How Long Do Hamsters Sleep?

Being a new hamster owner, you must be thinking, how long do hamsters sleep during a day? Hamsters are nocturnal creatures. So, they are lethargic throughout the day. But at night, they are the most active species. 

Most of them tend to sleep in short intervals, and you will notice they don’t sleep sound. But various other factors can influence these sleep patterns as well. The most common of them are diet, environment, and breed. 

Read on to find more about them and how you can improve the sleeping patterns of your hamster. 

Why is It Sleeping a Lot?

If you have owned a hamster for the first time, you will notice they sleep most of the day. Initially, you might think they are night sleep deprived due to the environment or any other reason. But then you will realize they are nocturnal and prefer sleeping during the day. 

However, if they are not sleeping in their burrow or hideout or sleeping more than 6 to 8 hours a day, you need to visit the vet and get them examined. Some hamsters are crepuscular as well. 

How Much Do Hamsters Sleep?

hamster sleeping

The answer to this question is not simple as it depends upon various factors. However, their sleep time varies according to breeds and living environments. Moreover, their age and dietary patterns influence it as well. And in this section, we will talk about these factors in detail. 

Hamster’s breed

The breed is a factor that will not impact the sleep patterns of your hamster and the requirements. But Dwarf and Syrian Hamsters tend to live quite differently in a caged environment. 

Dwarf hamsters love to live in pairs, so they end up disrupting their partner, which can influence their sleep duration and cycle. On the other hand, Syrian hamsters can live alone to get more consistent sleep than their Dwarf counterparts. 

Hamster’s age

These tiny creatures sleep longest when they are newborns, and as they age, their sleep reduces. This is because baby hamsters are blind and deaf, and they also don’t have any hair. And just like us humans, these little creatures need a lot of sleep so they can grow out of this fragile state and develop hearing and sight. 

This is the exact reason why baby hamsters sleep around 10 to 14 hours per day. This pattern continues till the first five to six weeks. But as they grow, their sleep time reduces. 

Hamster’s environment

The environment you provide your hamster will impact its sleeping patterns directly. For example, they are nocturnal creatures, so they are not used to loud noises and bright lights during their sleep time. 

You must provide your hamster with a cozy, dark, and isolated environment. They feel safe in such an environment and won’t have to face many intrusions during their sleep.

Hamster’s diet

You might have noticed that you tend to feel sleepier and more fatigued when your diet is not that good. Similar is the case with hamsters as well. If you don’t fulfill their nutritional requirements, they will feel tired and spend more time sleeping or resting. 

This might also be the case if your hamster is dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, you have to be considerate about their liquid intake. You can do this by providing them with healthy diets of pellets and hay, followed by sufficient liquids. 

You also need to give vegetables and fruits regularly. 

Sleeping Routine

You need to understand your hamster’s entire regime to provide the proper environment to sleep and eat. These hamsters are nocturnal creatures, so their sleeping times are entirely different from humans and many other animals. 

You must provide your hamster with adequate time for their complete rest. But they need your attention as well. So, you must extract enough time to play with them. And for this, you need to look at details inside the sleeping patterns of your hamster. 

When is their sleep time?

hamster sleeping time

You have to understand the sleep cycle of your hamster and, therefore, understand evolution’s role here. They are either crepuscular or nocturnal. So, they tend to sleep during the day to avoid predators. 

At night, hamsters are most active because this is the time when there are minimal chances of any attacking predators. 

In addition, there are studies to prove that these hamsters are more crepuscular. 

Therefore, determine the sleep pattern of your hamster throughout the day by monitoring it and find out whether it is nocturnal or crepuscular. For example, if it spends most of the day taking a nap and wakes up active in the evening, it has a nocturnal sleeping pattern. 

But if it stays groggy during the daytime and sporadically becomes active or sleeps at night too, it is more crepuscular.

Improving the Sleeping Cycle

Just like humans, sleep is essential to a hamster’s overall health and well-being. Therefore, you have to ensure it gets enough rest throughout the day. For this, you have to take care of various factors that might influence the sleep patterns of your hamster. 

