One of the most common questions about Sugar Gliders is regarding their their sleeping patterns and behaviors; are they nocturnal? Do these Marsupials sleep during the day and are they active during the night like some other animals? Intrigued about the topic myself, I decided to conduct some research. Here is the answer to this question and other closely related information.
So, are sugar gliders nocturnal? Sugar Gliders are nocturnal. They require a lot of rest and sleep for up to 12 hours per day in a curled up position. If you were to own a Sugar Glider as a pet and wake them up, they will likely make crabbing sounds at you which indicate they are unhappy and/or frightened. At night time, sugar gliders eat, socialize, and go exploring where they are less visible to significant predators like birds whom are known to quickly snatch them away in their beaks.
Sugar Gliders are renowned for their big, gazing eyes. These are partly responsible for their ability to navigate the nighttime and the dark landscape.
If you are looking for further information regarding a Sugar Gliders sleep, be sure to read on!
We will be looking at whether they are noisy at night, where they sleep and if you can even look to change their sleeping patterns!
Are Sugar Gliders Noisy At Night?
Sugar gliders are awake for most of the night feeding, socializing, and playing. If you keep a Sugar Glider as a pet, this in turn can be very noisy and this could disturb your sleep.
They sleep for most of the day, so they are not likely to miss their owners during this time nor do they have any need for socialization during this time.
If you’re not around during the day, this can work as they will likely be snoozing. You can bond with your glider when you come home in the evening, which is when they will start to become more active.
Where you place their cage is crucial. The cage should be located in an area that has lots of natural light during the day and has little to no light at night.
Since gliders are up for most of the night, you must ensure you can keep them entertained and active with toys. You can get toy bundles on Amazon which provides a lot of variety.
They require plenty of cage space because they are not domesticated and need plenty of room to remain active. Additionally, gliders do not do well on their own; they need the company of other sugar gliders so this is something to consider.
Nighttime temperatures are ideal for sugar gliders because it’s neither too hot or too cold.
Gliders can endure hot temperatures, but they prefer a more mild room temperature. In the wild, and native to Australia (where they originate) this sort of temperature occurs primarily at night.
Sugar gliders cannot handle the cold and if temperatures drop too low they enter a state known as torpor (a state of lethargy and low activity).
If you optimize the environment for them, naturally, sugar gliders will be noisy at night.
Do Sugar Gliders Sleep All Day?
Sugar gliders usually sleep for around 12 hours during the day. They will wake up some hours after dusk and remain awake until early morning, when the sun begins to rise.
As is the case with many animals, not all sugar gliders share the same sleep schedule, some sleep more or less than others.
Sugar gliders are native to Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea, where it is quite hot.
In these hot climates, gliders adapted to sleep during the day to conserve energy.
At nighttime, they have the stamina to look for food.
It is known throughout the animal kingdom that in cooler climates, animals are more active in the daytime and tend to sleep at night.
Where Do Sugar Gliders Sleep?
Sugar gliders will sleep anywhere, unlike is the case with other animals and pets.
In their natural habitat, these creatures like to curl up in their nests and keep close to their families.
These marsupials love small spaces and company; as a result, their bodies generate a lot of heat. They tend to line their nests with leaves, twigs, and soft feathers.
In captivity, sugar gliders recreate their nests within their enclosures.
Nesting material is essential even in captivity, so materials like wool, and strips of newspaper make excellent nesting material and provide warmth and comfort to your pets.
You should be looking to provide these often, and be sure to change them frequently.
A suitable enclosure will have room for a specific nest box – this can be kept on a higher level to the other boxes.
This nest box should be easily accessible by your glider(s), where they can sleep and feel safe at the same time. This is an excellent example of an ideal hammock to get from Amazon.
If you want your sugar glider to have a little extra luxury, consider purchasing a sleep capsule.
These pouches are available in a range of designs that can add glamour to your glider’s sleeping quarters.
These sleep capsules are made from safe materials that are like a duvet to your pet. Kintor on Amazon is a best-seller.
Warmth is key to a good nigh’s sleep for a sugar glider, as they come from hot countries like Indonesia and Australia.
You must mimic their natural sleeping conditions as closely as possible in your home. Warmth ensures that these creatures get the sleep they need to be healthy.
Changing Your Sugar Glider’s Sleeping Habits
A lot of owners question whether it is possible to change the hours in which their sugar glider(s) sleeps.
As they sleep mostly during the day, and are loud at night, it is understandable that an owner would want to change this and have the chance to spend more time with their pet.
While it is possible to change their sleeping behaviors, it is not preferable nor ideal for their health to do so.
They have evolved to be nocturnal animals and as such their internal circadian rhythms align with the rise and setting of the sun.
It is also never appropriate to force your glider to wake up when they are sleeping. This will put them in a state of stress and they are likely to get upset and may even attempt to bite.
If you did want to change their sleeping patterns and sleeping routine, it must be a gradual process and you should not change it too drastically.
However, there are some ways that you can encourage your pet to wake up earlier.
Their cage must be located in an area that has natural day/ night cycles.
When it is dark, your glider will naturally be awake; you can control this by keeping a light next to their enclosure when you want them to sleep.
You can use blackout curtains or blinds to convince your glider that it’s time to wake up. Putting food in their cage is an incentive for them to wake up if needed.
Sugar gliders are nocturnal, being predominantly awake and active during the night and the twilight hours.
This has enabled them to survive predators over generations, and manipulate their ability to handle the extreme climates that come with their natural habitats.
Therefore, it is in the darker hours and during the night when an owner can can expect them to be the most noisy.
This the time they are busy eating, playing, and socializing with their buddies.
While it is not advisable to make drastic changes to their sleep/wake cycle, it is possible to train them to stay awake for longer.
There are reasons why an owner would want to alter the sleep pattern of their pet, and it does help you form a closer bond with your glider and the opportunity to see more of them.
Sugar gliders usually sleep around 12 hours during the day, and this is healthy for them. However, not all sugar gliders spend the entire day sleeping, it all depends on individual preferences among them and the habits you instill.
Sugar gliders are small yet very vocal creatures, and they are known to make barking noises at night. They need toys and company to keep boredom at bay but consider keeping the cage outside of your bedroom so that your sleep won’t be disturbed.
Sugar gliders are endearing and entertaining as pets, but they require frequent interaction – whether this be with other gliders or with their owners.
You must encourage your glider to be friendly towards you; this makes them easier to handle which is something in which you would likely want to do.
Occasionally they make noises known as “crabbing” – these noises indicate when they are upset, frightened, or hungry.
Other than this, barking and the other noises gliders make at night are entirely normal, it is their way of socializing. It can disturb your sleep, so, being aware of this behavior, you must take precautions as necessary.
Barking is most likely to occur at night when sugar gliders are away and active. Barking in sugar gliders sounds similar to a small puppy, they make this sound when trying to communicate with other sugar gliders and sometimes to get the attention of their owners.
Sugar gliders make excellent pets but they are difficult to look after. You also need to be mindful and take a lot of consideration regarding their needs and requirements. For example, you need to consider they are nocturnal, noisy at night, and require other sugar gliders for company. Sugar gliders are also not legal in all locations of the world. For example, they are illegal to own in Australia, and only legal to own as pets in all but four states of the United States.
Sugar gliders are not generally aggressive. However, they can show signs of aggression. This is usually when they feel angry or scared or believe they need to act in self-defense when under threat. Examples of when a sugar glider may show signs of aggression are following being woken up, being picked up during times around feeding, when they are cornered, or when they do not have sufficient space to roam.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.