Guinea Pig Guinea Pig Care

How Much Sleep Does A Guinea Pig Need?

How Much Sleep Does A Guinea Pig Need?

Most pet owners find the behavior of their pet fascinating. They like to observe their different activities and learn more about the habits of the pets they own. Understanding your guinea pig’s routines and habits can help you to know what is normal and to identify when something is wrong with your guinea pig. One useful aspect of your guinea pig’s routines that you should understand is their sleeping habits. Here is what you need to know about when and for how long a guinea pig will sleep.

What Are the Sleeping Habits of Guinea Pigs in the Wild?

The sleeping habits of wild guinea pigs relate to their survival. They are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. This is because these are the times when they are least at risk from predators and they can go out to eat and play. They will usually sleep in short spells throughout the day.

How Long Does a Pet Guinea Pig Sleep?

Pet guinea pigs are extremely active and need very little sleep. In fact, most guinea pigs sleep for only four hours or less each day. However, the exact length of time a guinea pig sleeps will vary from one animal to the next. Therefore, you should observe your own guinea pig’s sleeping patterns as this will allow you to notice any changes that could indicate something is wrong with your guinea pig.

When Do Domestic Guinea Pigs Sleep?

The sleeping routines of guinea pigs differ significantly from those of human. Most people sleep for one large chunk of time overnight, usually around eight hours. They will then spend the rest of the day awake. Guinea pigs are completely different as they have short spells of sleep sporadically throughout the day. Their bouts of sleeping generally last no more than ten minutes at a time and a guinea pig will take these naps as and when it feels sleepy.

Do Guinea Pigs Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

It is an interesting fact that guinea pigs usually sleep with their eyes open. For this reason, you may find it difficult to tell that your guinea pig is asleep as it may simply look as though they are staring into space. Similarly, some people do not believe that guinea pigs have eyelids because they have not seen them. This is not true as guinea pigs do have eyelids and will blink to protect their eyes from debris, although this is something they do only rarely. Occasionally, a guinea pig may close its eyes to sleep if it is particularly relaxed and feels comfortable and secure in its environment.

Bottom Line

As an owner of a guinea pig, you may not notice your guinea pig sleep much. This is because they only sleep for about ten minutes at a time and rarely for more than a total of four hours a day. As they usually sleep with their eyes open, it is difficult to differentiate between when they are asleep and when they are simply sitting still. The sleeping habits of domestic guinea pigs differ to their wild counterparts and this is because they do not have the same threat from predators as wild guinea pigs.

About the author


Liz Flynn is a mum of four with a background in education. An animal lover, she has owned everything from dogs to tarantulas and animals of all sizes in between and loves to write about them.

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