Why Is My Hamster Sleeping So Much? Is It Normal?

It is normal for Hamsters to sleep throughout the day. If you are a first-time Hamster owner, you might not be acquainted with the sleeping pattern of your pet. Surely, you might be wondering, why is my Hamster sleeping so much? It is normal for them to sleep a lot?

Even I was worried about the same during my initial days of being a Hamster owner, so I did some research on the same, and here is what I found out!

Hamsters are crepuscular animals, due to which they sleep in small naps ranging from a minute to an hour throughout the day and night. In general, Hamsters need an average sleep of 6-8 hours. If your Hamster is sleeping much little or much more than this, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

You will also notice that older Hamsters tend to sleep more than young Hamsters. This is because they are relatively weak and are more used to the environment.

Let’s look at some of the common reasons due to which your Hamster might be oversleeping, but first, let us understand if such behavior is normal among all Hamsters.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

Is It Normal For My Hamster To Sleep All The Time?

Hamsters have a longer sleeping period when compared to other rodents. Rodents like guinea pigs can suffice with a 4-hour sleep a day. On the other hand, Hamsters need a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep throughout the day and night.

As Hamsters are crepuscular due to which you might notice them sleeping a lot during the day (the time probably when you are awake). This is a part of their natural sleeping cycle.

However, if you still feel that you rarely see your Hamster awake, it might be due to some underlying health problem. In such cases, visiting the vet would be the best choice.

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Why Is My Hamster Sleeping More Than Usual?

There could be several reasons that encourage unusual sleeping behavior in Hamsters. While some of them are natural and can be fixed over time, others might need medical help.

Let us have a quick look at the reasons to understand what does it means when your Hamster sleeps more than usual:

Age

Hamsters may sleep for more than 8 hours a day, usually 6-8 hours of daily sleep. Old and baby Hamsters end to sleep more, which is completely fine.

As Hamsters start to age (at about 1.5 years of age), you will see a visible decrease in their energy. You will also notice that they will not play with you as they used to do earlier.

Also, the activities of baby or old Hamsters exhaust them easily. Therefore, they tend to rest and sleep more than usual.

You must not disturb your old Hamster if they are sleeping or relaxing. The best option is to adjust your playtime during such times according to your Hamster’s sleep pattern.

Also Read: Signs Of Old Age In Hamsters (+How To Comfort Them)

Boredom

Hamsters are active animals. You will rarely see them sitting quietly in a place for long. They require regular stimulation, both physical and mental.

Just because your Hamster lives in a confined area, that does not mean that they are lazy and need no attention. They have the capacity to run around six miles a day. Even pet Hamsters have similar energy levels.

Therefore, if your Hamster is sleeping more than usual, then there are chances that he is bored. You must allow your Hamster to engage them in their natural behavior to be more comfortable. Some of the basic urges that drive our Hamsters are:

You can easily fulfill the needs of your Hamsters by providing them with the necessary toys. Once your Hamster stays engaged, they will go back to their normal sleep pattern.

Also Read: How To Entertain A Hamster: 15 Fun Things To Do

Stress

Hamsters can easily get stressed. If your Hamster is stress or anxious, then you will see that they have become lethargic and will doze off often. Also, they do not handle changes well, which often leads to severe stress and depression.

Some of the common causes that can lead to stress in Hamsters are:

  • Sudden loud noises
  • Predators or possible threats
  • Lack of space
  • Sudden change in their routine
  • Excessive handling
  • Sudden temperature fluctuations

You must never neglect the stressed-out behavior of your Hamsters. Stress can often lead to loss of appetite and other health complications that can take away your Hamster’s life. Therefore, make sure you provide your Hamster with the life they deserve.

Medical Condition

Health issues in Hamsters are quite common. You must know the fact that Hamsters are known to hide their pain. They have the ability to hide their pain until it gets severe. This is one of the major concerns for new Hamster owners.

If your Hamster is suffering from a health condition, then they might not even feel like eating. If Hamster shows similar behavior, then you must understand that there is a possibility that he is sick.

Observe your Hamster at regular intervals and look out if there are any negative symptoms. If your Hamster is showing any unusual or weird behavior, then take them to a vet.

