Where do squirrels sleep?

Where do squirrels sleep? The answer to that question is a little more complicated than it may first appear. That’s because there are a variety of different squirrel species.

Members of the squirrel family include (but are not limited to):

  • Chipmunks.
  • Flying squirrels.
  • Ground squirrels.
  • Marmots.
  • Tree squirrels.

So let’s answer the question of where squirrels sleep for each of these in turn.

Where do squirrels sleep?


There are 21 different types of chipmunks just in North America. Every one of these varieties sleep in underground burrows. During the winter months they hibernate in the same burrows, though they will wake occasionally to eat from the food they stashed away during the summer.

Chipmunks sleep in their underground burrows.

Flying squirrels

There are 45 different varieties of flying squirrel. They don’t actually fly, of course, they glide from tree to tree. Nor do they hibernate, although southern flying squirrels may sleep throughout a cold day. Flying squirrels sleep in the nests they build in trees. These can be either dens (nests built into the side of the tree) or drays (nests built in the branches).

Flying squirrels sleep in the nests they build in trees.

Ground squirrels

Like chipmunks, ground squirrels make underground dens. These lairs can be complicated networks of tunnels as ground squirrels like to have lots of escape routes and entrance/exit holes. Ground squirrels sleep in these lairs and during the winter will hibernate in them, waking up about once a week to eat.

Ground squirrels sleep in their underground dens.


Marmots are large members of the squirrel family. There are 15 different species of marmots. Again they live and sleep in underground burrows and hibernate there throughout winter.

Marmots sleep in their underground burrows.

Tree squirrels

Tree squirrels are those squirrels that we usually mean we when just say “squirrel”. As the name suggests they mainly live in trees. As with flying squirrels, tree squirrels build dens and drays in trees, which is where they sleep.

Tree squirrels sleep in the dens and drays they build in trees.