Chinchillas love to sleep.
Sometimes it seems like all they do is sleep.
That can be a bit frustrating, if you were hoping to play with your new pet all the time.
But never fear. There are times when chinchillas are extremely active.
And you’ll have playtime every day.
In fact, you need to give your chinchilla playtime every day.
Apart from that play time, do they sleep the rest of the day?
Keep reading to learn how many hours chinchillas sleep, plus everything else you need to know about the subject.
- 1 How Many Hours Do Chinchillas Sleep?
- 2 When Chinchillas Sleep
- 3 My Chinchilla Sleeping Schedule
- 4 Chinchilla Sleeping Time: FAQ
- 5 Chinchilla Sleep Hours: Final Thoughts
How Many Hours Do Chinchillas Sleep?
I have now been raising my chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Chinchillas sleep between 12 to 16 hours per day. In most circumstances, chinchillas sleep 12 hours or slightly more.
Chinchillas are crepuscular. This means they are incredibly active at dusk and dawn.
Outside of these times, your chinchilla will sleep often.
Below, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how often a chinchilla sleeps and what you can expect.
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When Chinchillas Sleep
I was probably more curious about how many hours chinchillas sleep than most new owners.
There is a reason for that.
I work from home, and my office is in the same room where I keep my beloved chinchilla.
I was trying to figure out why she would only come out and be interested in interacting a few times a day, and the rest of the day I would rarely ever see her.
It turns out it is common for a chinchilla to behave like this. You can see my full guide on chinchilla behavior here for more information.
Outside of knowing how many hours per day your chinchilla sleeps, there are more facts that may benefit you to know.
For instance, my chinchilla is active at around 5 am and 8 pm.
This, however, isn’t dusk and dawn. I’m in central Illinois where dusk and dawn is currently about 7 am and 5 pm.
I haven’t found the perfect answer on the internet to this situation, so I’m going to create my own answer to share with you.
My Chinchilla Sleeping Schedule
I’ve noticed throughout the first trial with my chinchilla that she is literally a zombie outside of those few times per day. And a random spurt around 2 pm.
Around 2 pm, I typically notice her wander out, grab a sip of water, possibly hop a few shelves in her cage, and sit and stare at me like a creep for 5 minutes or so. And then she is back off to sleep.
Her morning routine typically lasts a few hours.
Some days I’m up as early as 3 am. She starts getting active shortly before 5 am and remains active (but not playtime active) until 7:30 to 8:30 am.
During her nighttime routine, she comes out to play for roughly 45 minutes to an hour, and she remains active until nearly midnight or so.
She usually starts getting excited to come out and play about 7 to 7:15 pm.
Now, I have not monitored her from the hours of about 1 am to 3:30 am yet, so I’m not sure what she’s up to during these hours.
However, let’s assume she’s sleeping, meaning she is just lying around without moving.
Let’s do the math on her sleeping and give you the full breakdown of chinchilla sleeping patterns.
- 1:00 am to 3:30 am: unknown (likely sleeping)
- 3:30 am to 7:30 am: active
- 7:30 am to 2:30 pm: sleeping
- 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm: active
- 3:00 pm to 7:15 pm: sleeping
- 7:15 pm to 11:15 pm: active
- 11:15 pm to 1:00 am: sleeping
- Total Active Hours: 9 to 12 per day
- Total Sleeping Hours: 12 to 15 per day
Now, I do believe that some of this may have to do with my lighting situation (see below) and the fact that we only have playtime once at night for that allotted time slot.
I would assume that many other chinchillas differ some and remain more in the 12 hours awake and 12 hours sleeping range mentioned earlier.
The Lighting in The Environment Matters
The reason I believe that my chinchilla has her clock messed up slightly is due to the basement where she is located currently.
She does not get any form of natural light, apart from a few window wells that allow a small amount of natural light into the room.
For the record, I intend to change the room where I keep my chinchilla in the next few weeks.
