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Your In-Depth Hamster Sleep Guide

Your In-Depth Hamster Sleep Guide

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

So, you’ve recently gotten a pet hamster? It’s crucial to understand the tiny rodents’ sleep patterns, especially since it can be hard to determine whether your furry pet is sick, or just sleeping too much.

Hamsters typically spend about 12 to 14 hours of their day sleeping. These pets are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and become active at night.

In our hamster sleep guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about your pet’s sleeping pattern, and how to get your hamster to be quieter at night. Let’s dive in!

Do Hamsters Sleep?

Like all mammals, hamsters sleep! Though, it might not seem like the case, since these furballs can stay up all night.

The hamster will sleep during the day instead. Your tiny pet will nap in its sleeping box. However, if the cage doesn’t include a sleeping box, a house, or any hiding area, your hamster will make its own bed!

The tiny pet will choose a quiet corner in the cage for the makeshift bed. Then, the hamster will make a comfortable pile out of paper, chewed-up cardboard, and straw.

Hamsters sleep with their eyes closed. Since they spend most of their time sleeping, their eyes secrete a fluid to stay moisturized.

It’s a common problem for these secretions to dry and cause sticky eyes. That’s why you’ll have to frequently clean your hamster’s eyes! I

Still, you shouldn’t be alarmed if your tiny friend opens an eye while sleeping.

Hamsters are anxious creatures. For this reason, they can wake up from the smallest sound or movement. They also sleep at intervals, which means your hamster can wake up in the middle of its slumber for a couple of minutes before falling back to sleep.

How Long Do Hamsters Sleep?

If you’re a new hamster owner, it might seem like your pet is always sleeping. Well, hamsters sleep for quite a long time, particularly about 12 to 14 hours.

That said, your tiny friend won’t spend 14 hours at a time sleeping. Instead, hamsters sleep at intervals of two to three hours throughout the day.

Hamsters are high-energy animals. They spend all their waking hours running around and playing, so it makes sense that they need plenty of rest.

Why Does My Hamster Sleep So Much?

It’s natural for your hamster to sleep most of the time. However, if your pet is sleeping more than usual, or if you notice your furry friend has gotten lethargic, it might be a sign of the following:


You might think your hamster is sleeping too long when it’s just hibernating! Hibernation is a normal process that hamsters go through once the temperature drops.

You can tell your pet is hibernating when its body is cold, its breathing has slowed down, and it’s eating less than usual.

Your pet might go through hibernation if the temperature is less than 50 ℉ for over 24 hours. Alternatively, some hamsters will only go through hibernation if it has been cold for one or two months.

Your rodent friend might also go into facultative hibernation in unsuitable conditions that require energy conservation. These conditions include:

  • Lack of safety
  • Insufficient food and water
  • A dark environment with no exposure to natural sunlight


Just because the weather is colder doesn’t mean your hamster will automatically go into hibernation. A cold draft is more likely to cause your hamster to get sick.

Unfortunately, respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses might cause your small pet to lose energy and sleep more often. In this case, you should take your hamster to the vet.

Why Is My Hamster Not Sleeping?

While it’s more common for hamster owners to worry that their pets sleep too much, some circumstances might cause the furball to lose sleep.


Your hamster won’t just nod off when it gets tired. The tiny rodent needs a calm, stress-free environment to sleep safely.

You should keep in mind that hamsters are incredibly anxious. These small pets get scared easily! Your pet might not sleep if there’s too much noise or if there are other, larger pets around.

The furball also doesn’t like changing its environment. That’s why your pet is unlikely to snooze during the first couple of days after taking it home.


Usually, your hamster will sleep once it runs out of energy from playing and running too much. Yet, if there isn’t a lot of stimulation for your pet, it won’t get tired enough to sleep.

That’s why you need to consider your pet’s living conditions. You should ensure the hamster has the following:

  • A large enough cage
  • A sturdy wheel to run freely
  • Hamster toys
  • Tubes and tunnels

Do Baby Hamsters Sleep Longer?

It’s natural for baby animals to sleep longer as their bodies are growing, so they need extra energy. Though, this isn’t the case for young hamsters.

Baby hamsters might sleep for shorter periods than adult hamsters. The reason is that young hamsters experience a deeper slumber with more REM sleep.

The deep sleep ensures the baby hamster is well-rested, so it doesn’t need to sleep for longer.

Are Hamsters Diurnal?

