Does your guinea pig seem to be awake all the time. Or maybe they seem to be sleeping more than they usually would. So it’s no wonder you need to know the answer to, how long do guinea pigs sleep.
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This may come to you as a little bit of a surprise, but guinea pigs only sleep for about 6 hours a day. Thats right, 6 hours. So when you think about it, you could have fallen asleep and woken up with your guinea pig running round all happy, thinking its been up all night.
Whats even more interesting is that guinea pigs don’t need all 6 hours at once. Unlike humans, who should roughly need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, guinea pig can spread their 6 hours throughout the day and night. So if they have been awake all night, then you may witness then taking an afternoon nap for a couple of hours.
With that said, yes, guinea pigs do still tend to sleep at night, just not the whole night.
Diurnal, Crepuscular or Nocturnal…
This is a hard one to determine, baring in mind guinea pigs only sleep for 6 hours a day, and sometimes that’s not even at night. You could almost say they are a mixture of all, but then this wouldn’t be much help to answer this specific question.
However, we have the answer. Guinea pigs are in fact diurnal, which means they are like us humans. They are most active during the day and usually tend to sleep most at night. Although they are probably most active during dusk and dawn, which could lead many to believe guinea pigs are crepuscular, but they sleep most at night. Crepuscular animals will sleep during the day, and stay hidden from day time threats. Guinea pigs don’t do this, they are still very active during the day, so it’s for this reason they are not crepuscular.
So are they noisy at night?
Like any pet that is awake at night, yes, they can be noisy when you are trying to sleep. Specially if housed indoors. If your guinea pigs cage is located in the same room or an adjacent room, then it is recommended that you relocate it a little further away if possible.
Their cage or inside run should be location in a social room. Guinea pigs love to be in amongst the action, they enjoy human voices and feel safe when in busier room compared to being left alone. This is believe to help with their social skills and social wellbeing in connection to their mental health.
If your guinea pigs are keeping you awake at night then I would suggest moving the cage into a communal space such as the kitchen or living room. Just be cautious that you are not placing the cage too near to any loud TV’s, Radios or other noisy appliances.
Guinea Pig Sleeping Factors
The sleeping behaviours of a guinea pig really depends on a number of factors. These factor can determine why your guinea pig has a varied sleeping pattern, and could outlay the reasons for day time sleeping also. So let’s take a look at these factors in a bit more detail.
These factors are;
- Living Conditions
- Staple Diet
- Illness and Disease
- On alert for predators
Living conditions is one of the top reason to why your guinea pig may not be sleeping properly. There are a number of factors which align with living conditions such as, temperature, activeness, lighting conditions, suitable housing arrangements. All these factors could have a reason to why your guinea pig has an irregular sleeping pattern.
For example the ideal living temperature for a guinea pig ranges somewhere between 65-75 Degrees Fahrenheit, or 18-24 Degrees Celsius. Being too cold at night may keep them awake, therefore they may sleep during the day once they are a comfortable temperature.
Likewise, if there is too much light getting into the cage at night, this means they could falsely believe it’s not time to be sleeping and become disorientated with time. This isn’t too much of a problem for them, but could be a reason they are keeping you up at night.
Having a healthy, staple diet is the key to housing a happy, healthy guinea pig. Happy and healthy guinea pigs will commonly have a natural sleeping pattern. Guinea pigs which are fed correctly, with the right foods, and receive the right vitamins and minerals, should have a usual sleeping pattern. Specially if they are being fed at a similar time every day.
An unhealthy guinea pig which doesn’t have a staple diet, and isn’t getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs, will definitely seem way more lethargic and less social. They may even seem to be sleeping for longer than the average 6 hours a day. An hour difference here and there isn’t anything to worry about. It’s when your guinea pig start to sleep for 10 or 12 hours a day. This is when you know something isn’t quite right.
Illness and Diseases
Okay, so this one may seem obvious, as we all sleep longer when we’re ill, but this has to be recognised.
Illnesses and diseases aren’t always noticeable to a human eye just from observing. If you feel your guinea pig may be sick, then please visit your local veterinarian as soon as possible. If they diagnose anything wrong with your guinea pig, then they will have the treatments available for you.
Naturally guinea pigs are extremely shy, and they have a very good reason to be. In the wild guinea pigs have many predatory threats ranging from cats, wolves, snakes, hawks, owls and even humans. So as you could imagine, guinea pigs are pretty much prey for any living animal which is bigger than itself. Unfortunately in the wild they a very low down on the food chain.
It’s for this reason that guinea pigs are naturally very scared. It takes a very long time for a guinea pig to trust its owner with handling and hand feeding. You should be aware of this when housing a guinea pig if you have other pets also. Cats and dogs which are free to roam around the house will cause a lot of stress for a guinea pig. Enough stress to keep them awake throughout the whole night, as well as the days too.
Predatory threats are the top reason why your guinea pig may not be sleeping as much as it should. When their stress levels are high it’s almost impossible to shut down and sleep. Keeping their cage well out of sight from other pets at night will relieve any night threats. In turn, this should provide a safe environment to sleep stress free.
So there you have it, “How long to guinea pigs sleep?” Roughly 6 hours per day. Remember that guinea pigs will sleep at any time during the day or night, and will still be very active during the day.
Be sure to know the 4 factors which relate to irregular sleeping patterns for guinea pigs, 1. Living Conditions 2. Staple Diets 3. Illness and Diseases and finally 4. Predatory threats.
If all these factors have been though about thoroughly, then you should have no problems with your guinea pigs sleeping hours.
I hope this has cleared up any unknowns about how long do guinea pigs sleep and that you enjoyed the read.