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How Do Chinchillas Sleep? (How Much & When They Sleep)

Chinchillas sleep standing on all four limbs. It is natural for them to sleep in this position. They sleep a lot, sleeping up to 12-14 hours a day, and can sleep for 10-12 hours at a time.

Chinchillas are small rodents famous around the world for their velvety fur. 

They love sleeping and do so long periods at a time, often reaching between 10 and 12 hours in a single stretch.

This is part of why they’re easy to care for.

Chinchillas are nocturnal and are active during the night hours. They usually remain asleep during the day and wake up in the evening.

This article discusses the sleep cycle of chinchillas and their various sleeping habits.

How Do Chinchillas Sleep?

Chinchillas generally sleep on all fours, but do sleep on their side or curled up from time to time. They love sleeping in tight corners and can their ears down while asleep.

Chinchillas need an average of 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day. 

This means that they are asleep most of the daytime and become active when the sun goes down.

Unlike humans, chinchillas do not have a single section of continuous sleep. They need several small naps throughout the day. They wake up every few minutes. 

Do Chinchillas Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Yes, chinchillas sleep with their eyes open. Chins can close their iris while keeping their eyelids open, giving the illusion of being awake when they are sleeping.

Chinchillas can close their irises completely, blocking out all the light without having to close their eyes. Chinchillas can sleep with their eyelids open and still not allow any light to reach the iris.

They do not usually keep their eyelids open while sleeping. Open-eye sleeping can indicate a small nap meaning that your chinchilla has full cognitive function while remaining asleep.

Do Chinchillas Sleep with Their Eyes Open

How Many Hours Do Chinchillas Sleep?

Chinchillas sleep around 12 to 14 hours every day split into many small naps. These naps typically consist of only a few minutes, with the average being around six minutes. If left completely undisturbed, they can sleep 10-12 hours at a time.

Small rodents like chinchillas have a high metabolism. This means they need to eat and drink constantly. 

Sleeping for long periods can cause chins to starve, dehydrate, and lose energy. It is not uncommon to find chinchillas waking up from their sleep and having a quick munch. 

They usually go back to sleep once they have filled their bellies.

Chinchillas also urinate and defecate many times throughout the day. They can wake up wanting to urinate and go back to sleep after tending to their needs.

Chinchillas have a short sleep cycle of around six minutes. This means that your chinchillas are likely to wake up after every six minutes of sleep.

How Many Hours Do Chinchillas Sleep

Chinchilla Sleeping Habits

Chinchillas are not always in a deep sleep. They usually sleep during the day but can sleep at night if the environment enables it. During sleep, they often curl up in a ball.

Chinchillas are active and energetic animals. They require a lot of rest and sleep to remain active. Chins should not be disturbed while they are asleep as it can negatively impact their sleep cycle.

Chinchillas sleep in small spaces commonly found in the cage:

  • Next boxes
  • Hay mounts
  • Hammocks
  • Chinchilla beds

Make sure to provide your pet chinchilla with a concealed place to sleep. 

Here are some of the chinchilla’s most common sleeping habits.


Chinchillas do not snore while sleeping. If your chin is snoring, it can be a sign of a medical issue that requires urgent veterinary care.

Waking Them Up

Waking up your chinchilla is important after a long period of sleep. Simply calling out your chinchilla’s name can make it aware of your presence. If your chin doesn’t know its name, gently touch its head to wake it.

Where Should Chinchillas Sleep?

Chinchillas should never sleep anywhere except in their cages. It is dangerous for chins to sleep outside or with their owners as their bodies are fragile. Sleeping outside poses certain risks which can be fatal.

Where Should Chinchillas Sleep
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Sleep and Noise

Chinchillas need a quiet environment to sleep in. This means that you should not keep your pet chinchilla in your bedroom or any other room which is crowded during the day.

Chinchillas can appear snoozy and inactive during your interaction. This is because chinchillas are usually active during the evening and at midnight when their owners are not available.

It is completely normal for chinchillas to wake up, eat, and go back to sleep within a few seconds. 

