Snakes will need to sleep from time to time, just like all other creatures on the planet. What’s interesting, though, is that according to new research, reptiles also go through the REM sleep stage and have dreams, just like humans. But considering that looking at the snake’s closed eyes as a sign of them sleeping isn’t really reliable, how will you be able to tell when your snake is actually sleeping? There are some other signs that you should look for to know whether your snake is taking a nap or not, and we’ll talk about them in the article below.
It is very important to learn the signs that will tell you that a snake is sleeping, to make sure you’re not interrupting its rest periods both for your safety and to reduce the stress levels experienced by the pet in captivity. So let’s go over some of the best indicators of a sleeping snake.
It will take a little skill but you will be able to see if the snake is awake or sleeping by checking a few things. The most important aspect is to understand your snake’s behavior and why it does some of the things it does.
The actual breed of shake you own will be a factor in when and how much they will sleep. There are some breeds that will have certain times of the day when they feel the need to sleep and others when they will be awake.
There are some breeds of snakes, like the broad-headed snakes, that are nocturnal beings, being active during the night and sleeping throughout the day. On the other hand, there are some breeds, like the patch-nosed snakes, the racers, or the hognosed snakes, which are considered diurnal, sleeping throughout the night and being active throughout the day. There are even some types of snakes that will change their sleeping schedules throughout the year, like the rat snake, for example. This is why, if you don’t know the specifics of your particular breed of snake, you might have a hard time knowing when they will feel the need to catch some sleep.
So even though you won’t be able to know whether or not the snake is asleep only by its breed, it might at least give you an idea of how likely it will be to sleep in a certain part of the day and how many times a day it will need to sleep.
The actual sleeping schedule of a snake can change based on the current season. To get a better understanding of this you should know that although most breeds of snakes will spend close to 16 hours per day sleeping, during the winter this number can raise to about 20 hours each day.
Your pet snake will usually get a little sleepier than it should be right after it has a meal. After having a big meal, a snake can get so sleepy that it might need even 20 hours in a day to recover.
Although snakes have almost the same posture while asleep or awake, there are some clues that would tell you what is actually happening with them. Although snakes won’t change their positions for hours and hours while sleeping, this is also their behavior when waiting for prey, so this as well isn’t a sure indicator to watch out for.
Another thing to look for is a reduction in the number of tongue flicks. The usual snake will flick its tongue quite a few times throughout the day but will stop doing this while sleeping. They will also have no reaction when you open the top of the cage or do things inside the cage.
The short answer is that snakes don’t have eyelids. This also means that they can’t blink, but it also means that they won’t be able to close their eyes. They do have something to protect their eyes. It is called a brille and is a layer of transparent scales covering the eyes. And yes, this means that a snake will always sleep with its eyes open. Even though they can’t close their eyes, they can have a deep sleep.
And to make matters even worse, there is also a period in a snake’s life called brumation, which usually happens during colder seasons and basically means that they will reduce their overall activity to a minimum in an effort to save energy. This means that snakes also go through a state of hibernation throughout the year. If you happen to have a snake going through this phase, you will notice it will move a lot less than you’d expect. It won’t even feel the need to eat during this period.
You should never try to get a snake out of its brumation state because this might cause it to act confused or even startled and they will get in the same inert state as soon as you leave them alone.
You should be careful when handling a snake, particularly if it is sleeping. Disturbing a sleeping snake even only by picking it up can make it get startled, which might make it try to strike back. This isn’t really hard to understand considering that even people and other creatures as well get startled and are unpredictable when being forcefully woken up from a deep sleep. It can’t be fun for either you or the snake if you do decide to wake it up, especially if it is in a deep sleep.
The best thing you can do if you think your snake is sleeping is to just let it alone and give it time to rest and get up on its own. If you do want to wake it up, picking it up is not the best choice. It is a lot better to introduce a strong-smelling food item into the cage or make some mild noises around it.