Squirrels can be hectic little fellas, living out their lives running around gathering and hoarding food, breeding and raising young. With all that rushing, sleep is an important part of squirrel’s lives. Squirrels’ sleep habits vary amongst types, typically according to whether they’re ground squirrels or tree squirrels. This identifies where they invest the majority of their lives along with where they retreat to for sleep.
Relaxing Dens and Comfy Drays
For a tree squirrel, getting some shut-eye requires a cozy den. Lots of squirrels, including the gray squirrel, the fox squirrel and the red squirrel, develop their dens in the sides of trees. They fix up their digs with bedding such as moss or leaves. Numerous squirrels resort to using dens for long winter seasons. During warmer months, a dray may serve for sleep and for raising babies. A dray consists of leaves and branches set up as a nest and stashed in the branches of a tree.
Nighttime Sleeping Habit for Squirrels
Lots of species of squirrels set about their business during the daytime and reserve nighttime for catching up on sleep. When a squirrel isn’t really playing around searching for nuts or scuttling about in trees, she may be found underground in her burrow taking care of her young or sleeping during the night. Tree squirrels will call it a day by heading to their dens or drays.
Ground squirrels protect themselves from cold winters by pulling back to their dens for long hibernation durations, typically about 5 months. During this time, the squirrel’s body temperature decreases to just a couple degrees greater than the outside temperature. Breathing and heart rate will decrease during hibernation and a long, relaxing sleep will take place. Every week, a hibernating squirrel will get up for 12 to 20 hours. Tree squirrels don’t take part in hibernation like their ground squirrel counterparts. Instead, they build nests and aim to remain warm during the cold weather staying active.
Squirrels who live in really hot climates avoid the heat for a while in hibernationlike periods in the warm summer season known as estivation. Estivation can last for 7 months. Burrows concealed away from the hot sunshine and close to the ground, offering a cooler environment, are used for estivating.