Why Do Hamsters Sleep So Much?

For pet owners, hamsters are one of the most adorable pets one can have. But hamsters really do sleep a lot.

It’s usually one of the first behaviors hamster pet owners notice when they bring their small friend into their house.

It seems like your hamsters might be sleeping every time you look at them though. So it’s normal to wonder why your hamster is sleeping so much.

Hamsters seem to sleep so much because they are usually sleeping when you are awake, and up and active when you are sleeping.

Hamsters are more or less like nocturnal animals, which means they stay awake at night and sleep during the day.

However, it’s not like your hamster will sleep during the entire day hours, but they do wake up during the day to look for their food and water. Then they immediately go back to sleep.

So you’ll find that during the evening periods, your hamster is more active than usual which is completely normal.

Naturally, hamsters evolved in an environment where they search for their food when other predators are around less, allowing them to store their food easily.

So it is because of this behavior that your hamster might seem to be found sleeping too much during the day, but not during the evening or nights.

Is It Normal For Hamsters To Sleep All The Time?

As mentioned before, hamsters do have a longer sleeping period, even when compared to other animals.

But most of the time during the day if you notice that your hamster is sleeping all the time, then that’s because it’s their natural sleeping cycle since hamsters are pretty much like nocturnal animals.

To be precise though, hamsters are crepuscular. Which means they’re animals that are awake and most active during the period of dusk and dawn.

Given that the time period for the hamsters to be most active is very short, they tend to sleep a lot compared to other animals.

But it must be kept in mind that though hamsters are generally considered to be near nocturnal and crepuscular, the pattern might not be the same for every hamster.

That’s because they’re all very different with their own slightly different behaviors.

Just like human beings or other animals, different hamsters have their own specific sleeping cycle which makes them active during different times of the day.

So it’s not like all the hamsters in the world would wake up at the same time and begin searching for the food that they’ve hidden or run around within their cages.

Some hamsters might sleep too much during the day and even fall asleep before you during the night.

While others might have a different sleeping cycle for when they wake up and pretty much stay up late into the evenings and also sleep later into the night.

So yes, hamsters do sleep all the time and it is usually very normal to see them do this.

How Much Sleep Is Normal For Hamsters?

So it’s true that it’s completely normal if your hamsters are sleeping the entire day and night, and generally every time you notice them. Hamsters usually have a longer sleep schedule.

So mainly, you would find your hamster sleeping mostly through the time of daylight, basically until around the time the sun is over the horizon.

The moment the sun goes down is usually when you’ll start to notice that your hamster is starting to become a little more active, and most of the time they’ll stay active past midnight.

Since hamsters are not completely nocturnal though, they will sleep during the night time as well and will wake up during dawn for a couple of hours.

So it’s pretty typical that a hamster can sleep more than 15 hours throughout their day.

First-time hamster pet owners usually do not have to be all that worried over the fact that their hamster is sleeping too much.

When it comes to them sleeping all the time, you shouldn’t worry too much if your hamster’s health is all right or not since it’s normal for them to do this.

Each hamster is different and not all of them would have a similar sleeping pattern or hours of sleep.

There’s also a really good chance that they might adjust themselves to their owner’s sleeping pattern and sleep the entire night while waking up when people within the house are around and more active.

This is normal too. The more your hamster gets used to you, the higher chance they will start to mirror your sleeping schedule as time goes on.

Is It Okay To Wake Up A Hamster?

Now that you know that hamsters are cute sleepy animals, pet owners might have another similar concern about their sleeping and about waking them up. So is it okay to wake a hamster up?

Hamsters don’t like to be woken up out of their sleep and you shouldn’t wake your hamster up.

Because you can really scare them if you do that, you should instead let them wake up on their own.

Since we don’t prefer to be randomly woken up out of our sleep at any odd hours, this realization might kick in within pet owners when it comes to waking up their sleeping hamsters, who are generally known to sleep a lot.

It is completely natural and fine to consider that you might want to play with your hamster and want to wake it up, but you really shouldn’t.

Keep in mind that if your hamster is not readily waking up and is going back to sleep despite you trying to wake them, then you must never force them to wake up.

Just like us, hamsters might also get really moody when randomly woken up.

It might change their behavior by making them slightly irritated and sometimes they’ll even start biting others.

Hamsters are small loving animals and a lot of people prefer getting them as a pet in their houses.

But unlike some other animals, pet owners might get a bit concerned after seeing their hamster’s sleeping patterns since they are known to sleep for a longer period of time.

So just know that hamsters sleep for most of the day and it’s perfectly normal behavior for them to do this.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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