Are Squirrels Nocturnal? Squirrels Sleeping Habits Explained

Squirrels are mammals native to every continent except Australia, Antarctica, and oceanic islands. They are typically active during the day, which means that they’re not nocturnal. However, this can vary depending on the species and geographical location. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and only come out at night, which makes them hard to spot.

Mice, squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks are some of the creatures that may live in your backyard. They often make homes in your garden, which can be a cause for concern for many homeowners. Most squirrels aren’t nocturnal as they are active during the day. Some species of squirrel will also be active at night. This article will look at a squirrel’s sleeping and waking habits and answer the question, ‘are squirrels nocturnal?’ Read on to learn more about these common backyard creatures.

Are squirrels nocturnal?

Are Squirrels Nocturnal

Squirrels tend to be active during the day and aren’t nocturnal, as they are diurnal animals. This means that, like humans, they are awake during the day and asleep at night. Most squirrel species can’t see very well in the dark and are at risk from predators if they go out at night.

The daily sleeping habits of squirrels can change depending on their predators. If they feel threatened, squirrels may hide during the day and come out to feed at night. Most squirrels will also hibernate or go into semi-hibernation during the winter to avoid the cold weather. In the winter, squirrels visit their stored food sources several times a day to retrieve and eat the stored food.

Squirrels come out during the day and bury nuts for the winter in dirt mounds. Then at night, they sleep in trees to stay warm and keep away from predators such as foxes and coyotes. Most squirrel species spend their days foraging and burying food, which is usually done in the morning and evening hours.

Where do squirrels go at night?

Where do squirrels go at night

At night squirrels will sleep in leaf nests, built-in tree forks, branches, or tree holes. There are different opinions on where squirrels go during the night time hours. Some scientists

believe they sleep wherever they happen to be when darkness falls, perhaps curled up in a ball or wedged into some nook or cranny. Others think they retire to specific lodgings for most of their rest periods.

Scientists have observed squirrels staying in one spot during hours of darkness. This finding supports the theory that they do indeed sleep at night.

Are flying squirrels nocturnal?

Flying Squirrels are Nocturnal
Flying Squirrels are Nocturnal

Flying squirrels are primarily nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night and sleep in the day. They are more active during the evening hours and can sometimes be spotted at dusk. However, some species are active during the day as well. Flying squirrels are most active around dusk and dawn.

The average amount of time a flying squirrel spends asleep each day is about 18 hours, but it varies depending on the local environment. They emerge to feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, bird eggs, and meat at nightfall. After feeding on these items throughout the night, they return to their nests by dawn to resume sleeping until dusk.

Flying squirrels spend more time in their nests during the winter and come out at night to feed. Many people don’t realize that they have flying squirrels living in their yard as they are nocturnal and hard to spot.


Squirrels aren’t nocturnal as they are commonly seen foraging and climbing trees during the day. They are considered diurnal animals as they are awake during the day and asleep in a tree hole at night. The only exception to this is flying squirrels which are generally nocturnal.

It’s thought that squirrels wake up when it starts to get light and sleep when it gets dark. They may also have some naps during the day. During the summer months, they are active for more extended periods of time due to daylight hours. They will sleep a lot more in the winter and go into semi-hibernation, sleeping for much of the day and night. They will hide nuts in soil mounds, which they will retrieve in the winter when food is scarce.

Want to learn more about squirrels?  Here are some smells squirrels hate, how to get rid of squirrels in your yard, and should you give your squirrel chocolate.