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Do Squirrels Sleep at Night? The Big Reveal!

Do Squirrels Sleep at Night? There is a huge variety of squirrels in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and North America. Hundreds live in the USA and Canada.

Although considered one of the most intelligent rodents, squirrels are mammals but are of the rodent family most intelligent rodents. 

Squirrels are very flexible and can climb almost anything using their claws. They are classified with chipmunks and prairie dogs as herbivorous rodents as their diet is mostly plant-based. 

Some even have extra skin under their front legs and can “fly” like birds for a short distance although this is usually a glide from one tree to the next.

Most squirrels are the brown and grey common variety.  

Flying squirrels are the least common in North America and five types of squirrels are the most common ranging in color from light grey to brown to dark black with some squirrels having a reddish coloration. 

There is general knowledge about squirrel habits but one question that is harder to answer is “do squirrels sleep at night”? 

Squirrels live in both cities and suburban areas, and everyone sees them running around all day so assuming they sleep at night is a natural conclusion. 


Do Squirrels Sleep at Night? 

Most squirrels are diurnal animals, meaning they sleep during the nighttime. But, the Flying Squirrel is exempted from this rule as it forages at night. The majority of squirrel species, especially tree and ground squirrels, are active hunting and gathering nuts and seeds during the day.

But Do Squirrels Sleep At Night

But Do Squirrels Sleep At Night?


4 Ways in Which it is Proven Squirrels Sleep at Night


1. Scientific evidence with research

National Geographic Magazine and other scientific publications have done numerous studies on the daily activities of squirrels and their habits.

Squirrels are generally harmless but can contract and spread rabies and do damage to gardens and other wildlife such as birds by eating food from bird feeders so studies were done extensively. 

Scientific evidence with research

Scientific evidence with research


2. Simple observations

Individuals love to feed squirrels and the best time to do so is during the day as they are seen out and about at that time.

There are many states in the USA that operate squirrel rescues and the individuals who run these know without a doubt that squirrels sleep at night and take many naps per day.

Individuals Love To Feed Squirrels

Individuals Love To Feed Squirrels


3. Discussions with exterminators 

It can be a nuisance when squirrels start eating garden plants, but the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue promotes squirrel rescues, especially baby squirrels the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue does promote squirrel rescues, especially of baby squirrels who are left orphaned.

It is more humane than destroying them. The Rainbow Wildlife Rescue estimates that there can be thousands of squirrels in some areas in the USA alone.

Homeowners can find huge holes in their yards and exterminators can attest to the fact that catching squirrels occurs most likely during the day. 

Squirrels Can Be Quite The Nuisance When Eating Garden Plants

Squirrels Can Be Quite The Nuisance When Eating Garden Plants


4. Checking with your local conservation district

Conservationists are paid to watch all animals to ensure no danger of extinction occurs so are knowledgeable generally about all animals and even insects in anyone’s area. 

Although there are still thousands of squirrels in North America, the red squirrel is endangered due surprisingly enough to a virus spread by the grey squirrel. 

The grey squirrel is more immune to the virus while the red squirrel is now endangered.

Before killing any squirrels or removing them from their habitat, local conservationists must be called. Grey squirrels are generally larger and can be more robust. 

Conservationists observe squirrels routinely for causes that might lead to extinction so know a lot about squirrels sleeping habits. 

Red Squirrel Is Endangered Due To A Virus Spread By The Grey Squirrel

Red Squirrel Is Endangered Due To A Virus Spread By The Grey Squirrel


Frequently Asked Questions About Do Squirrels Sleep at Night?


If I find a squirrel sleeping on the ground, is it okay for me to pick it up? 

Squirrels do not sleep on the ground as predators would kill them. Squirrels on the ground that seem asleep are either sick or injured and a conservationist or rescue needs to be called. Squirrels can and do bite and can carry rabies and other diseases such as the Bubonic Plague.


If I find a squirrel nest with babies on the ground should I put it back? 

You can wrap a towel or blanket across the bottom of the nest or wear a thick gardening glove before placing the nest back is a wise course. If a conservationist is not around and a wildlife removal expert is in the area, this is the safest way of restoring a squirrel nest into a tree.


Can I nurse a squirrel back to health myself? 

The chances are best if only a minor injury exists and the squirrel is an adult. Finding a professional in wildlife rescue is always the best option. If you do have to bring an injured baby squirrel home, follow formula directions and set up a “nesting box”, with leaves, twigs, and other plants. 


Afterword: Do Squirrels Sleep at Night? 

Yes, most squirrels do except for the Flying Squirrel. Contacting experts is the wisest choice if an injured squirrel is found, especially a baby.

But if you are going to nurse a squirrel back to health be cautious and be prepared to research how to do this properly.

Never assume a squirrel on the ground is just sleeping as they do not ever sleep on the ground. 

Squirrels sleep a lot up to 20 hours per day and usually at night, so interaction and care of squirrels must account for their massive amounts of “shut-eye” each day!