Chinchillas sleep a lot.
In fact, they spend most of the day asleep.
So it only makes sense to try and understand everything you can about how chinchillas sleep.
It turns out it’s quite the fascinating topic.
It’s also an important one. Knowing how a chinchilla sleeps will help you be a much better chin owner.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the way chinchillas sleep.
- 1 How Do Chinchillas Sleep?
- 2 How Chinchillas Sleep: FAQ
- 2.1 Do Chinchillas Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
- 2.2 Will A Chinchilla Sleep Through The Night?
- 2.3 Will My Chinchilla Snore While Sleeping?
- 2.4 How Can You Wake Your Chinchilla Up?
- 2.5 Why Does My Chinchilla Sometimes Sleep On Its Side?
- 2.6 Will Chinchillas Sleep With You?
- 2.7 Is My Chinchilla Sleeping Too Often?
- 2.8 Do Chinchillas Have Dreams While Sleeping?
- 2.9 Do Chinchillas Like Hammocks?
- 2.10 Do Chinchillas Like Light When They Sleep?
- 3 How A Chinchilla Sleeps: Final Thoughts
How Do Chinchillas Sleep?
Chinchillas sleep most of the day and become awake, energetic, and lively in the evening and nighttime hours.
Chinchillas also sleep on all four feet most of the time. They will often sleep curled up inside a nest box or other small spaces.
That’s the primary and most technical answer to the question.
I do, however, intend on providing you with much more information about chinchillas sleeping behaviors if you stick around for just a few more minutes.
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Chinchilla Sleeping Habits
As I mentioned before, chinchillas sleep a majority of the day and become most active at night. This is just something you have get used to if you plan to adopt a chinchilla.
When they sleep, those cute ears that we are used to seeing pointing upward curl over in a nice relaxed downward position, almost like your chinchilla is acting ashamed of his or her actions.
Chinchillas also tend to sleep in tight spaces. They love to sleep inside items in the cage like nest boxes, hammocks, or other tight structures and accessories.
You need to accommodate this and provide these types of items for your chinchilla so it has plenty of safe places to sleep.
Tight, concealed places make them more comfortable for sleeping. They also make them feel safe.
You can read more about providing your chinchilla a nest box here.
You can also view my recommendations for the best chinchilla hammocks.
You may also spot your chinchilla sleeping on its side at times. But if you notice your chinchilla lying motionless on its side, when it has never done that before, it is good idea to contact a vet, just to be safe.
Every now and then, you may spot your chinchilla sleeping on its back, too. It’s rare, but it does happen. Most often you will notice this if your chinchilla has a hammock available in his or her cage.
How Chinchillas Sleep: FAQ
Chinchillas, while relatively predictable with how they sleep, still tend to do some out of the box things every now and then.
When that happens, it tends to spark some questions.
That’s why I wanted to add this FAQ section dedicated to providing my knowledge and experience on how chinchillas sleep. Let’s dive into those questions now.
Do Chinchillas Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Sleeping with their eyes open…
Yikes. Kind of scary when, and if, you see this for the first time.
Although slightly frightening when you see this with any animal or even person, it’s 100% normal if you notice this happening.
A fun fact.
Although the eye appears to be open, the chinchilla still has the ability to close the iris completely. In other words, while it appears that your chinchilla is sleeping with eyes wide open, no light is actually entering the eye.
Simply put, yes a chinchilla will sleep with its eyes open from time to time and it is nothing to get concerned over.
Will A Chinchilla Sleep Through The Night?
Yes, if the environment is right. Your chinchilla can easily sleep through the entire day if it’s not disturbed and isn’t awakened by any loud noises that startle him or her.
Sometimes your chinchilla can sleep 10+ hours if undisturbed during the day, but usually no longer than 12 hours at a time.
Will My Chinchilla Snore While Sleeping?
No, your chinchilla should not snore while sleeping. If your chinchilla is snoring, this could indicate that something is wrong with its health. You should contact your vet.
It could indicate a respiratory infection among many things, but it is still better to be safe than sorry if you notice your chinchilla snoring.
Snoring is also a no-no with chinchilla due to their natural habitats and how they have been raised for generations in the wild to survive.
Chinchillas in the wild are preyed upon heavily and any snoring would easily alert predators of their location.
How Can You Wake Your Chinchilla Up?
If it’s necessary to awaken your chinchilla, the best way to do it is by being as calm as possible. You don’t want to startle your chinchilla or cause too much stress.
You can quietly say your chinchilla’s name if it recognizes and trusts you by voice. You can also gently touch your chinchilla on the back of the head.
Wait until you and your chinchilla have a strong bond before poking at it in order to wake it up. This should be a calm enough manner that it doesn’t send your chinchilla into a frenzy over being frightened or startled out of their its chinchilla dreams.
Don’t worry, this is very rare and chinchillas are extremely friendly.
Why Does My Chinchilla Sometimes Sleep On Its Side?
If your chinchilla just wore itself out playing, exercising, or hopping around in joy, it’s possible it is recovering by sleeping on its side. This is nothing to worry about and 100% normal.
However, another common reason for chinchillas sleeping on their side is heat. If this is the issue, you need to fix it.
Just be sure that your chinchilla is always in a room with the correct temperatures to avoid the possibility of overheating and causing potential death.
