Do Snakes Sleep? Yes – Here’s What You Need to Know.

The thought of snakes sleeping can be blundering. It seems almost unnatural to think the slithery reptiles sleep just like we do.

Ever sit around looking at your Pet Snake wondering if they are in a deep slumber? You’re not alone. Whether or not snakes sleep is a commonly asked question, and it hasn’t been an easy one to answer until recently.

Believe it or not, snakes and other reptiles have a lot in common with how humans and other mammals sleep. Now, we aren’t going to make you read through this entire post to get the answer you’re looking for.

In short, to answer your question: “Do snakes sleep?” Yes. Snakes do indeed sleep, and if you’re curious to learn more details about their sleep habits, continue reading on below.

So, Just How Do Snakes Sleep?

Studies show that reptiles can fall into states of REM, or rapid eye movement sleep. Additionally, reptiles can also experience another stage of sleep called slow-wave sleep.

Both of these stages of sleep are similar to how humans and mammals sleep, and only recently was it discovered that reptiles can also undergo these same stages.

So, since it’s been proven that reptiles have been observed reaching these sleep stages, it can be deduced that snakes do indeed sleep.

That said, snakes sleep much differently than humans. Have you ever heard of the saying, “sleep with one eye open”?

Well, snakes sleep with both eyelids open. Mainly because snakes don’t have eyelids. Consequently. snakes don’t have any other choice but to sleep with their eyes open.

That’s right. Snakes can’t blink, they can’t close their eyes, but they can still sleep.

Serpents Sleep With Their Eyes Open

The main reason snakes sleep with their eyes open is because they simply don’t have eyelids.

It might seem a little creepy, but it’s the truth. Ever wonder if snakes blink? In fact, snakes cannot blink. Which begs the question: do snakes eyes dry out if they can’t blink? Don’t worry, we’ve got answers for you.

That said, snakes do have some method of protecting their eyes. In lieu of eyelids, snakes have 1 clear, protective scale covering each eye.

These clear protective scales are often referred to as “spectacles”, and serve mainly to protect a snakes eyes from any type of damage.

Additionally, snake spectacles help keep their eyes from drying out and prevent debris from damaging their vision abilities.

If you’re a snake owner, you’ll also likely notice that when your captive snake begins to shed, it’s eyes will turn blue.

That’s because snakes shed their eye scale as part of the shedding process. This ensures snakes always have maximum protection of their eyes, even with no eyelids.

So although they don’t technically get “shuteye” in the literal sense, they do sleep. Snakes just sleep with their eyes open because they do not have any eyelids.

More Snake Sleep FAQs

Read Also:

  • Best Snake Cages: If your considering owning a pet snake, one of the key things you’ll need to know is the best possible enclosure for your pet.
  • Best Pet Snakes: Find out the best species of pet snakes to own as a beginner.

5 thoughts on “Do Snakes Sleep? Yes – Here’s What You Need to Know.”

  1. I had a diamond python, I went out for a few days, when I came back she was in a tree with her eyes closed.i thought she looked dead so I opened her enclosure an touched her an she opened her eyes. What I’m saying is I think she may have started hybinating . I’ve never seen a snake with closed eyes before. But it happened, my friend also witnessed it, Krishna.

    • Hi Krishna,

      That’s fascinating. I’ve never heard of a snake closing their eyes before. Perhaps she was about to shed? Thanks for sharing, it’s always interesting hearing our reader’s stories about their pet snakes.

    • I have a baby corn snake and her eyes were closed too during late fall (October 29th) was the first time I witnessed that and that was after someone told me snakes don’t have eyelids which this contradicts that

    • No, they don’t hear the heart beat,they can only smell human beings and feel their heat.


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