Where Do Snakes Go At Night?

Do you want to learn more about the habits of snakes?

Have you wondered if some snakes are active during the day or night?

If you are interested in learning more about what snakes do during the night, you might ask:

Where do snakes go at night?

Depending on the species, snakes are active at night, hunting for food and moving around, or they will be hunkered down in a shelter sleeping and waiting for morning. 

There are so many species of snakes, and while some are nocturnal, not every species is. 

Keep reading to learn even more about where snakes go at night. 

where do snakes go at night

Where Do Snakes Go At Night?

Are you wondering about the nighttime habits of snakes in the wild?

If so, the answer isn’t exactly straightforward.

There are so many species of snakes in the world. 

In fact, there are over 3,000 known species of snakes, and not all of them act the same way.

Some are nocturnal, meaning they are most active in the night, while other snake species do most of their activity in the daytime. 

Other snakes who are most active during the day, also called diurnal snakes, spend their nights sleeping in shelters through the night, until morning.

Snakes who sleep through the night will find shelter in a great many places.

Snakes are cold-blooded and require warmer temperatures for their bodies to perform daily functions like eating or moving. 

Because the night time is much cooler, many snakes retreat to burrows when nightfall comes on.

How Much Do Snakes Sleep?

It might look like snakes aren’t sleeping, simply because they don’t close their eyes like humans and many other animals do.

But don’t be deceived, because these animals have a thin, clear layer called an ocular scale covering their eyes.

Snakes do sleep, and they need to daily.

Researchers have found snakes sleep for approximately 16 hours per day on average. 

This number fluctuates depending on the time of year and their eating schedule.

During the winter, snakes sleep quite a bit longer and have been found to sleep around 20 hours per day.

If you think about it, this makes sense, again, because they are cold-blooded, and as temperatures dip, they will slow down.

A snake’s sleeping time will also increase based on if they have just eaten.

Right after eating, snakes generally feel the most tired and are very vulnerable to becoming someone else’s meal. 

Where Do Snakes Sleep?

While they are sleeping, snakes will attempt to find a secure place, keeping them safe and out of the way from possible predators.

Some of their favorite locations include holes in the ground.

These holes are often created or abandoned by other animals because snakes aren’t capable of digging.

If they find a hole inhabited by a rodent, snakes often will go into the hole, eat the rodent, and take over the hole to sleep. 

Snakes burrow into the ground, but only if the dirt, mud, or sand is very loose.

The snake might also find shelter in hollowed-out tree trunks, under rocks, in leaf litter. 

Because snakes live in various habitats in the world, there are many things, natural or man-made, they will inhabit when they need to sleep. 

They will sleep anywhere they can find to keep them safe from predators and give them a chance for an extended amount of sleep. 

They are more likely reacting to a threat and are merely protecting themselves. 

In captivity, you will need to place at least one hide in their enclosure to allow them a place for them to retreat to when they are ready to sleep or for when they are feeling afraid or threatened. 

This hide might be a manufactured plastic box, constructed cave, or rock formation. 

Again, this is simply a place for them to feel safe as they sleep. 

When your pet snake is sleeping, or you suspect it is sleeping, do not wake them up to hold them.

This will startle and frighten them, and they could react badly.

Knowing your snake will help you determine if your snake is asleep or if they don’t want to be handled. 

If you come across a snake in the wild who is sleeping or active, it is best to avoid it.

Depending on the type of snake, it could be venomous, but snakes don’t go out of their way to harm humans in general.

Where Do Snakes Go In The Winter?

One of the significant factors in how long a snake will sleep is the time of year.

Many people might believe snakes hibernate during the winter, but these animals enter a state called brumation in actuality.

Brumation in snakes is similar to hibernation but different in a few ways.

When an animal hibernates, they enter a profound sleep where the animal is dormant, conserving their energy through the cold winter.

This is why animals have to build up fat stores in their bodies to make it through the winter. 

You’ve probably heard stories about this when it comes to bears.

Snakes instead enter brumation, where they do become less active and slow down because of the colder temperatures.

Snakes will also sleep during this time, but they do not rely on fat stores in their body.

Instead, they wake up periodically to find food and water and often come out to bask if there is sunlight.

Once they have what they need, they will go back to sleep for another period.

Because they are not awake, moving, and doing regular snake things, they do not need to eat as often. 


Snakes are fascinating animals, with over 3,000 species covering all continents on the globe, except Antarctica.

It’s tough to make general statements about them, but now you have some idea of where snakes go at night. 

Many snakes will spend their nights hunting, breeding, and just living, while other species opt for sleeping.

This is useful information for any caring snake owner to know. 

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