Chinchillas do not like sleeping in well-lit rooms. A little light is acceptable and even recommended to give your chinchilla the feeling of the sunlight.

They like sleeping in hammocks, but they do tend to chew them.

Chinchilla Sleeping Positions

Chinchilla Sleeping Positions
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Most chinchillas sleep standing on their legs. It is the most common sleeping position. Chinchilla ears also move when they are asleep. They go from being straight up to relaxing in a soft, downwards curl.

Some chinchillas sleep on their side. This occurs when your chinchilla is tired due to a long day of exercise, playing, and moving around. 

Sleeping on the side helps chinchillas better rest their limbs.

Chinchillas also sleep on the side if they are hot. Because they have thick fur, which serves as an insulator to the cold, they don’t do well in hot weather. Their cage should be set at temperatures around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.[1]

Chinchilla Sleep Schedule

Chins are nocturnal animals, meaning they are active during the night. They are the most active during the evening or when you are sleeping. 

If you only interact with your chinchilla in the mornings, you will most likely think of them as lazy and sloppy. This is because they usually sleep at this time of day. They are not active in the morning.

Chinchillas sleep throughout the day in short cycles of sleep. They wake up after every few minutes to tend to various needs:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Urination
  • Defecation

Related: Are Chinchillas Nocturnal? (When Are They Active?)

Chinchilla Sleep Schedule
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They are also known to make movements and noises while asleep. The exact reason for this behavior is not known, but it is suspected that it’s because they dream.

They need a little light in the room to mimic the natural sunlight. Bright rooms are not ideal as too much light disrupts their sleep cycle.

Covering your chinchilla’s cage raises the temperature, which can lead to heatstroke. 

To provide your chinchillas with the best possible sleep, follow these tips:

  • Dim the lights.
  • Provide a distraction-free environment.
  • Keep the temperature between 60-75°F.
  • Give them a hideout to rest in.

Chinchilla Sleeping at Night

Under the right circumstances, and provided with the correct environment, chinchillas can sleep during the night. It is natural for chinchillas to sleep during the day. Sometimes, if chinchillas are disturbed during the day, or they are unable to sleep in the morning, they fall asleep at night.

It is rare for chins to be inactive post sundown. Do not force your chinchilla to remain awake during the day, as doing so can affect its health.


Chinchillas sleep a lot, between 10 to 14 hours a day. They are nocturnal and are active and energetic during the evening while sleeping during the day. Chinchillas sleep standing on all four limbs. They need tight spaces for their nap and must sleep inside their cage to remain safe.

If you find your chinchilla sleeping with its eyes open, there is nothing to worry about. It is normal for chinchillas to sleep like this. 

In case of unusual behaviors, consult a veterinarian to get your chinchilla a proper treatment.

Related: Are Chinchillas Easy to Take Care Of?


Do Chinchillas Sleep on Their Side?

Yes, if chinchillas are tired and feel exhausted, they can sleep on their sides. Sleeping on the side helps chins relax their limb muscles and have a sound sleep. Sleeping on the side can also be a sign of overheating. Chinchillas overheat fast due to their thick fur, which is why they must be cooled down to remain healthy.

How Much Sleep Do Chinchillas Need?

Chinchillas sleep for around 12 to 14 hours every day. The long sleep helps them rest their bodies for playing the next day. Unlike humans, chinchillas do not sleep a single long sleep. They experience short cycles of sleep throughout the day, which helps them care for their biological needs multiple times during their sleep.

What Do Chinchillas Sleep In?

Chinchillas sleep in any tight corner of the cage or other structures inside the cage. Next boxes are the preferred sleeping place for chinchillas as they are comfortable and cozy for chins to have a good night’s sleep. Chinchilla hammocks and beds are also great places for chinchillas to sleep in.

Why Do Chinchillas Bark in Their Sleep?

A chinchilla can make strange noises while asleep. It is believed that chins can dream, and barking is one of the reflex noises of chinchillas. Barking is a sign of fear, stress, or warning, and doing so in sleep can indicate a bad dream.

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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