Sugar gliders make for a one-of-a-kind pet. The palm-sized mammals are hard not to love, especially when they take to the night skies.
That being said, these tiny marsupials are nocturnal. That means that they’re active at night and sleep in the morning, like owls.
If you’re trying to own a sugar glider, you may then wonder, “How long do sugar gliders sleep?” Broadly speaking, their sleeping time varies greatly between 12 to 18 hours.
Stick around if you’re interested in learning more about the nocturnal sleeping hours of sugar gliders.
Since sugar gliders dedicate most of their sleep during the day, you likely won’t need to supervise them then. Instead, they tend to become noisy at night.
Their main sleeping pattern revolves around the sun. Typically, from sun up to sun down is about 12 hours.
If the sun is up, they’re likely snoozing and once there’s no visible natural light, they perk up. This is why where you place a sugar glider is crucial.
The best environment is one with tons of natural light. That way, you’ll be giving them a more natural sleep cycle.
If they don’t have lots of natural light, it could potentially ruin their sleeping schedule.
That being said, how long they sleep can depend on seasonal changes. For instance, they’ll likely sleep longer during summer than in winter, due to more sun exposure.
After knowing what a sugar glider’s sleeping habits are like, it’s time to understand why. Being nocturnal can be owed to several reasons.
Here are some of them below.
Unsurprisingly, sugar gliders fall prey to several predators such as owls and snakes. They’re so small, that most hungry predators can swoop them in one catch.
To protect themselves, sugar gliders need to have the same sleep schedule as their predators. Since most of them are nocturnal, they also need to follow suit in their nighttime activity.
Another factor that contributes to a sugar glider’s nocturnal characteristic is the weather. Now, these little animals are native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, all of which are accustomed to warm climates.
In such hot weather, some animals prefer to sleep in the morning to save their energy, while waking up in a cooler environment.
It’s also worth noting that sugar gliders aren’t generally fond of cold weather. If it gets too cold, they can simply hibernate.
Their ideal weather is room temperature which is when they’re most active.
Sugar gliders need their 12 hours of beauty sleep, but in some cases, they can stretch it. Now, this isn’t a habit you should encourage in your exotic pet.
The best thing to do is first pinpoint when too much is too much. Excess sleep usually occurs if the sugar glider is still asleep when it’s sundown.
This issue happens due to the surrounding environment the sugar glider is in. If there’s too much bright light in the room, that’s when they’ll think it’s still time to sleep.
If you also tend to disturb their morning snooze, they tend to take naps at night. That’s why you should leave them to rest during sun up and provide them with the ideal lighting conditions.
Clacking and crabbing are just some of the noises you’re bound to hear at night if you own a sugar glider. Owning this marsupial is a large responsibility that holds some consequences.
One of them is a noisy night. If you’re a natural early bird, then you may want to reconsider your pet choice.
Having said that, sugar girders can also make barking noises at night. That’s how they communicate with their species.
Speaking of communication, sugar gliders can get lonely and depressed. Purchasing another sugar glider is usually the answer, but keep in mind that it’ll be double the noise.
If you keep them in separate cages, they can get noisier as well. To keep them from being too loud, you’ll want to give them toys.
Crabbing noises are usually a sign that they’re hungry, so make sure their food is prepared. Apart from that, we recommend keeping their cages at a distance where you can slightly hear them.
Modifying your sugar glider’s sleeping schedule is largely argued. Although it’s possible to change their nocturnal state, it may prove to be a difficult process for your suggy.
The technique involves changing the environment and tricking the sugar glider into thinking day is night and vice versa.
To do so, you’ll need some black-out curtains and bright light bulbs. Additionally, you can’t change their sleep cycle abruptly.
It has to be done little by little, but also consistently. Apart from this, the process begins by waking them up earlier than usual.
Before they wake up, make sure the curtains are covering any entrance of light. Otherwise, instant exposure to light can harm the sugar glider’s large eyes.
Once they do wake up, you can provide them with some food so they don’t get too cranky. Sugar gliders can get fussy if you mess with their sleep and potentially bite you.
This brings us back to another question, should you change a sugar glider’s sleeping schedule? It’s best not to.
These small creatures feel calm when it’s dark, especially as they become older. Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night.
You’ll feel grumpy and lethargic, which is how your sugar glider will feel as well.
Instead of trying to change their sleeping habits, we recommend comforting their sleep. There are several ways you can give your sugar glider a good morning sleep.
Check out a couple of tips below.
Lighting conditions are critical when it comes to a sugar glider’s sleeping patterns. Find a place with natural light flowing in to place their cage in.
Additionally, don’t keep the cage near direct sunlight. It could result in overheating. Plus, the excess light could bother your sugar glider’s eyes.
In the wild, sugar gliders usually sleep in a nest surrounded by their family. When kept as pets, they also enjoy making their own nest.
You can give them some scrap newspaper or twigs and wool, so they can craft their sleeping area. Alternatively, you can provide your sugar glider with a nest box to rest in.
An extra option is to give them a sleeping pouch, which is more comfortable. It’s sort of like a duvet or bedding.
They can also place these pouches in their nest boxes. It’ll give them more warmth to mimic the hot temperature of the equatorial regions they’re native to.
How long do sugar gliders sleep? In short, the little critters usually get about 12 hours’ worth of shut-eye.
Like us, sugar gliders need good sleep to be healthy and in a good mood to play. Otherwise, if you mess up their sleeping pattern, they can get irritated.
To ensure a good sleep, make sure their sleeping nest is comfortable enough and the light conditions are suitable.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.