Why Is Your Snake Sleeping Next to You? 5 Real Reasons and 2 Myths

When we think of pets snuggling up with their owners at night, cuddly cats and loyal dogs often come to mind. However, there’s a lesser-known group of pets that also seek the comfort of their human companions during bedtime – snakes. 

While it may sound surprising to some, many snake owners have reported instances of their slithery friends coiling up next to them as they sleep. 

So, why is your snake sleeping next to you?

Your snake may be sleeping next to you to seek warmth and security, as snakes tend to seek comfort in familiar scents and surroundings. However, it’s not recommended to let a pet snake sleep with you due to safety risks and potential harm to the snake.

Keep reading to learn more about why your snake is sleeping next to you, the myths surrounding this behavior, and whether you should 

Why Is Your Snake Sleeping Next to You?

a photo of a snake to show why is your snake sleeping next to you

Snakes may occasionally sleep next to their owners due to several factors. While they don’t experience emotions like affection, their behavior can be attributed to instinct and environmental factors:

  1. Warmth: Snakes are ectotherms, relying on external heat sources to regulate body temperature. They seek warmth from their owners’ body heat or proximity to maintain their preferred temperature range.
  2. Security: In the wild, snakes often seek sheltered, secure spaces for rest. Sleeping next to their owner provides a confined and protected environment, reducing potential stress.
  3. Familiarity: Snakes have a keen sense of smell and memory. They might find comfort in the familiar scent of their owner, associating it with safety and security.
  4. Bonding (to some extent): Although snakes don’t form emotional bonds, frequent handling, and positive interactions might lead to some level of comfort when sleeping near their owner.
  5. Habituation: If allowed to explore and roam freely around the owner’s living space, the snake may naturally end up near them during resting periods.

This close nocturnal companionship can further strengthen the owner-snake relationship, fostering trust and reducing stress for the snake. 

However, it is essential to exercise caution, when handling a sleeping snake, especially with larger or potentially dangerous snake species as sudden movements or disruptions could startle them, leading to stress or defensive reactions.

Debunking Myths About Why Snakes Sleep Next to Their Owners

There are some myths and misconceptions about why snakes might sleep next to their owners. So, let’s break down and debunk two of the most common myths about this topic.

Your Snake Is Not Sizing You Up

One myth suggests that when a snake sleeps beside its owner, it’s plotting to attack or kill them. This idea likely stems from people’s fear and misunderstanding of snakes as dangerous predators. 

However, in reality, snakes don’t possess the capacity for premeditated actions or emotions like vengefulness.

You Snake Is Not Showing You Affection

Another myth portrays snakes sleeping next to their owners as a display of affection.

However, as mentioned before, snakes don’t experience emotions like affection the way other animals do. While they can become accustomed to their owner’s presence and feel comfortable with them, their actions are primarily driven by instinct and the benefits they derive, such as warmth and security.

It’s important to distinguish between reality and myth when understanding snake behavior. Snakes are not malicious or affectionate creatures in the human sense. Their actions are guided by natural instincts, seeking optimal conditions for survival. 

As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to educate ourselves about snake behavior and provide them with appropriate care and habitat to ensure their well-being.

Should You Let Your Snake Sleep Next to You?

It is not recommended to let your snake sleep next to you. 

While it might seem like a comforting idea to have your pet snake close to you during rest, you need to keep in mind that snakes have specific environmental needs, and allowing them to sleep with you poses safety risks for both you and the snake. 

Instead, it’s best to provide a suitable enclosure for your pet snake where it can comfortably rest and feel secure. A secure terrarium or vivarium with appropriate bedding, hiding spots, temperature, and humidity levels will ensure your snake’s comfort and safety, which will allow it to engage in natural behaviors and enhance its overall health and happiness.

How to Tell If Your Snake Is Sleeping?

It can be challenging to determine if a snake is asleep since they lack eyelids and have different sleeping patterns than mammals. However, some signs might indicate that your snake is resting or in a more inactive state:

  1. Reduced Activity: If your snake is usually active during the day and you notice a significant reduction in movement, it might be resting.
  2. Hiding or Coiled: Snakes often seek sheltered areas or coil up when they rest. If your snake is tucked away in a hide or curled up in one spot, it might be sleeping.
  3. Unresponsive: When asleep, snakes may be less responsive to stimuli or handling. Avoid disturbing them during rest periods.
  4. Relaxed Body Posture: A snake at rest will often have a relaxed body posture, without signs of tension or alertness.
  5. Breathing Rate: Watch for slow and steady breathing, which can indicate that the snake is in a resting state.

Remember that snakes are ectotherms and don’t have the same sleep patterns as mammals; they can be active during the day or night, depending on the species and individual preferences. 

Should You Move A Snake While It’s Sleeping?

You should avoid moving a snake while it’s sleeping. Snakes can be sensitive to disturbances during rest, and waking them abruptly may cause stress or defensive reactions. 

It’s generally best to be respectful of your snake’s need for rest and let them sleep undisturbed in their preferred resting spot to ensure their well-being and minimize any potential risks


In conclusion, the fascinating phenomenon of snakes sleeping next to their owners showcases the unique and often misunderstood aspects of these captivating reptiles. While not all snakes display this behavior, those that do seek warmth, comfort, bonding, and a sense of security from their human companions. 

By understanding and appreciating this unique aspect of snakes’ behavior, we can develop a deeper connection with these extraordinary creatures and continue to unravel the mysteries of their captivating world.

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