Are Guinea Pigs Nocturnal? Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?

Guinea pigs are cute little animals that are often kept as pets. They come from South America where they are known as cavy or cavies. There are two types of guinea pig – the domestic type and the wild type. The domestic type has been domesticated over time and is now bred specifically for human consumption. The wild type is found in nature and is usually hunted for its meat.

Domestic guinea pigs are raised in captivity and are fed a special diet. These guinea pigs are generally docile and friendly. Wild guinea pigs are much harder to tame and are very aggressive. They are also prone to diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and ear mites.


Guinea pigs sleep during the day and awake at night. This means that they don’t require a light cycle. If you want to keep them happy and healthy, then you should provide them with a dark environment.

When you welcome a guinea pig into your family, you need to know what their sleeping patterns are so you can coexist peacefully. Guinea pigs have interesting sleep patterns, so the answer is not a simple “yes” or “no”.

The sleeping pattern of guinea pigs can be described as crepuscular. Crepuscular is a term that describes animals that are most active both at dawn and dusk.

All living things sleep, and guinea pigs are no exception. Check out some of the most frequently-asked questions about guinea pigs’ sleep and their answers.

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Do guinea pigs sleep a lot?

Definitely not. Guinea pigs don’t sleep a lot and are not known to be heavy sleepers. They are not like other nocturnal animals, and therefore don’t require sleep for long periods of time. All they need is some small naps during the day or night.

How many hours of sleep do guinea pigs need?

If you own a guinea pig and watch closely, you will find that he (or she) is active most of the time. Guinea pigs tend to spend the majority of their days and nights without sleep. They use a lot of their time chewing, especially on hay. Don’t forget to always make timothy hay readily available in the cage.

The average guinea pig sleeps only 4 hours a day. Sleep also usually happens in short naps of not more than 10 minutes each.

Do guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open or closed?

Humans and guinea pigs are totally different when it comes to sleeping. While people close their eyes while taking a nap, you will most likely not find a cavy doing the same.

Guinea pigs rarely close their eyes, and they are not known to close their eyes while sleeping. More often than not, their eyes are open when they are taking a nap.

A common misconception is that they don’t have eyelids, which explains why they don’t close their eyes when taking a nap. That is simply not true. They do have eyelids,  and they blink when necessary. They just don’t naturally close their eyes as they sleep. Scientists really have explained why this is.

Some experts offer a theory, though. Guinea pigs are quite cautious. It’s possible that they only close their eyes to sleep when they feel totally safe. Since they are vulnerable and prone to many predators, they open their eyes to be alert.

Do guinea pigs sleep at night or day?

As previously mentioned, guinea pigs rarely sleep. When they do, it is usually for a short interval during the day or night. In other words, they can sleep during the day or night, but they don’t spend a lot of time sleeping.

Do guinea pigs sleep in the dark?

The darker the environment, the better for guinea pigs. Yes, they can sleep anywhere, but they generally do prefer to sleep in the dark. This could be because they feel safer in the dark.

Guinea pigs’ eyes adjust very easily to dark spaces, so they can easily move around in dark areas. Sleeping in dark places isn’t a big deal for them.

Do guinea pigs sleep standing up?

Guinea pigs can sleep standing up or sitting down. I have seen them standing or sitting while sleeping. Since their sleep doesn’t take more than 10 minutes per interval, they can easily take a nap in whatever position they’re in at the time.

Do guinea pigs sleep on their side?

I haven’t seen or heard of guinea pigs sleeping on their side. If you see your guinea pig sleeping on its side, chances are, it’s not feeling well. Take it to a vet for a checkup.

How long do guinea pigs sleep?

Guinea pigs don’t need as much sleep as you probably think. They are active almost all the time. The average guinea piggy sleeps an average of 4 hours a day with each nap taking not more than 10 minutes.

How do guinea pigs sleep?

As we said above, guinea pigs sleep with their eyes closed or open while they are standing or sitting. They need a comfortable house that has soft, clean bedding, provides a dark environment, and is completely safe from predators.

If you are after a some nice guinea pig bedding, feel free to check out an article I wrote up about this topic. I highlight all the different types of bedding you can get and I show you the best option to go for. Check it out here:




The short answer to whether guinea pigs sleep at night or not is that they are neither nocturnal nor strictly diurnal.

A guinea pig cage won’t accommodate enough shavings to allow a guinea pig to dig a deep burrow.

Guinea pigs can sleep at night or during the day (any time actually), but their sleep patterns vary. Oftentimes, they don’t have a set, scheduled time where you are sure to find them in deep sleep.

Their sleep is scattered randomly, and each session lasts just a few minutes. To sum up, guinea pigs are not nocturnal.

Guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy being around other guinea pigs. One way they show their affection for each other is by engaging in what’s called “popcorning.” To learn more about popcorning and why guinea pigs do it, learn more about it here.