Are Corn Snakes Nocturnal? Uncovering the Truth About Corn Snakes Behavior

Not all snakes have the same sleep habits. Some are nocturnal, while others are diurnal. So what about corn snakes — are they nocturnal?

Corn snakes are not nocturnal. They are crepuscular (active during dawn and dusk), though they could also be considered diurnal (active during the day). Corn snakes have two sleep cycles: one for a few hours during the day and one throughout the night.

In this article, I will discuss what crepuscular means for corn snakes and why it is a natural survival instinct for them. I will also tell you how to help your pet corn snake maintain the same sleep cycle as if it were out in the wild. Let’s get started.

What Time of Day Are Corn Snakes Most Active?

Corn snakes are most active during two different times of the day and sleep through the night. Corn snakes are often considered diurnal (active during the day), but they are actually crepuscular. This means they are more active early in the morning, around dawn, and also around dusk. 

At this time of day, they are usually on the hunt for food. Corn snakes will wake up around dawn and then go back to sleep after a few hours — sort of like a midday nap. Then, they will wake up again around dusk. 

This is actually a survival instinct for them out in the wild. Dawn and dusk are the safest times for a corn snake to be out looking for food, and there are a lot of opportunities for them to find something to eat — such as unattended bird eggs.

Corn snakes can sleep through half the day or longer. So, don’t expect your pet snake to be as energetic as a puppy. 

Corn snakes that are out in the wild will have this sleep pattern, but this may not be the case for pet snakes. This is because their sheltered environment is different than out in the wild. So, if you get a new pet corn snake, it may take some time to adjust. 

What To Do if Your Corn Snake’s Sleep Pattern Is Off

If you notice that your corn snake’s sleep patterns are off, there are several issues that could be causing this. 

If your corn snake seems fine but isn’t awake during dusk/dawn or is awake all night, this could be due to its environment. 

It’s important to put your pet corn snake’s enclosure near a window so that it can tell by the sunlight whether it’s dawn or dusk. If you don’t have it set up this way, it could be the reason why your snake is waking up at odd times. 

Since a pet snake doesn’t have to hunt for its food, it’s also important to feed it during its natural feeding times — as if it were in the wild. 

Another reason your snake’s sleep patterns are off could be due to an illness. If you notice your snake is sleeping more than usual and isn’t active during its usual waking time, there could be an underlying health problem. Consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pet snake could be ill.

Final Thoughts

Corn snakes are not nocturnal; they are crepuscular. This means they are active during dawn and dusk. These are the best times for a corn snake to hunt when it’s in the wild.

They have two sleep cycles, so they will sleep some part of the day and then sleep through the night. Make sure there is a window near your corn snake’s enclosure to help it regulate its sleep pattern. 

If you notice a sudden change in your corn snake’s sleeping habits, consult a veterinarian.  

Recent Posts