They need a comfortable and clean bed

In the wild, these little creatures tend to hide and sleep in burrows. These burrows keep them comfortable, safe, and warm during their sleep. This is precisely what you need to replicate when you build a cage for them. 

You have to provide them with a hideout and clean bedding. After that, your little pet will take care of everything else on its own. Also, make sure you don’t shift their beds because they dislike it and are very sensitive about it. 

They don’t need much light or any noise around them

As hamsters tend to sleep in burrows, they are not very used to sleeping in bright conditions. Therefore, you need to place their cage in a secluded and quiet place that has dim lighting. You need to secure the area from intruders like your other pets or your family members. Lighting in the room should also be dim. 

You also need to be placed in a different room where you don’t sleep because they are active at night, and they will create disturbance for you, which might disrupt your sleep. But, again, this is particularly the case if they are nocturnal. 

The room must not be cold

Temperature can directly influence your hamster’s sleep patterns. So, you need to make sure that the room where you place their cage is not too cold. If it’s too cold, your hamster’s hibernation instincts take over, and they will start sleeping most of the 24 hours. Therefore, the room temperature in which you place their cage needs to range between 68 F and 75F (20C to 24C).

Why Your Sleeping Hamster Shouldn’t Be Disturbed?

Most hamsters tend to sleep throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to this, several owners wake them up to interact and play with them. So, you might ask, what’s wrong with waking a sleeping hamster up? This might not seem harmful, but your hamster doesn’t like this rude awakening. 

You might notice they become grumpy and might even bite you if you try to reach them in the long run. However, your hamster will be deprived of sleep, and it will influence their overall health. 

This can also develop specific behavioral issues for your hamster. For example, they might build stress, memory loss, anxiety, and aggressiveness. All these issues can lead to their death as well. So, you will have to be extra careful with them. 

Therefore, your hamsters must sleep around six to eight hours throughout the day. If this routine doesn’t allow you to play and interact with your little pet, you need to approach awakening them softly and compromise their sleep in the following manner. 

Waking up a sleeping hamster

Keep in mind that waking your little pet up rudely comes with consequences. But there are different ways to wake them up softly, whether it’s due to some emergency or if you are looking to spend some time with your little friend.

By increasing the brightness of the room

The best method to wake your little pet up is by increasing the light in the room where you have kept it. By doing this, you are triggering your hamster’s instincts that it’s time to wake up. This method is the softest way possible to wake your little friend up. 

By softly talking to your hamster

Your hamster has very sensitive hearing, and it will get alarmed by the slightest noise. So, you can make it alert by your presence and then by gently talking to it in a faint voice. It will prevent your hamster from becoming startled and will wake them up from their nap. 

By doing steady movement around them

Another way to wake your hamster up softly is by doing some movement around it. When it is aware of your presence around, it will wake up. 

Or you can start moving different things around in their cage. You can do this by adding some food to their tray or alter their bedding or even replace the water. These activities will make your hamster more alert and wake them up from their sleep. 

The best practice is to do all these activities in the manner mentioned above. Once you have carried out each of the above steps, your hamster will come out of its burrow. Make sure not to pick them up right away once they are awake. 

You need to give them some room and allow them to come out of their zone; otherwise, they will bite you. But it is highly recommended that you keep tabs on the sleeping routine of your little pet and wake them up only if they have had enough rest. 


Final Word

Hamsters are most active at night and sleep during daytime or are most active during dusk and dawn, sleep at night, and are primarily drowsy during the day.

You have to understand that their breed, age, diet, and environment directly influence their sleep patterns. Therefore, if your hamster does not show a consistent sleep pattern, it might be sick, or you need to change its environment.

You also need to spend enough time interacting and playing with them. This will have a significant impact on their sleep cycle. Generally, they don’t like it if you wake them up during their sleep and bite if you try to approach them.

But if you are trying to wake them up in case of emergency or some other reason, make sure you do it by increasing the light in the room and then softly speaking to them and making soft movements around their cage.

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