While there’s a lot of debate on the sleeping habits of hamsters, these rodents are definitely not diurnal animals.

Hamsters are nocturnal with some crepuscular tendencies. This means they wake up during the nighttime. These furry rodents might also experience bursts of energy during twilight.

That said, your tiny pet is unlikely to sleep for 14 hours straight. Instead, your hamster might wake up for short periods throughout the day, but it won’t be as energetic.

Why Are Hamsters Nocturnal?

The reason behind your furball’s nocturnal nature is evolution! Hamsters are small prey. So, they’ve adapted sleeping habits that keep them safe.

During the day, when predators are most active, hamsters would sleep in burrows under the ground.

Then, once the predators sleep at night, hamsters can wake up and safely forage. The darkness also ensures the tiny rodents stay hidden.

Pet hamsters don’t need to worry about wild predators. Yet, they still exhibit the same sleeping patterns as their ancestors.

So, while your furry pet is unlikely to be hiding from a large carnivore, its biological clock limits its daytime activity and keeps it awake at night!

What Time Do Hamsters Wake Up?

Since hamsters are nocturnal animals, they wake up at about 8 P.M., or when the sun starts to set. Then, your pet will stay active until the following morning!

Your pet will be most active and playful at dusk and dawn.

Still, hamsters will constantly wake up during the day. They might eat and play for a couple of minutes before falling back asleep.

Do Hamsters Snore?

It isn’t unheard of for hamsters to snore. Your pet can make all sorts of cute noises while it’s sleeping, especially if you have an older hamster.

Snoring or squeaking during sleep might also mean your hamster is dreaming. Just like humans, hamsters might talk in their sleep.

Yet, if your hamster is snoring loudly, you should check with your vet for respiratory infections or other illnesses your tiny furball might be suffering from.

Do Hamsters Dream?

Yes, hamsters dream and can even have nightmares. There’s no way of knowing what the tiny rodents dream of, but it’s safe to assume hamsters dream of doing their favorite activities.

Your hamster might dream of eating their favorite snack, running on its wheel, or might dream of you!

Should I Wake Up My Sleeping Hamster?

Hamsters sleep at an inconvenient time! Since hamsters spend the entire day sleeping, you won’t be able to make any noise or even clean their cage during the morning.

Additionally, if your small pet is having a nightmare, you might think to wake it up. Still, you should avoid waking up your sleeping hamster as much as you can.

Waking up your hamster can greatly stress them out. For this reason, if you need to wake up your furry friend, be gentle so as not to scare it.

How to Make Hamsters Sleep at Night

If you want your hamster to sleep a little earlier, you should tire it out as much as possible.

Your hamster will greatly appreciate hanging out and playing with you. It’ll also be less likely to make plenty of noise at night.

Now that you understand your pet’s sleep schedule, you should know that it’s generally not a good idea to mess with it.

So, don’t try to alter your furball’s sleep schedule. It might be a sunny morning for you, but as far as your rodent friend is concerned, it’s nap time!

Your hamster’s nocturnal sleeping pattern might be beneficial. It’s important to understand that hamsters are solitary animals.

This means that your pet will get most of its social interaction through you! That’s why it’s better that your pet sleeps while you’re at work and wakes up to greet you back home!

Getting Your Hamster to Stay Quiet at Night

Unfortunately, since altering your hamster’s sleeping schedule isn’t an option, the next best thing is to minimize the noise your pet makes.

Here are a couple of tricks you can do to get a good night’s sleep, while still allowing your friend to enjoy its waking hours:

  • Place the cage in a room far from your bedroom, but make sure it’s quiet enough so that your pet can sleep soundly during the day.
  • Consider soundproofing your hamster’s cage.
  • Switch the noisy metal cage for a durable plastic one, so your hamster can chew on it quietly.
  • Get a noise-free exercise wheel.
  • Play with your hamster right before you go to bed.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters spend the majority of their time sleeping. They might even hibernate if it’s too cold or stressful.

However, it might seem like your pet isn’t sleeping at all, since it stays awake all night. Well, hamsters can’t help it! These furballs have adapted to nocturnal life to hide from large predators.

Of course, your hamster is unlikely to be scared of any large animal. In fact, your pet might sleep so soundly that it snores and even dreams!

You shouldn’t try to alter your pet’s sleeping schedule. Instead, you can change a couple of things about the hamster’s environment, so it doesn’t wake you up at night.

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