To do this effectively, make sure you read my post about the ideal temperatures for chinchillas.
Will Chinchillas Sleep With You?
No, a chinchilla should never sleep with you. A chinchilla should never sleep anywhere except inside of its cage.
They are much too fragile and sleeping outside of the cage can pose too many hazards which could, unfortunately, lead to death or a missing chinchilla.
In fact, a chinchilla should never even sleep in your bedroom in a cage. This is due to how likely it is that your sleep would be interrupted consistently considering chinchillas get the most active at odd times of the day.
Keep in mind that chinchillas sleep during the day and are more awake at night. They can run away easily and find trouble in any room easily, if it’s not fully chinchilla proofed.
Instead of ever considering allowing your chinchilla to sleep with you, focus more on providing one of the best chinchilla cages for it.
This includes the items we have discussed already that help them feel safe while sleeping, such as hammocks and nest boxes.
You should always be trying to add the best chinchilla accessories to any cage for your chinchilla.
You can also view my post about the best chinchilla toys here.
Lastly, do not forget to check out my post about chinchilla beds here.
For the past 4 years so, I have been strongly recommending the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (link to review) as my top vote for the best chinchilla cage.
Well, 4 years later it is still my number 1 recommendation and an excellent cage for your chinchilla to enjoy, have tons of space inside, and relieve any guilt you have for not allowing your new chinchilla to sleep with you.
Trust me, this cage is where they would prefer to sleep anyways. It is pretty awesome.
Keep the cage in a separate room and keep your chinchillas in the cage for sleep time. It’s safer for your pet and the best way to remain sane as a chinchilla owner.
Is My Chinchilla Sleeping Too Often?
Some chinchilla owners believe their chinchillas are sleeping too much or they are concerned with the lack of activity that their chinchillas are displaying.
It’s important to understand that chinchillas are crepuscular.
This means that you are most likely never to notice when your chinchilla’s activity levels are the highest unless you sleep in the same room with them which I always advise against.
If your chinchilla seems to only do a few minutes of activity and return to snooze, it’s completely normal. No need to fear if you notice this. It is a common behavior with chinchillas.
Do Chinchillas Have Dreams While Sleeping?
Anyone here also own a dog? We all know that funny, amazing moment when your dog lays on his or her side, running, barking or yelping in its sleep.
It’s almost like they are involved in a puppy race in their dreams.
Well, your chinchilla is the exact same way. Or can be, to say the least. Your chinchilla will doze off and get into some intense and fun dreams.
You may catch your chinchilla making noises or sounds and small movements while sleeping. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural and honestly adorable when you are able to witness the moment or capture it on video.
Do Chinchillas Like Hammocks?
Yes, chinchillas like hammocks. In fact, you can read my post about whether chinchillas like hammocks here. It will break down everything you need to know on this topic.
Most chinchillas can find comfort and enjoy sleeping in a hammock. I personally use the Nite Angel Hammock (#1 on my list of top hammocks) in my cage and my chin absolutely loves it.
While she still primarily sleeps in her nest box, I often catch her having some fun inside of the hammock.
But in the end, it depends heavily on your specific chinchilla. Some love their hammocks, and some only play in them occasionally.
Either way, a hammock makes a great addition to a chinchilla cage, and it’s worth giving one a try, if it ends up providing your chinchilla with another comfortable spot to sleep.
In addition, chinchillas do sleep in hammocks for one other key reason.
In the wild, they burrow or find dark places that they feel safe. They are preyed on so heavily in the wild that this how they feel safe.
A hammock can help duplicate this feeling and allow your chinchilla to feel naturally more safe and secure while resting.
Again, it depends on the chinchilla, but that reason alone should be a good enough reason to at least give it a try and see how it goes.
Worst case scenario, your chinchilla has a new cage decoration and you have a nice excuse to clean the chinchilla cage for the week while installing the new hammock.
Seems like a win-win for everyone involved if you ask me.
Do Chinchillas Like Light When They Sleep?
No, although chinchillas do need some light, they don’t like much light during sleeping hours. They like dark quiet environments when they sleep that mimic their natural habitats and how they sleep in the wild.
It’s best to provide roughly 12 hours of adequate lighting per day for your chinchilla, which is best served by providing a room that allows natural light to enter the room.
I personally use my basement for my chinchilla but it has two windows that allow light to come into the room. This keeps her on a normal cycle.
Outside of that, it’s perfect for your chinchilla to be in a darker, quieter environment. This will provide it with the best environment to get a good amount of rest and sleep.
One this you should not do, however, is cover the cage. Covering a chinchilla’s cage can screw up their day/night cycle and can also potentially cause overheating.
How A Chinchilla Sleeps: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas sleep often and it is just part of owning a chinchilla. You will need to get used to this, if you are a new owner or are planning to purchase a chinchilla in the near future.
In most circumstances, there is nothing to worry about.
Your chinchilla will be asleep for the majority of the time that you are awake and will get crazy when you are asleep.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new pet and hope you both adapt to how a chinchilla sleeps quickly.
Share your thoughts about your chinchilla’s sleeping patterns and habits.
Do you have any stories to share about how your chinchilla sleeps or any awesome pics of weird sleeping positions you have caught yours in recently?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time.