When Do Hedgehogs Sleep? [Your Guide to Sleep Cycle]


These cute, spiky creatures have piqued the curiosity of pet lovers and animal enthusiasts alike, leading to many interesting questions. One such question that we often get is, “When do hedgehogs usually sleep?”

Hedgehogs, being nocturnal creatures, have quite a unique sleep schedule compared to humans and many other animals. While most of us are starting our day, hedgehogs are just hitting the hay.

But why do they sleep during the day? How does this impact their behavior, health, and well-being? We’ll delve into all of these questions and more as we explore the intriguing sleep habits of our prickly pals.

Quick Answer

So, when do hedgehogs usually sleep?

The straightforward answer is: during the day. These prickly pets follow a nocturnal routine, which means they sleep throughout the daylight hours and become active when night falls.

Generally, hedgehogs will start to wind down for sleep at around dawn and stay in their cozy nests until dusk.

While the exact hours can vary depending on the individual hedgehog and environmental factors, you’ll typically find your spiky friend snoozing between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Remember, this nocturnal nature is something to consider if you’re considering getting a hedgehog. It means their active hours could coincide with your usual sleep time.

However, with careful planning and understanding, you can build a harmonious relationship with your nighttime-active buddy.

Why Do Hedgehogs Sleep During The Day?

Just as humans have evolved to be awake during the day and asleep at night, hedgehogs have developed to do the opposite. This nocturnal behavior is a survival strategy that originated from their wild ancestors.

By being active during the night, they can avoid many predators that are out during the day and explore more safely under the cover of darkness.

Environmental factors, like temperature and light, heavily influence the sleep-wake cycle of hedgehogs.

These critters are sensitive to light, and their bodies interpret darkness as a sign to wake up and start foraging for food. In contrast, the rise of the sun signals to them that it’s time to retreat to their nest and sleep.

But, sleeping in the day doesn’t mean they’re snoozing non-stop from dawn till dusk. Hedgehogs might wake up intermittently for short periods to eat, drink, or walk around their enclosure.

Understanding Hedgehog Nocturnal Behavior

Why Are Hedgehogs Nocturnal?

Hedgehogs’ nocturnal lifestyle is primarily an adaptation for survival. At night, fewer predators are out, making it safer for hedgehogs to search for food.

The cooler nighttime temperatures help these small mammals regulate their body heat.

How Does Being Nocturnal Affect Hedgehog Behavior?

Nocturnal behavior influences many aspects of a hedgehog’s life, from feeding habits to social interaction. For example, they forage for food mainly at night, tracking down insects, snails, and other delicacies by scent.

Hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer to roam their territories alone under the veil of night.

As a pet owner, it’s important to respect their natural behavior. This includes providing opportunities for nighttime activities, such as exercise wheels or safe toys in their enclosures.

You may also need to adjust feeding schedules to match their active periods. If your hedgehog seems unusually active during the day or isn’t active at night, it could be a sign of stress or illness and you may want to consult a vet.

How Much Sleep Do Hedgehogs Really Need?

When it comes to catching Z’s, hedgehogs are true champions. They can sleep anywhere from 10 to 14 hours a day, similar to your average house cat!

The majority of this sleep happens during the daytime, following their inherent nocturnal rhythms.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that your hedgehog will be on the go for the entire night. They also take short “power naps” throughout their active hours.

Just as we may have a cup of coffee or a quick snack during our day to recharge, hedgehogs will have short rest periods during the night.

However, like humans, the exact amount of sleep a hedgehog needs can vary. Factors such as age, health, and individual temperament can influence sleep duration and quality.

Baby hedgehogs, or hoglets, tend to sleep more than adults, much like human babies. Similarly, an older or sick hedgehog might sleep more than a young, healthy one.

Factors Affecting Hedgehog Sleep Patterns


Hedgehogs are sensitive to temperature. Cooler weather can make them sleep more, while warmer weather can make them more active. If the temperature drops too low, they may even enter a state of hibernation.

Keeping the temperature in your hedgehog’s environment within a comfortable range (around 72-80°F or 22-27°C) to ensure normal sleep patterns and overall health.


In the wild, the changing seasons influence hedgehog behavior. During winter months when food is scarce, hedgehogs hibernate, essentially going into a long, deep sleep.

Pet hedgehogs, however, typically don’t need to hibernate; doing so can even be risky.


The health of a hedgehog can greatly affect their sleep patterns. If they’re not feeling well, they might sleep more than usual or be less active during their normal awake hours.

Any significant changes in sleep behavior should be addressed with a vet.


A quiet, dark place is ideal for hedgehog sleep. If their environment is too noisy or brightly lit, it can disrupt their sleep schedule. Make sure your hedgehog’s enclosure is located in a spot where daytime noise and light are minimal.

How To Tell If Your Hedgehog Is Asleep Or Awake

Signs Your Hedgehog Is Asleep

Sleeping hedgehogs often curl up into a ball, with their spines covering the top and their vulnerable belly hidden. They’ll typically find a cozy corner or hidden spot in their cage for their naptime.

You might notice your hedgehog breathing very quietly and steadily while they are in a deep sleep.

Signs Your Hedgehog Is Awake

When awake, a hedgehog will be active, moving around their cage, eating, or playing. You’ll see their little eyes wide open, and they may be more responsive to sounds or movements in their environment.

Some hedgehogs might be more vocal when awake, making various sounds from snuffles to squeaks.

One thing to remember is that hedgehogs are experts at hiding signs of illness, which helps them avoid attention from predators in the wild.

So if your hedgehog’s sleep or activity patterns change dramatically, it could indicate they’re not feeling well. If this happens, getting in touch with a vet is a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What time do hedgehogs go to sleep?

Most hedgehogs start to sleep at the crack of dawn and remain asleep throughout the day. However, they may occasionally wake up for short periods to eat, drink, or move around.

Do hedgehogs sleep during the night?

Generally, hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, meaning they’re most active during the night and sleep during the day. However, they do have short bouts of sleep, or “power naps,” during their active night hours.

Do hedgehogs sleep with their eyes closed?

Yes, hedgehogs typically sleep with their eyes closed. When they’re in a deep sleep, they often curl into a ball with their spines covering them, making it difficult to see their eyes.

Can I change my hedgehog’s sleep schedule?

It’s not recommended to try to change a hedgehog’s natural sleep schedule to fit your own. Altering their schedule can cause stress and potential health issues. It’s best to let your hedgehog follow its own internal clock.

Can I wake my hedgehog during the day?

It’s okay to gently wake your hedgehog for a short interaction or feeding during the day. However, remember that your hedgehog needs plenty of sleep during the day to stay healthy and active during the night.


Understanding and respecting your hedgehog’s natural sleep patterns is key to ensuring their health and happiness. Hedgehogs are unique pets with interesting behaviors, and their nocturnal lifestyle is an integral part of who they are.

As pet owners, we need to adapt to their schedule, not vice versa. Provide a calm, comfortable environment for your hedgehog to sleep during the day, and let them explore and play at night.

Remember, changes in sleep patterns could signal health issues, so always keep an eye on their habits.

In the end, whether your spiky friend is curling up for a daytime snooze or scampering around at night, understanding their sleep schedule can strengthen your bond and help you provide the best care for your pet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top