Do Squirrels Sleep with their Eyes Open or Closed? What You Need to Know About Squirrel Eyelids

As a nature lover passionate about everything related to squirrels, I have had the privilege of observing and interacting with squirrels all over the world. While it is commonly accepted that squirrels tend to keep their eyes closed while sleeping, there are some special cases where they may keep their eyes open. In this blog post, I will discuss the answers to the question: Do squirrels sleep with their eyes open or closed?

While it is true that squirrels tend to keep their eyes closed when sleeping, certain circumstances can cause them to keep their eyes open. For instance, if a squirrel feels threatened or unsafe in its environment, it may choose to remain vigilant by keeping its eyes open. This is an instinctual self-preservation measure that allows the squirrel to remain aware of any potential threats and react quickly.

Do Squirrels Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

When a squirrel snoozes, its eyelids are firmly shut – just like yours and mine. And upon waking, the furry critter will check its surroundings for any potential hazards by cracking open its peepers. It’s a common misconception that squirrels keep their eyes wide open to catch some zees, but that simply isn’t the case!

However, there can be some benefits to sleeping with one’s eyes open. Some species of animals may choose to remain vigilant and keep their eyes open in order to detect any potential danger, allowing them to react quickly to protect themselves or flee from danger if they need to.

What Are The Benefits Of Doing So?

Protection During Sleep

For some animals such as squirrels, remaining alert during sleep is essential if they want to avoid becoming a meal for another animal. By keeping its eyes open while sleeping, the squirrel can remain aware of any predators or other dangers which might attempt to approach or attack it. As such sleeping with one’s eyes open can provide an extra layer of protection.

Better Quality Of Sleep

In addition to providing protection, keeping one’s eyes open may also actually improve the quality of sleep overall. Since the squirrel does not have to constantly wakeup and check for predators, it can stay in deep levels of sleep for longer periods of time which helps them recuperate and replenish energy used throughout the day.

Different Types Of Squirrels

Flying Squirrels

Flying squirrels are some of the most interesting types of squirrels due to their unique ability to glide through the air between trees using specialized flaps of skin called patagium. Rather than flying in the traditional sense, they use these flaps to control their movements while gliding through the air.

Tree Squirrels

Tree squirrels are amongst the most common and well known types of squirrels. They typically reside in forests and build nests between tree branches from chewed twigs and leaves called dreys. Tree squirrels feed mainly on nuts and other fruits found in their environment but can also occasionally eat insects or small birds.

  • Alpine Marmot
  • Chipmunks
  • Red Squirrel

Ground Squirrels

Ground squirrels spend much of their time on the ground, sleeping in burrows during moist weather. These critters are known to have especially long eyelids which can be opened or closed depending upon their environment to protect themselves from predators. Unlike other squirrel species, ground squirrels can actually sleep with their eyes open and remain vigilant while they rest! Despite being small creatures, these little mammals carry a big sense of security through sentry-like behaviour making them an impressive type of squirrel!

Where Do Squirrels Sleep?

At Night

At the end of their active day, squirrels find a quiet place to rest and sleep. This can be either in trees or in tunnels underground. At night, these creatures will snuggle up in their nests for some much-needed rest after all their activities throughout the day. Tree squirrels build their nests between tree branches using twigs and leaves while ground squirrels opt for underground burrows.

When It Rains

Rainy weather may encourage squirrels to find shelter from the elements. Tree-dwelling species usually take refuge in tree holes whereas ground-dwelling species will stay inside their burrows which are hidden from all predators.

In Winter

During winter months, most squirrel species remain in their dens or nests and try to stay warm. Grey squirrels tend to share den space with other adult grey squirrels as a way of keeping warm during the harsh cold temperatures. Some species line the interior of their nests with dry material like leaves and moss for insulation purposes.

Signs That Your Home Has Squirrels

Squirrels are fairly large rodents that do not go unnoticed when nesting or living in your home. By paying attention to certain signs caused by the presence of these animals you can easily identify whether your house has unwelcome intruders exploring it.

Prevent Wildlife From Moving In

To prevent wild animals, like squirrels, from taking up residence in your home or garden, there are a few key steps you can take. First, inspect your property and surrounding area to identify any potential entry points, such as open vents or small holes in the wall or roof.

Then seal off those areas so that animals can’t get inside. Additionally, try to keep food storage areas clean and free of crumbs and scraps that may attract unwelcome wildlife.

Caring For Baby Squirrels

Caring for baby squirrels requires special attention and some experience.

