If you have observed a snake in the past, you may notice how they do not have eyelids. Therefore, it is quite interesting to know how they can sleep with their eyes open. With the stare of the snake, they may look menacing. However, you may be looking at a sleeping snake without being aware of it. If the snakes are in a fixed position, it can be quite challenging to determine if they are awake or not.
How Do Snakes Sleep with Their Eyes Open?
If you've been wondering why you haven't seen a snake with its eyes closed, you are not actually alone. No one has seen them closing their eyes since they do not have an eyelid. Once they decide to take a nap, they do not necessarily have to close their eyes. Nonetheless, snakes can still shut off their retina. Instead of the average eyelids, they have a thin protective membrane that covers their cornea. It is intended to protect their eyes from elements such as dust, bits, and grit. According to the studies, the snakes can enter a state of REM (Rapid Eye Movement). Furthermore, they can even reach a higher stage of sleep known as slow-wave sleep. Both concepts are closely similar to how mammals (such as humans) sleep. It has only been recently that snakes will also go through the same stages when sleeping.
How Can They Compensate the Missing Eyelid?
It might appear creepy to see a snake sleeping with its eyes open. Since they can't blink, some of you may think if their eyes will dry out. Luckily, the transparent membrane that covers their cornea will prevent them from drying out. It also keeps them safe from the debris that may damage their sensitive cornea. For the owners of a pet snake, you may notice that the snake's eyes will turn opaque when it is shedding its skin. This is since the protective film is part of the snake's skin. It ensures that the snake's eye will have optimum protection, even in the absence of an eyelid.
How Long Do Snakes Sleep?
According to the study, snakes will sleep at an average of 16 hours per day. The age, diet, and time of the year will affect the length of their sleep. If the snake has not eaten recently, they will start to move and hunt their food. In the winter season, snakes can snooze for more than 20 hours per day. They will usually look for a safe den when sleeping during the winter. However, they will still be active during the warmer days of winter. It is quite challenging to tell if the snake is sleeping or not, especially if it is a wild snake. When in the wild, always do your best to avoid them. Unless you are an expert and know what you are doing, we highly discourage you from approaching the snake. Snakes will not attack as long as you don't pose any threat to them. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Las Vegas