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How do hamsters sleep? This is a question that faces scores of hamster owners who can’t help but notice the fact that the sleep habits of hamsters differ substantially from their human owners; sometimes causing confusion and consternation for both.
The basic answer to the question, “How Do Hamsters Sleep?” is perhaps best summarized with the words, “Very carefully.” Hamsters, like many pets and indeed like many humans, need a certain predetermined and previously established sleep environment in order to get the sustaining, fortifying rest we all need to survive.
So yes, you as a loyal and devoted hamster owner must understand as to how hamsters sleep. Once you learn the typical schedule, rituals, and accommodations that enable hamsters to sleep their best, and also the problems and circumstances that cost your animals precious sleep, then you can use this knowledge to your hamster’s benefit; to build a sort of sleep-positive retreat and habitat that addresses all of your pet’s slumber-related needs and wants.
Or, to phrase things in more simple terms, a functional hammy hangout that will guarantee their sleep!
Read on now for some key tips and tricks on how to help your hamster get the best sleep possible, for virtually all species of hamsters, including Syrian, dwarf/Roborovski and Siberian.….
When Do Hamsters Sleep?
In general, hamsters tend to sleep during the daytime.
This answer tends to frustrate many humans, who would love to share playtime with their precious hammies during their own waking hours. Yet when they venture to their cages during the mornings, afternoons or early evenings, they more often than not find them fast asleep. Bummer, right?!
Well before you condemn your hamster as a first-class lazy-bones with fur, please take the time to learn the method behind their madness—aka, the reasons that their ‘afternoon nap’ tends to overstay its proverbial welcome and last all darned day.
Hamsters love the nightlife
And they gotta boogie. Hammies are generally classified as crepuscular creatures, meaning that they tend to be most active at twilight (now no jokes about sparkly vampire hamsters—please!); the times of dusk and dawn.
This is when they feel the most energized, more than ready to play and exercise. So if you escort your hammy to one of those dusk ‘til dawn shows at the drive-in, he/she is liable to be one happy hamster.
And so will your cat, your rabbit, your guinea pig, and (on the off chance that you own one) your jaguar or your firefly as well. Talk about a carload!
Hamsters are foragers
In the wild, hamsters go searching for and gathering food during the hours of darkness. So if you find your hamster raiding your refrigerator and claiming your leftover pizza, then you’ll understand why.
OK, so that is not terribly likely to happen. Yet you might very well awaken to find your hamster hunting around for and ultimately gathering bits and pieces of food in their cages.
Hamsters have excellent night vision
Unlike most of us, hamsters possess a basic biological makeup that allows them to see better at night. This also means they don’t see very well during the day when the sun is out. Another good reason to stay tucked in during the daytime.
You can read more about hamster senses here.
Hamsters are prey
Out in the wild, hamsters are frequently stalked and hunted by various animal predators. In the interest of self-preservation, they are more likely to roam their habitat late at night, under cover of darkness. Domesticated hamsters continue this tradition, no matter how hard you try to convince them that no predators are lurking in your rec room or home office, just waiting to strike.
So, isn’t there anything nice and normal about a hamster’s sleep schedule? Well, that leads us to our next point of inquiry, which just happens to be….
Are Hamsters’ Sleep Patterns in Any Way Similar to Humans?
Although hamsters as a whole tend to maintain some mighty strange sleep patterns, they do in some ways sleep similarly to humans. For example:
- Hamsters sleep six to eight hours per rest period, much as humans do.
- Hamsters, once asleep, do not like to be disturbed. Imagine how you felt the last time your spouse, child, or sibling woke you from a sound sleep to play cards, catch a movie on TV, etc. You were something short of overjoyed, yes?
Well, imagine just how a hamster feels if you wake them up to play. If at all possible, don’t do this. And if you must wake them, do so slowly and gently. Your hammy will thank you.
- Hamsters, unlike some animals that will camp out happily on the floor, on a couch, etc., need their own bed—just as you no doubt do.
Ah, but what exactly constitutes a hammy hammock; or, in more official terms, a proper hamster bed? Well lucky for you, we’re about to tell you….
Can You Buy a Hamster’s Bed?
Hamster beds are indeed readily available on today’s pet supplies market. These items are specifically designed to accommodate the bodies and sleep needs of most hamsters. And they include:
This cozy and generously sized hamster bed comes complete with a plush exterior and cotton lining, a replaceable and cleanable pad, an ultra-cute hammock design cast in the likeness of a cartoon bear.
Equally usable as a daily sleep bed or a house mat, this soft, warm fleece cushion is machine washable and comes in two sizes, small and large.
A sublime work of velvet and plush, this luxury enclosed bed takes the whimsical form of your choice of cartoon animals, including the red elk, pink pig, giraffe, bee, or crocodile. Your hammy will appreciate the sleep and hide compartment, which is both removable and washable.
If your budget prohibits the purchase of a specialty bed for your hamster, or if you are simply an avid “do it yourself” enthusiast who annoys everyone who knows you with your advanced DIY skills, then you may indeed prefer to make your own hamster bed. And you may, in that case, be asking the question:
How Can I Create a Homemade Hamster Bed?
If you would like to craft a homemade sleeping place for your beloved hammy, then just be aware of the few but crucial fixtures that are needed to create the perfect hamster bed. They include:
- A soft surface. Whether you choose a shredded towel, a soft pad, or a similar object, make sure that your hamster’s bed is very comfortable and easy to access.
- Hay. To liken your hamster’s bed to its natural habitat, include some fresh hay or straw in their sleeping place.
- Toys. Much like a child, your hamster may like to slumber in the gentle company of their favorite balls, dolls and other assorted playthings that make them happy.
- Clean components. Regardless of what items you choose to include in your heavenly hammy boudoir, be sure that they are cleaned frequently and monitored for the development of wear and tear. Just as you maintain the orderly and sanitary condition of your own bed, you should do the same for your precious pet.
You can get more inspiration from this video –
Will I Ever See My Hamster During the Day?
Don’t despair, dear human! Hamsters do awaken from time to time throughout the day, facilitating feedings, playtimes, and endless fun.
Now that you as a hamster owner know a bit more about the rest and sleep habits of your preferred pet, hopefully, you both will sleep a little better at night—and, of course, during the day! Sweet dreams….