Hamster Sleep 101: What you Need to Know

Hamsters have a pretty simple and straightforward sleep schedule.

If you are going to keep these animals, you need to understand their sleep habits.

This article will ultimately enable you to care for your rodent friend better so you can keep them healthy.

How much do Hamsters Sleep Each Day?

The average hamster sleeps around six to eight hours every day, so about the same as a person. These animals tend to sleep during the day and become active when the sun goes down. It is important to get your hamster examined by a vet if you notice it sleeping more than eight hours each day.

Importance of Sleep for Hamsters

It is essential that your hamster gets an adequate amount of sleep on a daily basis. This is something that all animals need to stay healthy. A lack of sleep can weaken your hamster’s immune system, making it harder for them to fight off disease and infections.

Creating the Perfect Sleep Spot for Your Hamster

When you are getting a hamster for the first time, it is essential that you consider a few things. You need to choose the right type of bedding to put in their cage. 

Wood pulp and recycled newspaper are two of the best options for hamster bedding. You don’t want to choose any material that is very abrasive. This can make it difficult for your hamster to get comfortable and therefore get enough sleep each day.

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Take the time to look at some of the different hamster bedding products that are available online. You’ll also want to read reviews for some of these products before making a final decision. This will help you make the right choice for your pet.

The material that you put in your hamster’s cage for bedding should be able to dissolve in water. This will minimize the chances of them getting stuck in their bedding, which can be a big problem.

hamster sleep on back

Signs of Sleep Problems in Hamsters

It is important that you are able to identify some of the more common signs that your hamster is experiencing issues with maintaining proper sleep pattern.

1. They Keep Waking up

It’s not normal for a hamster to wake up over and over throughout the day. This is a common sign of some issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with right away. Your hamster needs a solid six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each day.

2. They are Active in the Daytime and at Night

If your hamster is active both in the daytime and at night, it probably means they are getting little to no sleep. This will inevitably have a very negative impact on their overall health.

3. Sleeping too much

Hamsters can sleep too much, which usually indicates a problem of some kind with their mental and/or physical health. If you notice your hamster sleeping throughout the day and night, something is wrong.

Waking up Your Hamster

While it is not a good idea to wake up your hamster while it is sleeping, there are some tips to follow if you ever need to do so.

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1. Speak softly to them

You’ll want to speak softly but close to your hamster when waking them up from deep sleep. They will recognize your voice, which should keep them from being too startled.

2. Gradually adjust the lighting

Slowly increase the amount of lighting in the room you keep your hamster in. Making the room very bright all at once can startle your hamster and cause it to become extremely agitated.

3. Make noise in the distance

You can also try making some noise away from your hamster’s cage in the next room. The noise should be loud enough that they can hear it, but not so loud that it will cause them anxiety.

sleeping baby hamster

Reasons Your Hamster is Sleeping too Much

If your hamster is sleeping more than eight hours each day, there are numerous possible explanations to consider, including:

  • Stress: It is possible that your hamster is very stressed and uses sleep as a way to avoid feelings of anxiety. These feelings can be brought on lots of different things, such as another pet in the house.
  • Low blood sugar levels: If your hamster’s blood sugar levels drop too low, they could start sleeping more than usual.
  • Change in routine: A change in your hamster’s routine can definitely mess with its sleep pattern. This is why it is so important to carefully consider any changes that might affect your rodent friend.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Pattern

There are certain things that you can do to help maintain a healthy sleep pattern in your hamster. Make sure that you keep their cage in an area of the house that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. You also want to make sure that the lighting isn’t too bright.

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Feeding your hamster earlier can encourage it to stay active in the in the early evening hours. Once they hear the sound of food, they are very likely to wake up almost immediately.

Conclusion

  • Hamsters sleep an average of six to eight hours each day.
  • These animals sleep mostly in the daytime and start becoming active in the early evening hours.
  • It is important that you get the proper bedding material for your hamster so it stays comfortable and gets enough sleep.
  • If your hamster is sleeping more or less than six to eight hours daily, you’ll want to take them to the vet to get looked at.
  • Stress and anxiety can cause a hamster to sleep more or less than it should on a daily basis.
  • A sudden change in your hamster’s routine or environment can trigger a stress response, which in turn will affect their sleep.
  • Make sure that you keep your hamster’s cage in an area that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic.
  • If you ever need to wake your hamster up from a deep sleep, you should do so very carefully and gradually.
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