How Do Chinchillas Sleep?[Some Interesting Facts To Know]

If you are considering adopting a chinchilla, a question you may be curious about is how chinchillas sleep and what you can expect after arriving home with your new chinchilla.

I have now been raising a chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, 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. Chinchilla’s will often sleep inside of a nest box curled up or in 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.

😕Adopting and caring for a new chinchilla can be intimidating and confusing. It does not have to be so do not let it be.


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How Chinchilla’s Sleep and What You Can Expect

As I mentioned before, chinchillas sleep a majority of the day and become most active at night.

This will continue to be the trend for the duration of owning and raising a chinchilla and just something you should get used to if you plan to adopt a chinchilla in the near future.

Those cute ears that we are used to seeing pointing in the upward direction will now be curled over in a nice relaxed downward position almost like your chinchilla is acting ashamed of his or her actions.

Chinchilla’s also tend to sleep in tight positions and they love to utilize items inside of the cage while sleeping such as nest boxes, hammocks, or other tight structures and accessories.

You need to be accommodating this and providing these items for your chinchilla for when they sleep.

First, it makes them more comfortable for sleeping, and secondly, it makes them feel safe.

A chinchilla who is capable of feeling safe and getting sleep in the preferred fashion is going to be a much more social chinchilla and happy chinchilla during the hours they are awake.

You can read more about providing a chinchilla a nest box here.

You can also view my recommendations for the best chinchilla hammocks here.

You may also spot your chinchilla sleeping on their sides and every now and then, you may spot your chinchilla sleeping on their back.

Although rare, it does happen.

Most often you will notice this if your chinchilla has a hammock available in his or her cage.

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions About How Chinchilla’s Sleep

Chinchilla’s, while relatively predictable with how they sleep still tend to do some out of the box things every now and then.

When this happens, it likely sparks questions from you as the owners.

With that being the case, I wanted to have a section of this brief post dedicated to providing my knowledge and experience on chinchilla’s with their sleeping and answering some frequently asked questions I have seen arise over the past 5 years.

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 ever 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 so what appears to be your chinchilla sleeping with eyes wide open, they are actually still 100% blocking all light from entering into the eye.

Simply put, yes a chinchilla will sleep with their 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.

Keep in mind, however, your chinchilla will still wake up to urinate,

Your chinchilla may also awaken to get a drink of water, or even enjoy some timothy hay.

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 while sleeping, this could indicate that something is wrong with your chinchilla’s health and it’s advisable to 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 to much stress.

You can quietly say your chinchilla’s name if they recognize and trust you by voice you can gently touch your chinchilla on the back of the head.

I would not recommend this during the first few weeks while your chinchilla is adapting to their new environment.

This is when you may make your chinchilla scared.

If this happens, you are likely to hear them bark at you.

This is often when you are most likely to experience a chinchilla biting.

Wait until you and your chinchilla have a strong bond before poking at them in order to wake them 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 deep chinchilla dreams.

Don’t worry, this is very rare and chinchillas are extremely friendly.

A Chinchilla Sleeping On Their Side May Indicate Too Hot of Temperatures

Here is something to keep in mind about a chinchilla sleeping on their sides.

Another reason your chinchilla may be sleeping on their side is due to heat.

If your chinchilla just wore themselves playing, exercising, or hopping around in joy, it’s possible they recover by sleeping on their side.

This is nothing to worry about and 100% normal if you notice this.

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 that you can see here.

Will Chinchillas Sleep with You?

No, a chinchilla should never sleep with you.

A chinchilla should never sleep anywhere except inside of their 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.

This is one of the primary reasons it is always recommended to fully chinchilla proof a room where your chinchilla is allowed to roam outside of the cage.

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 them.

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 Amazon)Opens in a new tab. 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 of, 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 a separate room and keep your chinchillas in the cage for sleep time.

It’s the safe and best way to remain sane as a chinchilla owner.

Is My Chinchilla Sleeping Too Often?

Some chinchilla owners state that they believe that their chinchillas are sleeping too much or that 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 100% normal.

No need to fear with this and it is a common behavior with chinchillas.

Chinchilla’s Having Dreams While Sleeping

Anyone here also owns a dog?

We all know that funny amazing moments where your dog lays on his or her side running their paws and barking or yelping in their 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 if chinchillas like hammocks here. 

It will break down everything you need to know on this topic.

Unless they get bored and decide to chew them, hammocks make for an excellent addition to any chinchilla cage.

Chinchillas are known to chew frequently if you were not aware.

Most chinchillas can find comfort and enjoy sleeping in a hammock.

I personally use the Nite Angel Hammock (Link to Amazon)Opens in a new tab. in my cage and she absolutely loves it.

While she still primarily sleeps in her nest box, I will catch her often having some fun inside of the hammock.

It will depend heavily on your specific chinchilla.

Some chinchillas love their hammocks, and some don’t prefer to sleep in them.

Regardless it makes a great addition to a chinchilla cage and it’s worth a shot if it ends up providing your chinchilla with that much more of a comfortable spot to sleep.

In addition, chinchillas do sleep in hammocks for one other key reason.

In the wild or in the chinchilla’s natural habitat, they will 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 the light during the sleeping hours.

They like dark quiet environments when they sleep that mimic their natural habitats and how they sleep.

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 your chinchilla with the best environment to get a good amount of rest and sleep.

Summary On Chinchilla Sleeping Habits and Patterns

Chinchillas sleep often and it is just part of owning a chinchilla that you will need to get used to if you 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.

It’s nothing to worry about and perfectly normal.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope you both adapt to how a chinchilla sleeps quickly.

We appreciate you!

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 your chinchilla 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.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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