Sleep is very important for all animals as it helps them regain lost energy and repair damaged cells. Different animals have different sleeping habits, including the position they take when they sleep. Hedgehogs sleep during the day, making it easy to observe their sleeping habits.
So, do hedgehogs sleep curled? Most of the time, a hedgehog will go to sleep curled. After some time, you can find them sleeping stretched out. The curled-up position when sleeping is to offer your hedgehog protection from predators. Your hedgehog will also sleep curled when it is cold to preserve body heat. In your home, there are no predators. Therefore, you can find your hedgehogs sleeping in different positions, such as on their side or their belly.
All household pets have different positions which they assume when sleeping. Hedgehogs sleep in the different positions that they find comfortable and secure. Read on to find out more on how hedgehogs sleep, why your hedgehog sleeps under its wheel, and why it sleeps in its litter box.
How Do Hedgehogs Sleep?
Before taking the hedgehog home from the pet store, you’ve probably prepared a place for it to eat, play and sleep. When looking for materials for your hedgehog’s enclosure, you might be wondering how hedgehogs sleep.
Hedgehogs sleep in various positions, but the most common one is curled up into a ball. Your hedgehog will find a comfortable spot in its enclosure and go to sleep. Hedgehogs are deep sleepers and can sleep for long hours, and, as such, their sleeping position will change a few times. Some will sleep stretched out on their sides or belly. Some might also sleep on their backs but on rare occasions.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals; they sleep during the day and remain active at night. Young hedgehogs can sleep up to twenty hours a day, and adults can sleep between fourteen to eighteen hours a day. It is important to wake up your young hedgehog to eat and exercise to grow up healthy. Do it gently, or you will have to deal with a grumpy hedgehog.
Hedgehogs will not go to sleep in open places. Hedgehogs are prey animals, and when they go to sleep, they are vulnerable to attacks from predators. Even if your hedgehog was born in captivity, it will not lose this instinct and will always look for a safe place in its enclosure to sleep. You can place a hide in your hedgehog’s enclosure and make sure it is comfortable enough for your hedgehog to sleep.
Keep disturbances at a minimum. Hedgehogs prefer to sleep in quiet places with low light. Since your hedgehog will be sleeping during the day, watch television or listen to your radio at low volume. Place your hedgehog enclosure in a place with low human traffic. Sudden movements make hedgehogs uneasy, and it may lead to stress. If your hedgehog does not get enough sleep, it will be cranky, making it hard for you to spend time playing with it.
You can develop a sleeping schedule for your hedgehog. First, you have to monitor your hedgehog’s sleeping schedule for the first days and decide how to make the changes. If your usual arrival time at home is between 6 pm and 7 pm, you can start training your hedgehog to wake up at those hours.
If your hedgehog wakes up at 7 pm, you have 2 to 3 hours of playtime before you go to sleep. Monitor for any negative signs when introducing your hedgehog to a new sleeping schedule.
You can only change your hedgehog’s sleeping schedule if necessary. Some pet owners work night shifts; therefore, it can be difficult for you to interact with your hedgehog during the day when it is sleeping.
If you are working night shifts, you can gradually change your hedgehog’s sleeping schedule, so that it can be active during some part of the day when you are free to handle it. For example, if your hedgehog sleeps from 6 am to 7 pm, you can train it to sleep at 3 am and wake up at 4 pm. You can spend time with your hedgehog before you leave for work.
You should be careful not to set conditions that would make your hedgehog hibernate. Hedgehogs can hibernate during cold seasons and when there is scarce food. If you do not feed your hedgehog properly, it might think that its food source is depleting and might start to hibernate.
Keep the temperature of its habitat between 71.6F (22C) and 80.6F (27C). A lower temperature might cause your hedgehog to go into hibernation. If your hedgehog goes into hibernation underweight, it might get serious health complications or even die from starvation.
One way to know that your hedgehog is trying to hibernate is that it will become inactive. You should feel your hedgehog’s stomach and if it is cold, raise the temperature in its enclosure immediately. In addition to malnutrition, hibernation takes a toll on your hedgehog’s immune system. Your hedgehog might survive hibernation, but it will be very weak. You should take your hedgehog to a vet for treatment to improve its immune system.
Why Does My Hedgehog Sleep Under His Wheel?
