Degus Sleeping Habits – Are Degus Nocturnal or Diurnal? 

Have you ever wondered about the sleeping tendency of a degu? Sometimes it gets confusing whether to classify this little rodent as a nocturnal or diurnal. Degus live predominantly in South America and share the same features with the rat. In the wild, they prefer living in open fields close to rocks and shrubs.

They sleep in short intervals during the day but longer at night. At twilight hours (dawn and dusk), degus get incredibly energetic as they scavenge for food but slow down later. Basically, degus sleeping patterns twirl around a diurnal, nocturnal and crepuscular.

In captivity, they make exceptional sociable and adaptive pets. The sleeping habit not only revolves around the environment they live in, but has some natural tendencies too. Here’s an insight reveal on degus sleeping habits, importance and how to train them to sleep at night.

How Much Sleep do Degus Need? 

Like any other animal in the wild, degus adjust their resting period depending on the ambience. In hot seasons, they sleep throughout the day to preserve energy but get vigilant around dawn and dusk.

As a pet and in the wild, degus sleep in short minute hiatus which add up to around nine hours of rest. Nevertheless, not all degus follow these schedules; some sleep a little more or less.

How do Degus Usually Sleep?

Naturally, degus love to cuddle and sleep together. In the wild, they live as a team in tunnels to cover up from predators and harsh climate. When kept as pets, they prefer a warm sleeping area on soft bedding or in a cage.

Due to their mixed up sleeping cycles, they do well in an area that encounters a regular day and night schedule. That means plenty of light during the day and minimal at night. To avoid overheating during a day’s nap, avoid keeping them too close to a window.

Since they spend most of the day awake, give them adequate space to play. If possible, furnish them with some toys to keep them engaged.

Do Degus Sleep with Closed or Open Eyes?

A hale and hearty degu requires a calming and restful sleep. In their short sleeping intervals, they keep their eyes closed but alert for impending danger.

Even in the noisiest situations, a sleepy degu would still manage to nap, albeit for some minutes. Sometimes in their snuggled sleep, you may find them nesting their head under each other’s chin.

Will Degus Sleep All Day?

Most of the time, degus follows a diurnal schedule. That means that they are more active in the day and sleep more at night. But depending on the environment and the situation they live in, they manage to swirl their sleeping habits to nocturnal or diurnal.

A degu in good physical shape requires a strict sleeping structure. As a pet, it is wise to switch off lights at a particular time in the evening. Keep in mind that in the wild, the sun sets at almost the same time each day. Thus, try to maintain a natural schedule even in a home setting.

Remember that if degus fail to sleep well, they become irritable to you and their companions too.

Do Degus Need Darkness to Sleep?

Degus love sleeping in the dark as it is more peaceful compared to daytime. From a hectic schedule during the day, a rest in the dark works perfectly for them. At a home setting, degus rest better with the lights off.

Even though they distinguish things in the dark, they have an impaired night vision. But like most rodents, they do not rely exclusively on their eyesight to maneuver in the dark. Their nights combine a bit of play, rest and snack breaks.

Some of them prefer eating more at night due to lower disturbance. In most cases, degus pets follow their owner’s sleeping cycle.

For instance, if you sleep late, they might keep you company till you switch off the lights. The only drawback is that due to their inability to sleep for a longer time, they may not get ample rest.

How to Teach Your Degu to Sleep at Night?

Changing the sleep habits of a degu starts from the owner’s lifestyle change. Since they get more active at dusk and dawn, you need to readjust your schedule to suit them.

Furthermore, you need to follow a rigorous night schedule to train them to sleep. Here are tips to guide you through.

– Regulate the Temperature

In their natural habitat, degus gets more active in lukewarm weather. When too hot or cold, they hide deep in the burrows to maintain their body temperature.

A robust debug thrives in room temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. Throughout winter and summer, you need to control the temperature to keep them active during the day and rest at night.

– Adjust the Feeding Time

When a degu feeds well, it relaxes and can rest well. Thus, this should be one of the pedestals in your sleep training journey.

If you want your degus to get active during the day, give them food at night. Repeat the same schedule if you want them to sleep at night.

– Introduce an Exercise Wheel

Like a human being, degus love to engage in some workouts. The exercises not only relax the body but allow them to rest better.  Among other workout toys, an exercise wheel works perfectly.

If you allow your degus to play at night, they become more nocturnal. But if they indulge in the daytime, the more diurnal they become.

The Bottom Line

In the wild and captivity, degus dislike excess heat and cold and struggle to relax in such an environment. To adapt, they swirl through a mix-up sleeping pattern. In all climates, degus require ample sleep of around nine hours.

As a pet, these hours may vary due to various home arrangements. All in all, a pet owner should ensure that they provide them with a comfortable nesting area in a warm room. Remember to include a healthy diet and exercise regime for them to sleep better.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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