How Many Hours Do Chinchillas Sleep? [The Inside Scoop]


If you just purchased a chinchilla you may be in a spot where you have question after question.

I get it.

I had the same problem when I first brought my chinchilla home as well. Google was my best friend for about the first 3 months with so many searches on various topics I could barely keep track.

One of my questions was related to my chinchillas sleeping patterns.

How many hours do chinchillas sleep?

After owning a chinchilla and using google as my trusted partner to find answers, here is what I can tell you.

So, how many hours do chinchillas sleep? Chinchillas sleep between 11-14 hours per day. In most circumstances, chinchillas will 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 in blocks of time.

Now, you are probably wondering why I was so curious about how many hours chinchillas sleep.

The reason was simple.

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 act interested in interacting a few times a day, and the rest of the day I would rarely ever see her.

This is common for a chinchilla to behave like this.

You can see my full guide about chinchilla behavior here for more information.

I get it.

I should have known this before even adopting her, but hey, mistakes happen.

I have learned a lot of patterns purely from observing her and wanted to share with you some other fun facts about chinchillas sleeping habits and how you can expect them to behave.

Let’s dive into it.

More on Chinchillas Sleeping Patterns and How Often They Sleep

Outside of knowing how many hours per day your chinchilla sleeps, there is more facts and information 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 and dusk, and dawn in central Illinois is currently about 7 am and 5 pm.

These seem a bit skewed if you refer to my original statement about chinchillas being crepuscular.

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.

The Lighting in The Environment Matters (At Least I Think it Does)

The reason I believe that my chinchilla has her clock messed up slightly is due to the basement where she is located currently.

Also, not having really any form of natural lights.

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 which one will always be early morning and one will be either evening or creeping into the night to be active.

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 her front door to her cage, and she’s not really interested unless I fight it.

How Often Do Chinchillas Sleep? What Have I Noticed?

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, sit and stare at me like a creep for 5 minutes or so, and she is back off to sleep.

Her morning routing typically lasts a few hours.

Some days I’m up as early as 3 am, and she starts getting active shortly before 5 am and remains active (but not playtime active) until 730-830am.

During her nighttime routine, she comes out to play for roughly 45 minutes to an hour, and she remains active to nearly midnight or so.

She usually starts getting excited to come out and play about 7-7:15 pm.

Now, I have not monitored her from the hours of about 1am-3:30 am yet so I’m not sure what she’s up to during these hours.

However, let’s assume she’s sleeping.

Let’s do the math on her sleeping and give you the full breakdown of chinchillas sleeping patterns.

  • 1AM-3: 30 AM- Unknown/ Likely Sleeping
  • 3:30AM-730AM- Active
  • 730AM-230PM-Sleeping
  • 230PM-300PM- Active
  • 300PM-715PM-Sleeping
  • 715PM-1115pm-Active
  • 1115PM-1AM-Sleeping


  • Total Active Hours- 9-12 Hours Per Day
  • Total Sleeping Hours- 12-15 Hours Per Day

Now, I do believe that some of this again, is most likely because of the lighting situation 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 like I stated when we started this post.

I’m Confident She Would Be Happy to Play for 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.

She’s also an extremely friendly chinchilla at this point of the relationship, surely recognizes me as the owner.

This is also since I work next to her all hours of the day, so, in all reality spend about 12 hours a day together, so I think that’s helped break her in even more to the environment since adopting her.

Now, let’s cover some other related questions that I see pop up frequently when it comes to chinchillas and their sleeping patterns.

Do Chinchillas Sleep at Night?

Yes, my chinchilla sleeps at night.

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, avoiding a direct sunlight path and heat is your best bet.

How Do Chinchillas Sleep?

Chinchillas can sleep in a variety of manners.

Chinchillas may rest in their hiding box, a chinchilla hammock, on their sides or even just sitting up straight.

If you haven’t read my other blog about how chinchillas sleep, that you can see here.

It will give you a full breakdown and guide you through everything you need to know about how chinchillas sleep. (such as keys to using chinchilla hammocks)

How Much Sleep Do Chinchillas Need?

There is no set number to this answer.

I would say 12 hours is how much sleep your chinchilla needs. Your chinchilla will sleep when she 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.

Chinchillas Sleep A Lot but When They Are Awake, They Want to Play

At the end of the day, your chinchilla is likely going to put in more hours snoring logs than you will.

I know, I’m jealous too.

Be sure to always provide your chinchilla with time to play and to keep a safe environment for him or her, and they will grow comfortable and sleep when they choose.

I couldn’t imagine a time exist where you can’t line up a good time to find quality playtime with your chinchilla.

Unfortunately, it’s likely to be early in the morning or right after dinner or right before bed, but nonetheless, it’s important that you carve out this time to spend with them.

How often does your chinchilla sleep?

Does your chinchilla perform any behaviors that differ significantly than what I’ve laid out for you here today?

Be sure to drop a comment below so I know if my chinchilla is healthy or not!

Thanks for reading!









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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