Why Is My Hamster Sleeping So Much?

Hamsters sleep a lot.

They sleep so much that you are curious (or quite possibly jealous) why your hamster is always sleeping. 

Sometimes it may feel like they’re sleeping the whole day!

How much sleep is too much? When should we start to be concerned?

Is It Normal For Hamsters to Sleep A Lot?

Hamsters usually need around 12 – 14 hours of sleep. Yes, these little furballs need more sleep than us!

As long as your hammy is clocking in his required hours of sleep a day and continuing with his usual daily activities (mainly running on his hamster wheel), there is nothing to worry about.

Why Is My Hamster Sleeping More Than Usual?

If you notice a change in your hamster’s sleeping pattern and are sleeping a lot more than usual, it could be because of external factors that are usually created by us.

Other times, it could simply mean that they are feeling unwell and their body needs rest to recover. Since hamsters are fragile little animals, they need prompt and proper medical attention.

Let’s explore some possible reasons why they are sleeping more than usual.

Disruptions From Noisy Environment

Hamsters are more sensitive to noises than us. What is an acceptable noise level for you could be really loud for them. You may be unaware that you are consistently disrupting your hammy’s sleep during the day.

For instance, these noises could be from sources such as:

  • TV
  • Radio or podcasts
  • Ringtone from your phone
  • Dogs barking
  • Doorbell
  • Washing machine

We may also disturb their sleep when we talk too loudly.

Since they are constantly disrupted, they will not get enough sleep. As a result, they will spend more time sleeping to recover their sleep debt.

Artificial Lighting

In the wild, hamsters sleep during the day to avoid predators. They only come out at night to forage for food once it is safe.

This is why you need to pay attention to your home lighting at night. Artificial lighting that is too bright might trick them into believing it’s daytime. If they think it is daytime, they will continue to sleep through the night.

Ideally, hamsters should live in a dark corner of a quiet room with natural lighting. Basically, one that mimics their natural habitat conditions.

Possible Torpor From Cold Environment

If the surrounding environment is too cold, hamsters may go into hibernation or a deep sleep known as torpor. They can remain in this state for up to several days!

In the wild, animals which can hibernate will store enough energy to last through their dormant period. However, domestic hamsters are not well-prepared. They will not get enough food and water.

To wake your hamster up from this state of sleep, slowly turn up the room temperature to comfort levels between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).

Natural Ageing Process

On average, a hamster lives for around 2 – 3 years.

As hamsters age, they become less active and sleep more. This ageing process is normal and not something to be alarmed about. However, you can bring him to the vet for a routine checkup.

You can also consider improving the way your senior hamster is cared for in order to ensure that he has the best quality of life possible.

Suffering From Health Problems

If your hamster sleeps a lot more than usual and appears weak, you need to bring him to the vet immediately.

In particular, monitor for changes in his eating habits and see if there is a loss of appetite. My recommended technique is to bring out his favorite treat in front of him. If he is not responding, there is clearly something wrong.

You need to also look out for physical symptoms such as sneezing, coughing or diarrhea.

Adapting to A New Environment

When you introduce a new environment for your hamster, such as a new cage or placing the cage in a different room, your hamster may sleep more than usual.

It’s okay if your hammy sleeps a lot after the change. Give him some time to get used to and adapt to the new environment.

If you recently brought home a new hamster, he may also sleep more than required. 

Sleeping is also a good sign indicating that your hamster feels comfortable and safe in his new environment. It’s better than seeing your hamster being on high alert mode all the time.

Why Does My Hamster Sleep All Day And Night

Hamsters are usually classified as nocturnal or crepuscular.

This means that your hamster spends many of your waking hours asleep and your sleeping hours awake.

Unlike humans, hamsters don’t get all their 12 – 14 hours of sleep in one session. They sleep at multiple intervals throughout the day.

It’s possible that you didn’t notice when they are awake during short periods of the day. Hence, this may create the perception that your hamster is sleeping all the time during day and night.

Is It Bad If My Hamster Sleeps At Night?

Although hamsters are night animals, it’s not necessarily bad if your hamster sleeps at night and stays awake during the day.

Because domestic hamsters are frequently exposed to human activity during the day, they can have difficulty sleeping. Overtime, they may adjust their sleep patterns to your schedules naturally.

What Does it Mean When a Hamster Sleeps You?

If you carry your hamster in your hands and he sleeps on you, it simply means he trusts you. That is a good sign. Afterall, you wouldn’t dare to fall asleep in a stranger’s home or arms, would you?

However, if your hamster sleeps on you very often, it may mean that he is not getting enough sleep and you could be disrupting his sleep. Try not to pick him up too often during the day.

Can I Wake My Hamster Up?

While it is understandable that you are tempted to wake your hamster up to play with him, it is not recommended to do so.

Think about it. If someone were to disturb you from your deep sleep, would you get annoyed? Hamsters will get cranky and may turn aggressive when disturbed from their sleep. They may think that they are in danger and bite you in defense.

However, I understand that in some cases, you may need to wake your hamster up. Maybe you need to clean the cage, or maybe you need to bring him to the vet for a routine checkup. For essential reasons to wake your hamster up, approach slowly and gently.

Key Takeaways

  • Hamsters require 12 – 14 hours of sleep.
  • Hamsters usually sleep during the day and stay awake at night.
  • However, domesticated hamsters may adapt to your schedule and sleep at night.
  • You should not wake your hamster up unnecessarily.
  • If your hamsters are sleeping a lot more than required, identify if you are unknowingly disrupting their sleep.
  • When in doubt, a trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt.

Since you’re unlikely to be watching your hamster 24/7, you can consider getting an affordable camera to place near the hamster cage to watch how they sleep.


Why is my hamster shaking in his sleep?

The room temperature may be too cold for your hamster. Slowly and gradually adjust the temperature back to his comfort level between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).

Why is my hamster making weird noises sleeping?

Like humans, hamsters may make weird noises or squeaky noises when sleeping. This is normal. However, if the noises resemble groaning or suffering, you need to closely monitor for any signs of illness.

Why is my hamster twitching while sleeping?

It is normal if your hamster is twitching slightly every now and then while sleeping. However, if your hamster appears to be spasming and barely breathing, make a trip to the vet immediately.

Why is my hamster breathing fast while sleeping?

It can be normal for your hamster to breathe slightly faster or heavier while sleeping. Your hammy may breathe differently depending on sleeping posture and room conditions. However, if he is breathing way faster than usual, as if gasping for breath, do bring him to the vet immediately.

How do I get my hamster to sleep on me?

You may have seen videos of hamsters sleeping on their owners on Instagram or TikTok. Such scenes are rather wholesome and cute. While there are techniques to get them to sleep on you, I highly discourage you to do so. A hamster deserves a proper sleeping time and a comfortable safe place to sleep in.

Why does my hamster sleep on his wheel?

Hamsters love their wheel because it enables them to run. If you notice your hamster falling asleep on his wheel, he may be burned out from his recent exercise and is too lazy to go back to his bed. Another possible reason is that he finds his home conditions unsuitable.

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