In the wild hedgehogs sleep under hedging, sheds, piles of leaves and in between garden rocks. These dark places protect them from weather elements and also act as foil against predators. They are very sensitive to light and need a hiding place to get restful sleep. In captivity, they thrive in wooden boxes and on paper bedding such as newspaper, fleece or corn cob bedding.
In winter, hedgehogs hibernate and sleep through the cold. They wake up occasionally to feed on worms and frogs in the dark. This requires a lot of energy and it’s therefore important for them to conserve their resources by slowing down their metabolic rate while they are sleeping.
Hedgies will only go to sleep if they feel safe and secure. They need long uninterrupted hours of sleep in order to be happy and healthy. A hedgehog that does not get enough sleep will be grumpy and may not perform well in any activities.
To ensure your pet hedgehog gets the best possible sleep, make sure the cage is in a quiet area of the house away from any drafts or bright lights. Keeping the cage clean and using odorless or low-odored bedding is also very important. Lastly, be very careful about picking your hedgehog up while it is sleeping as they can become scared and try to escape from you.
Generally, hedgehogs will sleep for 18 hours in the daytime and then only come out at night to play, hunt, eat and drink. It’s very important for your hedgehog to stay on this natural nocturnal sleep schedule so you should be very cautious about changing it.