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Are Corn Snakes Nocturnal? (And When Are They Most Active?)

Are Corn Snakes Nocturnal? (And When Are They Most Active?)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Staying up all night to spend some quality time with your corn snake doesn’t sound like a good idea when you have work or school the next day. But does it have to be this way?

Are corn snakes nocturnal even, or can you just hang out with yours during the day?

We’ll answer that here, along with every relevant question regarding a corn snake’s sleeping habits.

Let’s dive in!

So, Are Corn Snakes Nocturnal?

Generally speaking, a corn snake can be both nocturnal and diurnal. This means that it can show signs of having both sleeping schedules; sleeping during the day and night.

This behavior changes depending on the temperature in the surrounding environment as well as food scarcity.

See, in summer, it tends to be too warm during the day for a corn snake to be out and about. Instead, it chooses to wait out the heat and hunts during the cooler hours of the night.

The opposite happens in winter where a corn snake is likely to be more active during the day when it’s warmer.

When Are Corn Snakes Most Active?

A corn snake is better classified as crepuscular. This term means anything connected to twilight.

Therefore, you can say that corn snakes are more active during dawn and dusk.

Can Corn Snakes Be Active in the Daytime?

In the wild, corn snakes aren’t that active during the day. They usually sleep all day and night, then wake up and go hunting in the limited hours between day and night and vice versa.

That being said, corn snakes can still be active during the day, but only in the right circumstances.

They’re more likely to do this in captivity and non-threatening surroundings. This is because they’ll feel safer, so they’ll adjust their cycles according to their new environment.

Plus, since their owners provide them with adequate food supply and shelter, they don’t need to stay awake during dusk or dawn to hunt or search for shelter.

How Do Corn Snakes Sleep?

A corn snake can’t close its eyes, but that won’t interfere when it’s napping. Instead of having eyelids, it has eye caps (or spectacles) over its eyes.

These eye caps help protect its eyes from dirt and debris while it’s sleeping.

You can tell if a corn snake is asleep by monitoring its tongue and body movements. If it’s unusually still and isn’t flicking its tongue out, then you’ll know that it’s resting.

In What Places Do Corn Snakes Sleep?

Corn snakes prefer to sleep in locations that shield them from the eyes of potential predators, like dark places beneath rocks, bushes, and trees.

This also helps them avoid direct heat from the sun since they’re cold-blooded.

Reptiles like these tend to go to different spots every time they need to sleep for the day. It’s a tactic to avoid beasts that could prey on them.

When your snake decides to sleep, it’ll go someplace secluded in its tank, much like how it would do in the wild.

How Much Do Corn Snakes Sleep?

Corn snakes, in general, will sleep for 8 to 14 hours per day. But this duration can still vary depending on the environment and stage of life.

Baby corn snakes need the most sleep for their development, so it’s not uncommon for them to sleep for up to 20 hours.

Another factor affecting a snake’s sleep is how big of a meal it gets. If the snake is extra drowsy, that means it probably had an extra big mouse for dinner!

How to Help Your Corn Snake Sleep Better?

A corn snake placed in a new environment may take a while to adapt. This can affect its sleeping habits.

Luckily, you can tell if your pet is having trouble sleeping if:

  • If it’s fully awake during the day or night
  • If it’s fully awake during both the day and night

Corn snake owners can help with their snake’s sleep cycles. There are a couple of ways that can help improve the quality of sleep a corn snake can have.

Here are a few guidelines to follow to encourage a balanced sleep cycle for your corn snake:

Take Note of Your Corn Snake’s Sleeping Pattern

It’s crucial to observe a corn snake’s sleep cycles, especially when it’s introduced to the new vivarium in your house.

By doing that, you’ll be able to adjust feeding times and lighting settings according to its behavior to help it adjust faster.

Set Day and Night Lighting in Your Corn Snake’s Tank

Lighting plays a part in a corn snake’s nap time. The regular use of stark and soft lighting in its enclosure mimics the natural progression of a day.

This acts as a signal for the snake to wake up or go to sleep.

For best results, use a timer to set 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.

Time Your Corn Snake’s Feedings Properly

A corn snake’s feeding time should also reflect its natural hunting schedule.

If it’s too exhausted or too cold, it might not eat during the dawn. It would most likely eat at dusk by choice when it hasn’t eaten much during the rest of the day.

Final Thoughts

Are corn snakes nocturnal?

Corn snakes are mostly crepuscular, though their sleep cycle will still depend on their surroundings and the time of the year.

These snakes are usually awake during dawn and dusk to hunt for their prey and find a better place to sleep. If it’s warmer outside, they’ll hunt more during the night and wait out the heat during daylight hours.

As for corn snakes in captivity, they’ll need to adjust to living indoors to help them sleep well. Their owners can help by imitating how it is outside using suitable lighting and a proper meal schedule.

Sleep tight, humans and corn snakes alike.

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