Where To Find a Sleeping Raccoon (And When to Look)

Sleeping Raccoon

Discover where and when to find sleeping raccoon. Learn their hiding spots and debunk common myths in this informative guide.


When it comes to encountering a sleeping raccoon, it’s a rare occurrence to stumble upon the same spot again. However, there are exceptions to this pattern, such as during their month-long winter sleep and when baby raccoons are nesting.

The Many Hideouts of Sleeping Raccoon

Raccoons are predominantly nocturnal animals, seeking refuge during the day in various hiding places:

1. Tree hollows

2. Rock cavities

3. Fox or badger burrows

4. Attics or chimneys

5. Sheds

6. Porch decks

7. Abandoned vehicles

8. And many other secluded spots…

These resourceful creatures tend to relocate when their food sources are diminished or when a predator is nearby, using the cover of darkness to make their escape.

Active Nocturnal Sleeping Raccoon

Raccoons are most active during the night and prefer to sleep during the day.

Understanding Sleeping Raccoon Habits

Raccoons are versatile in their choice of sleeping spots. Tree hollows are their preferred natural hideouts, but they are notorious for finding weaknesses in roof structures and creating holes. Additionally, raccoons can be found in sheds, vehicles, under decks, in chimneys, and even in crawl spaces or attics.

During the day, raccoons opt for sleep as they are adapted to be active primarily at night. To keep warm, they curl up and position their bodies while hiding their faces in their tail fur, similar to a cat’s behaviour.

These cunning animals rarely sleep in the same place consecutively, utilizing their numerous hiding spots to seek shelter from predators and unwanted intruders, including humans. You won’t find a raccoon openly sleeping in an exposed field; their instinct drives them to find secure locations.

Dispelling 5 Common Myths About Sleeping Raccoons

There is a lot of misinformation circulating on the internet regarding sleeping raccoons. Let’s debunk some persistent myths:

1. Myth: Raccoons sleep with their eyes open.

 Fact: Unlike some mammals, raccoons do not sleep with their eyes open. They rely on their exceptional hiding abilities to avoid detection and potential threats.

2. Myth: Sleeping Raccoon can be find out in the open.

 Fact: Raccoons strategically seek shelter to protect themselves from predators. You will never find a raccoon sleeping openly in a field; their survival instincts drive them to hidden locations.

3. Myth: Raccoons frequently sleep on the ground.

 Fact: Generally, raccoons prefer elevated positions for their nests, such as patio decks, vents, crawl spaces, or tree stumps. Sleeping on the ground only occurs when they can adequately hide from the outside world.

4. Myth: Raccoons sleep upside down.

 Fact: While raccoons may sleep in unusual positions, sleeping upside down is uncomfortable for them as it causes excessive blood flow to their head, creating internal pressure.

5. Myth: Raccoons hibernate in winter.

 Fact: Contrary to popular belief, raccoons do not undergo complete hibernation during winter. Instead, they enter shorter periods of “torpor” to conserve energy. While raccoons may be less active during this season, they do not fully hibernate.

Sleeping Habits – Solitary or Social?

Raccoons are primarily territorial animals and often sleep alone. However, they exhibit exceptional adaptability and may form small family groups during specific circumstances, such as mating or raising offspring (usually up to 8-9 weeks old).

Behavioural Exceptions in Nature

Exceptions to solitary sleeping habits do occur in the natural world. For example, siblings from one nest may sleep together in a single location. Additionally, if dens are scarce but food sources are abundant (especially in urban settings), raccoons might coexist temporarily. These opportunistic creatures can quickly adapt if it ensures their survival.

The Vast Assortment of Raccoon Hideouts

Raccoons are renowned for their adaptability in choosing various sleeping locations. They are not picky about where they sleep, as long as it provides food, protection, and warmth. In urban or semi-natural environments, raccoons often gravitate toward homes. During winter months, the warmth emitted by roofs becomes particularly enticing to these creatures.

Factors like the availability of food play a crucial role in determining where raccoons might seek shelter during the day. Bricks, wood, or even trash bins can serve as their dens, as long as a food source is conveniently nearby. Porches or chimneys might unknowingly become their chosen sleeping spots.

To effectively manage raccoon issues, focusing on removing their access to food sources is key. Finding their nests alone won’t solve the problem, as these resourceful animals can easily outsmart human attempts. Good luck on your search, and remember to handle raccoons humanely and remove them from your property whenever possible.

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q 1: Where can I find a sleeping raccoon?

A: Raccoons can be found sleeping in various places like tree hollows, attics, sheds, or under decks. Look for secluded spots with potential food sources nearby.

Q 2: Do raccoons sleep with their eyes open?

A: No, raccoons do not sleep with their eyes open. They rely on hiding abilities to avoid detection and stay safe.

Q 3: Are raccoons social or solitary sleepers?

A: Raccoons are primarily solitary sleepers, but they may form small family groups during specific circumstances, like mating or raising offspring.

Q 4: Do raccoons hibernate in winter?

 A: No, raccoons do not fully hibernate. They enter shorter periods of “torpor” to conserve energy but remain active during the winter season.

Q 5: How can I handle raccoon issues on my property?

 A: To manage raccoon issues, focus on removing their access to food sources. If the problem persists, seek professional help to remove them humanely and safely.

Read our complete article on Raccoon Repellent Strategies: 5 Best Methods That Actually Work

Remember, raccoons are fascinating creatures, and by understanding their habits, we can peacefully coexist with them while ensuring our safety and theirs.


Encountering a sleeping raccoon is a fascinating but rare event due to their elusive nature and resourceful hiding habits. These nocturnal creatures seek shelter in various locations, such as tree hollows, attics, sheds, and even abandoned vehicles, to protect themselves from predators and potential threats. Despite common myths, raccoons do not sleep with their eyes open or out in the open; they strategically choose hidden spots for their safety.

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