We have canned lights like a movie theatre style basement and 2 small older style windows, but they have covers on them and barely allow any light into the basement.
I know, I know, animals just seem to have a way of knowing.
My dog, for instance, knows his feeding time down to the minute regardless of various lighting, environments, etc.
In my opinion, I think it’s entirely possible for your chinchilla just to pick 2 times of the day to be active, one of which will always be early morning and the other either evening or creeping into the night.
Another fun fact, my chinchilla doesn’t like playtime in the mornings.
I’ve tried. Failed miserably.
However, if I even walk near her around 8 pm, she has her paws on the front of the cage ready to come out and play for an hour or so.
In the morning, she may be active, grabbing some hay or playing on her shelves, but I can open the front door to her cage, and she’s not really interested unless I force her.
I’m Confident She Would Be Happy To Play Longer
I’m also confident in the fact that when I do get her out of the cage in the evening, that she would be willing to stay out about as long as I would allow her.
She’s continually jumping all over me and showing some love.
This is also since I work next to her all hours of the day, so, in all reality, we spend about 12 hours a day together. I think that has helped break her in to the environment even more.
Now, let’s cover some other related questions that I see pop up frequently when it comes to chinchillas and their sleeping patterns.
Chinchilla Sleeping Time: FAQ
Is It Normal For My Chinchilla To Sleep Most Of The Time?
Yes, a chinchilla that is sleeping often is completely normal and nothing to worry about, unless you notice other issues that could indicate an illness.
Especially when you offer them one of the best chinchilla cages possible, that can accommodate how a chinchilla wants to behave.
This includes plenty of space for great accessories that they may used for sleeping, such as nest boxes and hammocks.
You can view my post about the best chinchilla hammocks here. My chinchilla loves her hammock and lounges inside it frequently.
Do Chinchillas Sleep At Night?
Yes, my chinchilla sleeps at night. But she is more active at night than she is during the day.
Chinchillas will sleep at night, but activity, when it does occur, will occur more often after the sun is down as opposed to morning or midafternoon.
Do Chinchillas Like The Dark?
Yes, chinchillas enjoy a quiet, calm environment and prefer not to be in direct sunlight.
You do need to keep in mind that they are active during odd hours and can’t see in pitch black, so some form of light is necessary.
Outside of that, keeping them out of direct sunlight path, to avoid the heat, is your best bet.
How Do Chinchillas Sleep?
Chinchillas can sleep in a variety of manners. They may rest in their hiding box, a chinchilla hammock, on their sides, or even just sitting up straight.
I’ve got an entire blog post about how chinchillas sleep.
It will give you a full breakdown and guide you through everything you need to know about how chinchillas sleep (like the keys to using chinchilla hammocks).
How Much Sleep Do Chinchillas Need?
There is no set number for this answer.
I would say 12 hours is how much sleep your chinchilla needs. Your chinchilla will sleep when it chooses to sleep.
It’s up to them. Some days they will be more active than other days. No big deal. Let them do their thing.
Chinchilla Sleep Hours: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, your chinchilla is likely going to put in more hours snoring logs than you. But the actual number of hours a chinchilla sleeps will differ from one animal to the next.
It will likely depend, in part, on your schedule and how you interact with your chinchilla.
Be sure to always provide your chinchilla with time to play and to keep a safe environment for him or her. As long as they are comfortable, they will sleep when they choose.
That playtime is vital and something you should give your pet every day. I actually love doing it.
Unfortunately, its preferred playtime is likely to be early in the morning, right after dinner, or right before bed. But even if it’s not the most convenient time for you, it’s important that you carve out this time to spend with them.
Chili and I certainly wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas and do not worry about their sleep, it is completely normal.
Share your thoughts about your chinchilla’s sleeping habits and behaviors.
How often does your chinchilla sleep?
Does your chinchilla perform any behaviors that differ significantly from what I’ve laid out for you here today?
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!