What Time do Hamsters Go to Bed? (And how do you change their sleeping habits?)

what time do hamsters go to bed normally

While it’s likely you want to spend as much time with your hamster as possible, your little friend needs their sleep too, so they stay healthy and happy.  

But at what time do hamsters go to sleep and how much sleep do they need? These are the kind of questions we are looking at today.  

What time do hamsters go to bed? 

What time do hamsters go to bed is an interesting question as you will find this to be different for all pet hamsters. They will most likely go to bed around mid-morning and wake up in the evening. They will periodically wake up throughout the day to have some food or water as well. Though you can expect your hamster to be asleep most of the day.  They generally need to sleep for 12-14 hours throughout the day. If they don’t sleep enough, they can get cranky, depressed and ill.  As most domesticated hamsters are somewhere between crepuscular and nocturnal, they will be up mostly at night with their most active times at dawn and dusk.

Is it OK to wake a hamster up? 

Hamsters are stress prone and startling them awake can scare them. It won’t kill them, but it’s not exactly good either. If your hamster is asleep and you have no reason to disturb it, then it’s best to just leave them to their sleep. They are more likely to nip you when they are grumpy so the interaction you have won’t be as positive as it could be. In the event you have an emergency, or you are travelling with your hamster, and you need to wake them up, then do it very gently and slowly. Rustling the bedding outside their house should wake them up without scaring them. Overall, it’s best to leave your hamster asleep. 

Is it okay for my hamster to sleep at night? 

Yes, if your hamster sleeps at night that’s ok. Hamsters have a different sleep cycle to humans, meaning they sleep periodically and wake up often rather than having one long sleep. If your hamster didn’t get enough sleep during the day, it may take a nap in the evening or sleep for periods at night.

The sleep pattern of domesticated hamsters can vary which is probably due to the artificial lights in our homes and the constant temperature most of us maintain at home. This means that some hamsters turn their sleeping pattern around altogether and sleep all night while being mainly awake during the day.  Unless your hamster sleeps all day and all night, there is no problem at all.  

How many hours a night does hamsters sleep? 

Hamsters should be getting around 12-14 hours of sleep in a day, whether that’s throughout the day in little snoozes or long hour crashes, as long as your hamster looks healthy, they will be fine. Your hamster can regulate their own sleep as long as they are not woken up by loud noises, woken up to be petted or by have their cage moved or shaken regularly during the day.  

What are your hamsters sleep schedules? 

Hamsters can have very weird sleep schedules, so don’t be worried if you feel like your hamster is always or never awake. They can be active in the middle of the night, or in the middle of the day. You will probably figure out your hamster’s individual schedule as you get to know her. As a generic overview, hamster should get about 12-14 hours and are nocturnal, so will be more active in the mornings and evenings and in the night.  

How long do hamsters sleep for? 

The general timeframe is 12-14 hours, but that changes depending on the hamster. It can change with age location e.g., next to a natural light source. You should leave your hamster asleep if it does end up sleeping for the entire day but don’t feel bad waking it up if you need to do something, as they sleep periodically, unlike humans.  

What time does your hamster wake up? 

Around mid-evening, when they would naturally wake up in the wild. This can vary hamster by hamster and can change depending on the hamsters schedule, which can be very confusing. Pet hamsters are sometimes closer to being nocturnal than being crepuscular (most active during twilight hours) so they will wake up any time from dusk to midnight. 

How many hours a day do hamsters sleep? 

Most hamsters will sleep a maximum of 14 hours per 24 hours, as they sleep throughout the light hours and do all their business at night, with small waking times during the day. It will depend on your hamster, and young hamster may sleep more than older ones.  

When and how do hamsters sleep? 

Hamster will sleep in a dark burrowed corner of their cage when they go to nap, and you shouldn’t be worried if they do this. They will go to bed mid-morning and wake up around 7-8:30. They will get up to take toilet breaks or drink water, but other than that they will most likely sleep the whole day. 

How to wake up your hamster without scaring it? 

It’s best not to wake your hamster up at all but of course there can be situations when you don’t have a choice. In that case you can subtly and softly wake up your hamster by doing things like; quietly talking to it, ruffling the bedding outside its house, or holding his food or a treat near him. If you want to wake up your hamster soon rather than instantly, you can change the temperature of the cage, as hamsters will wake up if it gets warmer, or dimming the lights as they wake up in low light. Don’t ever poke it or make a loud noise to wake it up, as that causes unnecessary stress. 

How do you adjust your hamsters sleep schedule? 

You can change your hamsters sleep schedule by a couple of hours at most. You can change the environment that the hamster is in. Close the curtains earlier to make it darker earlier or turn the temperature up in your home earlier in the evening. Hamsters are naturally crepuscular and as pets closer to nocturnal, so you won’t be able to make your hamster always awake in the day. 