Some of the common health complications include dental pain, respiratory issues, digestive complications, and more. Most of these health problems require medical assistance. Therefore, it is advised to avoid trying any home remedies and approach a vet as soon as possible.

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How Long Should A Hamster Sleep?

Unlike human beings and some other mammals, Hamsters are crepuscular. Their sleep schedule is distributed throughout the day.

Hamsters have evolved to sleep in the form of naps of a small interval throughout day and night. They usually sleep for around 6-8 hours each day.

The rest period can last anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. In the daytime, they usually take naps for longer periods. However, we find them active most of the time, which usually makes many people wonder do Hamsters really sleep?

How To Train Your Hamster To Sleep At Night?

As Hamsters are crepuscular, they often stay up during the nighttime. This basically means, most Hamsters tend to make loud noises or maybe run in his wheel during certain points during the night. The fact that it would be much easier if our Hamsters could sleep at night is completely true.

However, the truth is, we cannot train our Hamsters to sleep throughout the nighttime. They are built in a way to have short snaps of sleep throughout the day and night. Still, we can take certain steps to make our little ones less noisy during the night:

  • Maintain Their Schedule: Maintaining a Hamster’s schedule will help them adjust to certain changes. For example, feed your Hamster at the same time each day. Doing this will encourage your Hamsters to adjust to your schedule.
  • Provide Them With Adequate Exercise During The Day: You must provide your Hamsters with enough toys to play with, which will keep them from getting restless overnight. Spend plenty of time with them during the night. This way they will be more likely to stay calm during the nighttime.
  • Give Them ‘Noise-Less’ Toys: Hamsters can get bored quite easily. Therefore, it is important to provide them with plenty of toys to keep them entertained. Avoid toys that make loud noises, such as bells.
  • Provide Them With A Large Cage: Hamsters need adequate space to keep themselves happy and engaged. This will help your Hamster to stay calm during the nighttime.

Hibernation (Torpor) Vs. Sleeping

Hamsters do have the ability to go into temporary hibernation (torpor) when the temperature around them falls below 60°F (15°C). This makes many owners wonder if their Hamster is just sleeping or hibernating.

Picture Credits: Dora, The Syrian Hamster; Instagram Handle: thehamstercalledmouse

If you suspect your Hamster is hibernating or is on the verge of hibernation, then you should check for some of the signs listed below:

  • Your Hamster has not moved from past 14 hours or more.
  • Shallow breaths with fall in heart rate
  • Ignorance of food and water
  • They start burrowing deeper for extra warmth

If you not an experience Hamster owner, it is advised not to try to rouse them by yourself. Take them to a vet for proper care and guidance. While traveling, try to keep your Hamster warm.

These cage accessories that I use for my little one are some of my personal favorites. My Hamster loves them. Have a look at them!

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Do Hamsters Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Unlike other small pets such as guinea pigs and rabbits, Hamsters do not sleep with their eyes open. They sleep with their eyes closed.

There are high chances that your Hamster is just staring or gazing at something and not sleeping (though it may seem like sleeping).

If you are sure that your Hamster is sleeping with his eyes open, then it might be due to an underlying health problem. In such cases, visit the vet.

Is It OK To Wake Up A Hamster?

You must never attempt to wake up a Hamster. Although this action of yours will not kill him, you must avoid doing so. Hamsters who are woken up from sleep can become aggressive. This might even lead to stress in Hamsters.

Many owners often get tempted to wake up their Hamsters in an attempt to adjust their pets according to their own sleeping schedule. You must understand that this action can have severe consequences. Therefore, the best option is to avoid waking up your Hamster.

Do Hamsters Need A House To Sleep In?

Some Hamsters prefer to sleep in their hideouts, while others prefer to sleep beside their beloved human. This depends on the personality of your Hamsters. However, the fact that Hamsters feel more secure if they have a hideout in their enclosure is completely true.

You must not worry if you find your Hamster sleeping in his hideout. It is a common behavior among Hamsters.

Hideouts prevent anxieties in Hamsters. It also provides them with a place to sleep or relax. You must prefer buying a hideout that does not have nails. Nails can hurt your little friend’s feet.

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Mohini

Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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