Why Is My Hamster Sleeping So Much?

Owning a hamster for the first time is a whole new experience. Hamsters are not only different from cats and dogs. They are not like other members of the rodent family as well. An unconventional sleep routine is one of the most confusing characteristics of hamsters for the new owners. Are you also worried about your hamster’s well-being because they are asleep all the time? Stay tuned till the end to learn everything about hamsters’ sleep cycles for better assessment.
Why Is My Hamster Sleeping So Much

Does your hamster spend all of his time sleeping? Wondering why is he not active? Most probably, it is because of the fact that hamsters are nocturnal animals. Meaning that they are more active at night than at the daytime. If your hamster is busy sleeping at night time as well, then something could be wrong. Hibernation is also a situation you should consider if the temperature is too cold.

There could be a lot of reasons behind the laziness of your hamster. Before reaching any conclusion, you have first to study your hamster’s behavior. 

Why Do Hamsters Sleep All Day? 

There are a lot of reasons behind the fact that hamsters spend most of their daytime sleeping. 

Following are some points that explain why hamsters spend their day sleeping:

Nocturnal Animals

Hamsters belong to the nocturnal group of animals that sleep most of the day are highly active after the sun has set. Hamsters are hardwired to sleep all day. This trait of hamsters has helped them survive the harshness of wilderness for hundreds of years. 

Most of the predators like eagles, cats, and foxes hunt during the daytime. It is why hamsters sleep when predators search for something to hunt. These little critters wake up when the sun is setting. They start searching for food when most of the predators are about to sleep. 

Eyes Structure

Another reason why you will see your hamster sleeping all day is that their eyes hurt in bright light. Photocells are the elements in light that are responsible for processing light. In hamsters, photocells are present in a very low amount. 

It is why hamsters are not able to process very bright light, and their eyes start hurting. However, on the other hand, hamsters have a good number of rod cells. These rod cells are responsible for vision in the dark. 

Although hamsters are nearly blind, they can see better at night time as compared to the daytime. It clearly explains why hamsters prefer to kill their time sleeping when the sun is up are highly energetic at night.

How Many Hours Do Hamsters Normally Sleep?

Before concluding that if your hamster is sleeping too much or not, you have to know the normal sleep hours of hamsters first. Hamsters typically sleep around 6-8 hours a day. 

Our beloved pets are literally living our dreams of sleeping anytime they want. As these little critters have nothing to worry about, they prefer to sleep in episodes. Meaning that the hamster’s 6-8 hours of sleep is divided into multiple naps. 

This information will help you assess whether your hamster is really sleeping excessively or not. The biggest hurdle is finding out whether your hamster is on hibernation mode most of the time or not is that an average person sleeps during the night. 

If you are a student or a conventional 9-5 job holder, it will be difficult to really identify the problem’s presence. You can use the help of technology to solve this mystery. Place a camera headed towards the cage of your hamster. Record for 2-3 nights. Use the recordings of the camera to find if the hamster is active at night or not.

When To Worry?

Do you consider that the sleep cycles of your pet hamster are not normal? Check for the following symptoms to identify if this is really the case or not:

Sleep Longer Than 8 Hours

If you are sure that your hamster is sleeping way more than 8 hours a day, then something is probably not right. To clear all the confusion, take your hamster to the vet. A professional will give you the best possible report after a physical examination. 

Low Energy Levels

When hamsters are awake, their energy levels are usually very high. They love to run on their hamster wheel. They enjoy chewing on their favorite toys. If you see that your hamster is not interested in its favorite activities, then it could be ill.

Another possibility is that the hamster is no longer interested in the accessories you provided him. You can confirm this by changing the accessories in your hamster’s cage. If your hamster doesn’t show any activeness even after changing the accessories, take him to the vet.  


Naturally, it is common for hamsters to hibernate when the temperature drops below a certain level. However, if your pet hamster is showing signs of hibernation, this means that its environment is cold. 

Following are the signs to check for hibernation in hamsters:

  • If the breathing rate of your hamster is slower than normal.
  • If you don’t get any response from the hamster upon touching its whiskers. 
  • Check the heart rate of your hamster. 
  • If the cheek pouches of your are warmer than other parts of the body.

When hamsters hibernate, it is very difficult to tell if they are even alive or not. You have to observe very carefully to check if your pet has passed away or if it is just hibernating.

Now, you might be wondering how to wake your hamster from hibernation, right? Firstly, you have to understand why do hamsters hibernate? It is because their surroundings are too cold. In the wild, hamsters hibernate because the food is short, and they can’t afford to waste energy.

If your pet hamster is hibernating, place its cage in a warmer place. When the temperature around the hamster is suitable, he will automatically stop hibernating. Also, provide him with some extra food. It will make him realize that there isn’t any shortage of food.    


Following are some commonly asked questions that will help you in understanding the whole scenario:

Is It Okay To Wake Your Hamster?

You should avoid waking your hamster at every cost. Waking up your hamster can shock him. Hamsters are not very brave, and shocks can lead to trauma in them. It is why you should never disturb their dreams. 

What Time Do Hamsters Go To Sleep?

It is noticed that hamsters typically go to sleep a little after dawn. To be precise, according to the reports, hamsters usually go to bed around 7 AM. These little critters are known to wake up around 9 PM fully. They will sleep on and off during the daytime. 

Should You Try To Change The Sleeping Routine Of Your Hamster?

No, disturbing the sleeping routine of your hamster is highly unrecommended. Hamsters don’t lightly take any change in their lifestyles. It can lead to stress and anxiety in your hamster. Moreover, the hamster will turn aggressive and start biting you. 

Hamster’s Sleep Explained 

Hamsters are famous for sleeping all day long and being active at night. If you own a hamster, you will agree that these little critters love sleeping. But the things get concerning for the owner when the hamsters keep sleeping all day and night too. Sometimes, this is merely a misconception of the owners. It is because an average person is asleep when hamsters are most active. 

You have all the right to worry if your pet is showing signs of disease. 

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a little about me
Hi, im Sofia
Hi, im Sofia

I'm a mother of 2, hamster enthusiast, animal lover, and blogger. I have had five hamsters in my life, each with their own personality!

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