While some people claim you can change their sleeping habits to the extent that they are awake during the day, this is actually inhumane and should be avoided. You will need to force your hamster to stay awake when tired in order to fall asleep at a time which is not in agreement with their instinct. You will put enormous stress on your hamster which is simply not fair.  

Do you interact with your hamster at night or early in the morning? 

Both are good times to play with your hamster, as they will be most active around these times. The only time you shouldn’t try to interact with your hamster is in the day when it is asleep. It can annoy and stress you hamster which is not the aim. You could briefly interact with them when they wake for short periods during the day. But this is likely to be brief. 

Are hamsters nocturnal? 

Naturally hamsters are crepuscular. This means that they are most active in the early morning around dawn, and in the evening at twilight. They are also active during the night, but generally sleep in the day. Domesticated hamsters are somewhere between crepuscular and nocturnal, and all pet hamsters seem to have their own sleeping habits, with most of them sleeping during the day and being awake at night. There are exceptions to this and as long as your hamster is healthy than that is fine.  

Why is my hamster sleeping a lot? 

Hamster sleep quite a lot, and their schedules aren’t very logical for us. They will sleep a lot at random times, so when you might be around, your hamster may have just started its nap. It shouldn’t be a worry if your hamster sleeps a lot, as they are most likely active during the night. However, if they sleep around the clock, then you will need to have your hamster checked by your vet. They could be ill or even depressed.

When are hamsters most active? 

In the dusk or dawn of the day, as they are crepuscular and therefore do most of their activities during this time, and into the night. If you want quality time with your hamster, try to figure out when they are at their most active and attempt to interact with them then 

Why does my hamster wake up at 2am? 

Hamsters are crepuscular/nocturnal, meaning it’s perfectly normal for them to be awake at 2 am. While you might expect your hamster to wake up earlier, the artificial lights in your home and the heating can have something to do with this. If you turn the lights off late at night, your hamster might think it’s still daytime at 1am. It’s nothing to worry about if your hamster doesn’t seem to be sleeping at night as long as they sleep enough in a 24 hour period. Every hamster seems to have their own sleeping habits! 

Is it safe to keep your hamster in your bedroom? 

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to keep a hamster in your room, as long as it is not overly chaotic and loud and won’t have any cold draughts that may cause harm to your hamster. You also have to be careful, as hamster may get smelly if their litter corner isn’t changed every day, so if you want to not have the stench of hamster in your room it may be a good idea to make sure you’re aware of what it can mean to have it in your room. 

Should you put a blanket over your hamster’s cage at night? 

It is not necessary to cover your hamsters cage at night, as it will be dark, and they are likely to be active during that time. If you want to you can, but it has no benefit to the hamster and can make the cage too hot. It could dampen the noise the hamster makes but if that bothers you, then a different location would be better for the cage, rather than covering it. 

Should I move my hamster to the bathroom at night? 

There’s no particular reason to keep your hamster in the bathroom at night. It may be the worst place, as the strong chemical smells that may linger can be bad for your hamsters nose. People often use the bathroom at night as well, turning the lights on, which can be confusing for your hamster. They can stay in their usual area during the night, with no light as they are perfectly fine going about their lives in the dark.  

How to stop my hamster making noise at night. 

Your hamster is very likely to be active at night and it’s something you can’t really change. If the noise is really bugging you, you could take your hamster to another room during the night or even better, keep the cage in a different room permanently as moving the cage can stress your hamster.


In this post we tried to answer the question ‘what time do hamsters go to bed?’ And as it turns out this really depends on the individual hamster, though most hamsters go to bed sometime mid-morning.  

While hamsters are naturally crepuscular creatures, many pet hamsters are leaning more towards being nocturnal. This means that not all hamsters are most active during the twilight hours, meaning dusk and dawn. This also means many hamsters have a sleeping patterns which varies from the sleeping pattern they would have in the wild.  

It is thought that the artificial light and the more constant temperature in our homes have made this change. Though this is not scientifically proven.  

Some pet hamsters sleep all night and are awake during the day, though these are exceptions, and it should never be tried to change your hamsters sleeping habit around to the point of being awake during the day and asleep at night. This is seen as inhumane and would put far too much strain on your hamster. 

Lastly, it’s important not to interrupt your hamster while sleeping. Waking them to interact with them is not a good reason! If you have to travel with your hamster or bring him to the vet, and you really need to wake them (never just lift them out of their cage when they are asleep), then do so very softly and gently. You could move your fingers through their bedding outside their house or put a snack within sniffing reach. Never make loud noises or move anything with force. Shaking the cage is not a good way to wake up your hamster! 

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