chances are, they are sleeping too. The funny fact is that it’s hard to determine whether a snake is asleep or not.

Snakes Do Not Have Eyelids

Snakes do not have eyelids, and that’s the reason no one has ever seen a snake closing their eyes. But if you worry if they get quality sleep, we can guarantee you that they are perfectly fine. Their brains are in charge of their sleep, and there’s no need for them to close their eyes.

According to studies, reptiles can fall into states of Rapid Eye Movement sleep and can also experience Slow-Wave sleep.

Do Snakes Sleep?

How Do They Protect Their Eyes?

For humans, our eyelids are essential so that we can protect our eyes. With this, you may begin to wonder how does a snake protect their eyes.

Snakes’ eyes have transparent scales, and it is called spectacles or brilles. This is not just for protection, but it prevents it from drying. And yes, it sheds together with the rest of their scales. Remember that snakes do not have legs, which means their eyes are always in close contact with the ground. This is where their scales can do their work.

Just imagine if they have eyelids. They would just have to close their eyes for protection.

More About Brilles

Now, snakes aren’t the only reptiles that have brilles. These are also present in Geckos and other lizards. Brilles are non-moving skin that covers the eyes. Fluids cannot escape from here, and that is why snakes do not cry too. What happens is that a fluid is produced by the tear ducts. From here, it stays and becomes an extra layer of protection between the cornea and brilles. This avoids the eyes being dry.

Another fun trivia here. Scientists are now trying to understand snake eyes to create better contact lenses.

How to Know if a Snake is Asleep?

If the snake is not moving and completely still, there is a chance that it is sleeping. But that’s also not a guarantee. They could just be in a relaxation mode. Another clue is if their tongue activity is lesser than the usual. If you have a pet snake, see if it doesn’t react if you open the cage. If it doesn’t, then there’s a huge possibility that it is sleeping.

Yet again,  never attempt to go near a snake just because it isn’t moving. That’s dangerous, and you might get yourself in trouble. Here’s a quick section teaching you what to do when you’ve been bitten by a venomous snake.

Call the Ambulance Right Away

This might seem like a no-brainer. But whenever possible, call the ambulance right away. Regardless if you think it’s venomous or not, you have to take snake bites seriously.

Avoid Panicking and Stay Still

We understand that this is easier said than done. However, if you got bitten by a snake, you must remain calm and do not move. If you stay still, it can slow down the spread of the venom. According to experts, staying still after a snake bite could save your life.

Do Not Catch the Snake

As much as it is tempting to catch the snake, don’t do it. You might put other people’s lives in danger. Plus, hospitals can already determine which snake bit you with a series of tests. They would still be able to know the right treatment from there.

How Long Do Snakes Sleep?

Did you know that snakes can sleep for 16 hours? This depends on the time of the year and if they have recently eaten. During winter, they could even sleep for over 20 hours.

We know what you’re thinking. They are lucky to have that amount of sleep, and we all wish we could do the same. 

Many are also wondering if they sleep at night or if snakes have a particular schedule. There’s no single answer for this because it depends on the species. Several snake species are nocturnal. That means they are active at night and are inactive in the day. But others are more active in the morning and are not at night. Yet, there are some species that can be both active the whole day, depending on the time of the year, or if they have already finished their meal.

Where Do Snakes Sleep?

Like most creatures, snakes value their safety. They usually sleep after meals, and then they become tired. That’s the reason they look for a safe place to get quality sleep. In captivity, you would often see them under their bedding, a rock, or other items that act as their shelter. Here’s a good product where snakes could sleep.

Exo Terra Reptile Den

Do Snakes Sleep? - Tip Top Sleep

Check the latest price on Amazon.  

This works well in most terrariums and could be a secure hiding place for your pet. It’s extremely stable, and it could prevent stress. If you want something that your pet snake will enjoy, this could be it. It has enough room for them to hide and rest. This has a natural look, which makes it more visually appealing.

Now, if they live in the wild, they would look for dead trees and natural caves to rest.

How Do Snakes Eyes Work?

Even with an extra layer of skin covering their eyes, snakes can still see clearly most of the time. However, they do not see in color, but they have light receptors. One could help them see in low light where their vision can be blurry. The other one gives them the ability to see the sharpest possible way.

Here’s a quick video if you want to know more about snakes and their sleeping behavior.

Conclusion, Do Snakes Sleep?

Yes, they do. But they sleep with their eyes open. And again, even if they don’t move, do not attempt to go near it. As always, keep a safe distance and know the first aid solutions if a snake bit you. 

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.