  1. Provide a warm, safe environment with plenty of bedding materials.
  2. Prepare a proper diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Ensure the baby has access to water at all times.
  4. Monitor the temperature within the enclosure and adjust as needed.
  5. Perform regular health checks to detect any illnesses or injuries.

Creating a Safe Space

Creating a safe space for squirrels is essential to protect them from predators and other dangers. To do this, you should:

  1. Provide them with plenty of healthy food in an easily accessible area
  2. Trim or prune any trees near your feeding station, which may be giving predators a hiding spot and access
  3. Put up fencing or netting around the area to deter predators
  4. Place water bowls close to the feeding area for easy access
  5. Make sure the area is sheltered from strong winds and heavy rain.

Providing Food and Water

Providing food and water for squirrels is essential for their health. A balanced diet of fresh vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits will keep them full and healthy. Additionally, providing a shallow bowl of fresh water – away from direct sunlight – will help them stay hydrated. If you are caring for baby squirrels, they need more frequent feedings (every two to three hours). Monitor their activity levels and adjust their diet accordingly.

Introducing The Baby To Its Future Habitat

Introducing baby squirrels to their new habitat can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Knowing the natural environment in which your squirrel will live is key. Start by introducing the squirrel to its environment one step at a time. Provide plenty of climbing opportunities and places for the squirrel to hide. Create a safe area where your squirrel can explore and start building relationships with other squirrels in the area. With patience, care, and dedication, you can help ensure that your squirrel will thrive in its new home!

Why You Should Not Keep Baby Squirrels As Pets

Baby squirrels may look cute and cuddly, but they should never be kept as pets. Not only is it illegal in many states to keep a wild animal as a pet, but you may also not be equipped to provide proper care for the animal. In addition, baby squirrels require socialization with their own kind, and without this, they are likely to become stressed and suffer from health issues.


Approximately how many hours does a squirrel sleep each day?

Squirrels typically take multiple short naps throughout the day. On average, they get around 15 hours of sleep every 24-hour period. Depending on their activity levels and the time of day, they may sleep for shorter or longer periods.

  • Squirrels get around 15 hours of sleep per day
  • Their sleeping patterns are based on the type of activity they do during the day
  • They often nap for a few hours at a time

At what time do squirrels go to sleep?

Squirrels do have a bedtime, although it is not as rigid as humans may have. Depending on food availability, climate and their daily activities, they will vary the hour they go to sleep. Generally, squirrels will sleep during the night, but also depending on the weather, can nap during other times of the day.

What is the sleeping behavior of squirrels?

Squirrels usually sleep for extended periods during the day, up to 15 hours on average. They usually enter a state of rest during times when they are less active such as in the early morning or late afternoon/evening. They prefer sleeping in their nests either built from sticks and branches, or in natural cavities of trees. This type of restful slumber helps squirrels stay active and alert throughout the day!

How much time do squirrels spend sleeping?

The typical amounts of sleep for a squirrel can vary, yet generally they sleep between 13 to 15 hours a day. Depending on the time of day, when they are most active, will determine when they rest. Squirrels will regularly alternate between short bursts of activity and periods of stillness throughout their days.

Do squirrels keep their eyes open while they are asleep?

Squirrels are known to spend much of their day resting or asleep. Although they may have their eyes open during this rest cycle, they don’t remain in a full state of wakefulness. The active periods throughout the day allow squirrels to replenish their energy and maintain alertness when needed. Therefore, research suggests that Squirrels do not sleep with their eyes open.

Do squirrels go to sleep when it gets dark outside?

Squirrels are not necessarily nocturnal creatures, and don’t usually go to bed when the sun goes down. Instead, they tend to be most active during the day, and will look for a place to rest or sleep in the late afternoon or evening. Therefore, depending on the time of year and amount of light available, squirrels may vary their sleeping schedules.


In conclusion, do squirrels sleep with their eyes closed? Squirrels usually sleep with their eyes closed. However, they can keep their eyes open if they feel threatened or unsafe in their environment. This is an instinctive self-preservation mechanism that allows them to remain vigilant and aware of any potential dangers. Therefore, the answer to the question “do squirrels sleep with their eyes open?” is yes, under certain circumstances.

Therefore, it is important for us as observers and caretakers of squirrels to remember that we need to create a safe and hospitable environment for them so that they are comfortable enough to relax and close their eyes when sleeping. After all, it’s not only beneficial for their well-being but also for our viewing pleasure!

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