When, Where, and for How Long Do Hedgehogs Sleep?
Have you noticed a hedgehog in your backyard that you want to care for? Or are you interested in adopting one as a pet?
One of the most important things to know about any animal is their sleeping habits. So whether a hedgehog has burrowed its way into your backyard and/or into your heart, that’s the first thing you need to be informed about.
Hedgehogs are curious little creatures. They look cute curling up into a ball, but the quills covering them can be deadly to predators. They are adorable but prickly.
And because they are so small in size and susceptible to becoming prey, they must hunt at night.
So When Do Hedgehogs Sleep?
Because night time is the best time for a hedgehog to hunt, they have evolved to become nocturnal creatures. That’s the first thing you need to know if you are looking to adopt a hedgehog since they usually won’t be able to keep you company in the daytime.
If you’re concerned about a hedgehog in your surroundings, observe the time of their activity. In case you only see them during the night, you will know that they are healthy and normal.
Many hedgehog owners think that their pet hedgehog “sleeps all the time”, when in reality, that is just how their bodies function. Your hedgehog most likely won’t want to wake up until you’ve turned the lights down or off.
Hedgehogs are at their most active during the night time. They love staying inside their cage or box during the daytime. In the case of a baby hedgehog, you might have to gently nudge yours awake if you think it is sleeping for too long and want it to have some play time.
Sometimes they might emerge from their hideout during the daytime if you offer food. Their main activities, however, are done at night — basic survival instincts such as eating or drinking. If you want to help a wild hedgehog, the best thing you can do is ensure they have access to the things they need in the daytime.
In fact, if a hedgehog is seen out and about in the day time, that might be a sign that something is wrong.
One of the reasons why a hedgehog is so small is because it needs to be able to curl up tightly. Not only does this act as their defense mechanism, helping them to shoot quills, but it also ensures that they will be able to hibernate during the winter without any threat from predators.
Usually, a hedgehog will go into hibernation at the very end of winter. Think late December or early January (their starting time), until late in March, so right in time for spring.
Hibernation of a hedgehog depends upon the weather. Each individual hedgehog is also different, as a few like to hibernate later or earlier. Some hedgehogs don’t like to hibernate at all!
In fact, if you don’t want a hedgehog to hibernate, all you have to do is ensure that they have access to food. Hedgehogs need to hibernate because they are unable to hunt in the winter. If you give them food, it removes the necessity for them to hibernate and preserve energy.
In any case, watching a hedgehog sleep or hibernate is probably one of the cutest things you can experience.
Where Do Hedgehogs Sleep?
Hedgehogs generally like to live in places with abundant greenery. Imagine spots with lots of grass and shrubbery. You might even come across a hedgehog in suburban gardens if they are wide and well-kept. These are ideal places for a hedgehog to live and carry out its daily activities.
Like most other wild animals, hedgehogs need a particular kind of environment to sleep in. When in the wild, hedgehogs like to sleep anywhere where there are dead leaves that they can use to build a nest. They might use other materials such as hay, branches, or twigs and leaves from hedges.
Of course, this is assuming that the hedgehog has not been given shelter or box which they can sleep or hibernate in. If you are looking to provide one, make sure it is small enough that the hedgehog can easily create warmth. If you have a pet hedgehog, it’s important to try to recreate the hedgehog’s ideal sleeping environment.
You can achieve this by using recycled newspaper or soft hay as bedding. If you have created a hiding spot for your hedgie, just gather up some old newspaper and layer it with hay. The hedgehog will be able to easily curl up there and fall asleep.
Also, you might even want to build nest-like hiding places for your hedgehog because they love that sort of place. These can be easy to make. If you have any spare cereal packages, they can serve your purpose very nicely.
When there is daylight, your hedgehog will love to curl up in these hiding places and go to sleep. Since your hedgehog will spend a lot of time there, remember to keep the place supplied with adequate food and water.
For How Long Do Hedgehogs Sleep?
One thing you’ll notice about any hedgehog right away is how much it sleeps. Boy, do they love to sleep! They love to curl up into a ball and stay that way until they need to hunt or play. Especially if you provide food and shelter for the hedgehog, it will not feel the need to stay awake for very long.
As such, don’t be surprised if your hedgehog is seen sleeping nearly every single time you see him or her. This is because a hedgehog typically sleeps for a staggering 18 to 20 hours per day!
Some hedgehogs won’t awaken even when dusk has already fallen, and there is only a sparse amount of light. These hedgehogs might be averse to even a little light. They prefer to remain in their shelter until the sun has set completely.
This is why it’s important to make sure that there are no lights in the surrounding areas where your hedgehog is. If you hear or see a hedgehog scurrying about in your backyard at night, don't disturb it. That's their time to do hedgehog things!
Hope, now you know everything about the sleeping habits of the hedgehogs. Let us know if you have any queries for us.