iStock 000008950789 Are gerbils nocturnal? Daytime and night time routine under the magnifying glass

Are gerbils nocturnal? Daytime and night time routine under the magnifying glass

When purchasing a pet, the sleeping and activity rhythm also play a decisive role.

After all, animals that are exclusively nocturnal tend not to be the ideal choice for children.

What does the sleeping behavior of gerbils look like?

The answer is now available!

Are gerbils nocturnal?

Yes, gerbils are nocturnal, but not exclusively.

In comparison to hamsters, however, the animals are not exclusively nocturnal, but also have longer periods of wakefulness during the day.

At night, they are also not continuously awake, but also here alternate sleep and wake phases.

The rodents are particularly active at dusk – both in the morning and in the evening.

This means that gerbils go about their daily activities both during the day and at night.

For this reason, you should think twice about keeping your gerbils in dorm rooms and children’s rooms. Keep in mind that gerbils are rodents and they will not shy away from gnawing on wooden objects at night, which will definitely cause some noise.

But how does the classic day or night routine of the animals look like?

We will now deal with this in a little more detail.

What does the classic day / night routine of a gerbil look like?

The sleeping rhythm of a gerbil is rather unusual compared to other animals.

As a rule, the animals do not wake up at fixed times and do not go to sleep at fixed times. Rather, they sleep 12 hours throughout the day and night and are awake for another 12 hours.

Usually the waking phase alternates with the sleeping phase in a duration of 2-3 hours.

Here it should be said that young and healthy gerbils usually have shorter sleep phases than older and sick animals.

Also the character of the animals plays a big role.

If you notice that one of your animals suddenly sleeps more than usual, there might be a disease behind this behavior. In this case, a close observation of the animal is advisable and you should not shy away from the visit to the vet if the condition does not improve or even worsens.

Attention: Wrong food can lead to listlessness!

If all your animals are quite sluggish and listless, this condition can also be caused by unhealthy food.

Therefore, make sure that you offer your gerbils species-appropriate and varied food so that they can draw all the important nutrients from it and thus gain energy.

How do gerbils sleep?

Gerbils prefer to sleep snuggled close together in a soft hay nest.

Preferably this is built in a little house, as your gerbils can feel safe and secure here.

In view of this, it is especially important that you provide your animals with sufficient shelter, because gerbils are comparatively skittish and immediately start to flee when danger seems imminent.

If your animal now has no possibility to retreat, the stress level will continue to rise and your animal will not be able to rest.

In an open space, your rodents will never be able to fully relax, and the quality of their sleep will suffer greatly.

Since gerbils are extremely social animals, it is very important that your animals have enough space to sleep both side by side and on top of each other.

If you notice that one of your animals does not sleep with the others, but always a bit apart, you should take a closer look at this animal.

Often sick animals instinctively choose a sleeping place that is separated from the other gerbils.

In addition, it may well be that there is a dispute in the group and the rodent is repeatedly “shooed out” of the nest by the others. If this becomes the norm, you should consider removing the animal from the group altogether and re-homing it with other gerbils.

Are gerbils noisy at night?

Due to the fact that gerbils – as already mentioned – also have active waking phases at night, a not insignificant background noise is definitely to be expected.

Thus, the animals can strongly influence your sleep quality if you keep the animals in dormitories.

Therefore, it is advisable to house the animals in another room.

You will not be able to get your gerbils out of the habit of being awake at night!

Apart from gnawing noises (the animals also satisfy their natural gnawing needs at night) and occasional squeaking, gerbils are generally very quiet pets and you won’t hear much from them.

You can also influence the volume a little by providing the animals with other materials to gnaw on besides wooden objects, but these should not be harmful to their health – plastic is therefore taboo!

For example, hay is excellent for satisfying the gerbils’ need for gnawing, but cardboard rolls are also readily accepted.

Various vegetables, such as broccoli, also satisfy the need to gnaw and are also very healthy. If you want to feed broccoli, you can confidently put the stink in the enclosure, because only then your gerbil can gnaw extensively.

If possible, the simplest solution is to keep the animals in the living room and not in the bedroom. This way you can close the door at night and fall asleep and sleep through the night in peace.

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