Are Guinea Pigs Nocturnal?

One of the big considerations with a new pet is how it will fit into the routine of your household. Guinea pigs may be small but can significantly impact your routine, especially if they’re your first pet. So, you may ask yourself, are guinea pigs nocturnal and will it disrupt my household?

The Short Answer: Are Guinea Pigs Nocturnal?

Guinea pigs are not nocturnal. Instead, they are typically classified as diurnal or crepuscular. That means they are most active during the day or through the twilight hours, which can fit well with your schedule.

How Much Sleep Do Guinea Pigs Need?

Guinea pigs only need between four and six hours of sleep each day. While it may seem like your guinea pig sleeps a lot more than that, they actually aren’t. Instead, you’re just noticing their naps.

Guinea pig relaxing

Why Aren’t Guinea Pigs Nocturnal?

Diurnal refers to being active during the day, while crepuscular refers to being active during the twilight hours. The latter is technically more accurate, though you may disagree based on your guinea pig’s natural cycles.

Guinea pigs are prey animals. In many cases, the twilight hours are better for camouflage, and being up during the day gives them a better view of their surroundings. Since guinea pigs have poor vision, every advantage counts.

Now, domestic guinea pigs don’t have to worry about predators. However, the evolutionary holdover and instincts remain. You’ll see your guinea pig active when there is daylight and less active (but not necessarily asleep!) at night.

Guinea pig on carpet

Well, When Does Your Guinea Pig Sleep?

Guinea pigs tend not to sleep for long stretches, which owes to them being prey animals. Instead of sleeping through the night, they tend to nap in short intervals of fifteen to thirty minutes. They may sleep more at some points; however, just like your sleep rhythm is different from your neighbors.

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