One of the accessories that people place in their hedgehog’s enclosure is a wheel. Hedgehogs will use the wheel to exercise and reduce boredom.
The main reason why your hedgehog is sleeping under the wheel in its enclosure is a place to hide. Hedgehogs will only go to sleep in places they feel safe. If your hedgehog does not have a hide or a place to sleep in its enclosure, it will use other items. If your hedgehog sleeps under its wheel regularly, you need to place a hide in its enclosure. You can buy hedgehog hides from pets stores, or you can build one from boxes and pipes.
Your hedgehog is sleeping under its wheel because it does not like its nest. Some hides do not provide enough cover for your hedgehog to sleep; hence, the need to sleep under the wheel. Hedgehogs sleep well when there are few disturbances such as noise and light.
If the hide in your hedgehog’s enclosure does not keep out light and noise, your hedgehog will not be interested in it. You should change the hide and replace it with one that makes your hedgehog feel safe.
The high temperature in the hide can also cause your hedgehog to sleep under its wheel. Some hides can retain heat, making it difficult for your hedgehog to sleep. Always check and control the temperature of your hedgehog’s enclosure. Sometimes, your hedgehog will sleep on the enclosure’s surface because they want to, even if you provide a good hide. Your hedgehog will ignore it a few days and use the wheel as its sleeping spot.
Why Does My Hedgehog Sleep in the Litter Box?
One of the key components of a hedgehog enclosure is a litter box. A litter box is where your pet will leave its waste, making it easy to clean the enclosure. Sometimes, your hedgehog might use its litter box in other ways.
Your hedgehog is sleeping in its litter box because it is not comfortable sleeping in its hide. Hedgehogs prefer to rest in comfortable areas. They can create a nest out of dead leaves on the ground. You can place a piece of blanket or any other piece of clothing in the hide to make a comfortable place for your hedgehog to sleep. Some hedgehogs will avoid sleeping in their hide if there is no material that they can use to create a nest.
Hedgehogs love to burrow on the ground before they go to sleep. Most litter boxes have the same material used to cover the enclosure’s flooring. It might take some time before your hedgehog learns to differentiate between the floor and the litter box. Your hedgehog might decide to burrow the material in the litter box and go to sleep in there.
If your hedgehog keeps sleeping in the litter box regularly, you should ensure that the litter box is clean. It is not hygienic for your hedgehog to sleep in its urine and poop. There could be disease-causing pathogens in the litter box, and your hedgehog might become ill if it continues sleeping in a dirty litter box. You should also clean your hedgehog after sleeping in the litter box by bathing it and checking for any skin infections.
Can I Sleep With My Hedgehog?
Bonding with your hedgehog is among the best moments in your relationship. Sleeping together indicates the level of trust your pet has for you. Usually, if your pet trusts you, it will nap on your lap or even lay with you on your bed.
It is possible to sleep with your hedgehog, but this is not recommended. This is for the same reasons why doctors will not advocate some new mums to sleep with their newborn babies. If you sleep with your pet for long hours, you may become subconscious and roll over them, crushing them to death. For this reason, you can stick to quick naps if you insist on sleeping with your pet.
Sleeping with your pet can also result in them getting lost. Once your pet notices that you are asleep and subconscious, they may decide to explore around the house and compound. If no one is around to get a hold of them, they may end up getting lost in their adventure.
Thus, while you want to nap with your hedgehog, make sure that the room is closed to limit your pet’s movements. This way, even if your pet goes for adventure, it will not go too far, and locating it will be much easier. You should also be cautious with heights as your pet might fall off as it strolls around, which could be fatal.
Providing a perfect environment for your hedgehog to sleep is key to having a happy hedgehog. Hedgehogs need long hours of uninterrupted sleep, and if it does not get that, you will have a grumpy and angry pet. Hedgehogs usually curl when they are scared or nervous, but they can also curl when they go to sleep.
Sometimes, hedgehogs will sleep in different areas of their enclosures. The main reason why hedgehogs will change sleeping spots is safety. If your hedgehog does not feel safe inside its hide, it will move to a different spot where it feels safe. Ensure your hedgehog has a comfortable and safe place to sleep, and if you see it sleeping in its litter box or under the wheel, do not move it.