Guinea pigs sleeping habits perplex everyone rearing them for the first time. Are you concerned whether your Guinea pig is doing alright, because of its napping patterns?
Here is all you need to know about the sleeping behavior of your Guinea pig.
Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
Yes, Guinea pigs need to sleep just like all mammals.
It is natural to assume that your pet Guinea pig is not sleeping because it’s almost always running around all the time and whenever you see it resting, its eyes are still open.
This causes owners to doubt whether their Guinea pig ever sleeps. But don’t worry your Guinea pig is getting sleep in ways which might quite surprise you.
When Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
Guinea pigs sleep in short intervals throughout the day whenever they feel it’s convenient.
Sleep is essential for all mammals to recharge and regulate their bodies. But Guinea pigs being prey animals need to be on guard all the time to avoid being captured by a predator.
So how do they do that? By staying awake as much as possible. Guinea pigs tend to limit their sleep time to a few minutes and then get back on full alert.
Hence, Guinea pigs sleep in short intervals throughout the day whenever they feel it’s safe to take a quick nap.
How Much Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
Guinea pigs are masters at taking power naps. They usually take a nice and tight nap lasting for about 4 to 10 minutes.
Then they wake up and get going about their usual business until the next opportune time to take another nap.
While this may seem unhealthy for us, the bodies of Guinea pigs are wired to get recharged even during those short moments of sleep.
How Many Hours Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?
If you make a total of the time spent sleeping on power naps, Guinea pigs typically sleep for about 4 – 6 hrs a day.
Yes, by having its strategic timeouts every now and then, your Guinea pig manages to get a good amount of sleep everyday for its hyper active function.
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Sleep: Guinea Pig Sleep Schedule?
There is no definite sleep schedule for Guinea pigs. The reason being that in the wild Guinea pigs don’t know when there will be a hungry predator preparing to kill it for a meal.
Hence, Guinea pigs are wired to be on alert at all times and ready to run for life whenever something suspicious happens.
Thus whenever Guinea pigs feel they are in a safe environment they manage to take a (usually half awake) power nap before going about the day.
Are Guinea Pigs Nocturnal?
Nocturnal animals by definition are those who are active during the night and resting during the day. Guinea pigs are not nocturnal but crepuscular which means that they stay most active during dawn and dusk.
This again comes to the fact that Guinea pigs are an easy meal for most wild predators and especially nocturnal predators.
So Guinea pigs stay on alert 24/7 and spread their sleep times throughout the whole day/ night.
Guinea Pig Sleeping Positions?
One of the reasons that many people doubt whether their Guinea pig ever sleeps is because of its sleeping position. Guinea pigs sleep almost in the same position they usually sit when awake.
Sometimes, they may prefer to lie on their sides which shouldn’t be a concern if you know your Guinea pig is healthy and has been active lately.
In case you see your Guinea pig laying on its side and twitching or with irregular breathing, you should be concerned and take it to the vet to get it checked.
There might be something really stressing the Guinea pig like dehydration, heat stress or even mites.
What Do Guinea Pigs Look Like When They Sleep?
You can spot your Guinea pig sleeping when it’s sitting still in a relaxed position with a somewhat steady breathing. There won’t be any muscles twitching either.
Usually it will have its eyes closed but there are sometimes it can take a quick nap with their eyes open.
Can Guinea Pigs Sleep In The Dark?
Yes, in fact Guinea pigs prefer to sleep in the dark. This is not because they hate sleeping with the light on but because in the wild, it is harder for a predator to spot it.
Hence guinea pigs feel more relaxed in dark areas and love to take a nap in the thick shade.
Do Guinea Pigs Sleep During The Day?
Since Guinea pigs sleep in short intervals, they have to spread-out their nap time throughout night and day.
Since they are most active during dusk and dawn, they tend to get a bit lazy during the day. So don’t be surprised to see your guinea pig sleeping now and then during the day.
How To Make Your Guinea Pig Fall Asleep?
The best way to ensure that your guinea pig sleeps well is to keep it in an environment where it feels most safe.
This is achieved primarily by keeping in a quiet and calm place where its less likely to hear alerting noise such as traffic and construction work.
Also keeping your guinea pig where there is less human movement will also help and make sure you create spaces for it to hide itself so that it will feel safe.
Placing the nest where there is natural light also helps your guinea pigs for a regular circadian rhythm
If your guinea pig feels safe, then it will get relaxed enough to take a nice nap.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Sleeping So Much?
It is quite normal for guinea pigs to sleep frequently during the day especially if you have placed it in a calm and safe environment.
Being crepuscular, guinea pigs tend to be more active during dawn and at dusk. This behavior is there to help the guinea to avoid most predators.
So check to see if your guinea is active during this time. If not, just take the Guinea to the vet to make sure it is healthy.
Guinea Pig Sleeping FAQ
Do Guinea Pigs Sleep At Night In The Dark?
Guinea pigs sleep at intervals throughout the day and at night. They will be most active during early morning and late evening when the sky is dim.
Do Guinea Pigs Like The Dark?
Yes, Guinea pigs do like dimly lit and dark spaces as they feel more safe there. So Guinea pigs usually look for areas which are not easy to access and are dimly lit for taking rests.
You can be creative about building the pig nest in such a way that there are spaces in the nest where the guinea pig can go now and then to hide itself from the outside world.
How Many Hours A Day Do Guinea Pigs Sleep: Do Guinea Pigs Sleep A Lot or Little?
Healthy Guinea pigs typically sleep for 4-6 hours a day. Often, they manage to sleep this much by taking short naps only lasting a couple of minutes.
Once your Guinea pig is used to its living space and feels completely safe, it may even sleep continuously upto 30 minutes straight.
Can Guinea Pigs Sleep With You?
If you really want to sleep beside your guinea pig, you need to make sure you have a portable cage which you can lay near you.
The only time you are allowed to lay in the bed with your guinea pig, is when you are fully awake and just want to have a nice cuddle time.
Never doze off with your guinea pig out on the bed. This can easily lead to disaster.
Do Guinea Pigs Sleep On Their Side?
Guinea pigs sleep in somewhat relaxed but upright posture so that they can sprint off quickly to safety in case a predator approaches.
Sometimes, a healthy guinea pig might sleep on its side but you should make sure whether its breathing is normal and it has been healthy and active recently.
In case, the guinea pig is breathing abnormally or twitching now or lying persistently on its side without changing positions, then it is advisable to get a checkup at the vet.
How Do Guinea Pigs Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Many mammals like the guinea pig have the ability to sleep with their eyes. By now, you know why that is the case.
Guinea pigs can pull off this feat by literally shutting down only half of the brain while keeping the other half monitoring for threats.
While it’s hard to imagine how on earth it feels, guinea pigs still manage to get a relaxing sleep with their eyes open.
Now that you have all the knowledge required regarding Guinea pigs sleeping habits, you can be a less stressed parent and relax watching that cute little thing sleep with its eyes wide open.