In the wild, hamsters are diurnal animals, awake during the day and asleep at night. So, it’s common for pet hamsters to be active periodically during the day.
That said, if the hamster had suddenly started staying awake more during the day when it used to only be awake at night, there could be a simple explanation for this change.
Why is My Hamster Awake in the Morning?
All hamsters have different personalities, temperaments, and preferences.
If you have more than one hamster or have had other hamsters in the past, you’ll likely notice that one might be the complete opposite of the other.
One hamster might like being handled and played with, but another might react much differently. It may bite when you try to pick it up or shy away and retreat into its burrows when you’re around.
The same goes for their sleep cycles. One might fit the mold by sleeping during the day and being most active at night. Another one might sleep most of the night and be awake most of the day.
You may even have a hamster that sleeps off and on throughout the day and night.
A hamster awake in the morning shouldn’t be a concern unless it’s a new development. If the hamster never used to wake up in the mornings, there could be an explanation.
A hamster with a suddenly unusual sleep cycle could have sleep deprivation.
The Journal of Neuroscience stated that being spontaneously aroused from sleep can throw off hamsters’ normal sleep cycle and lead to sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can then lead to stress and other health problems.
If you’ve ever experienced sleep deprivation, you know that even though your body is tired and ready for bed, you can’t fall asleep no matter what you do.
Then, when you finally fall asleep, it’s usually not at your regular sleep time, so your whole sleep cycle is disrupted for a while. Well, the same thing happens with hamsters.
To resolve a hamster’s sleep deprivation issue, consider what could be waking up the hamster in the mornings. Then, make changes to get the hamster’s sleep cycle back on track.
Here are some things that could be disturbing the hamster’s sleep:
Loud noises can startle a hamster awake, even out of deep sleep.
Things like alarms, ringing phones, music, people talking, thunder and lightning, TV, or the sound of something you dropped hitting the floor can wake a hamster up suddenly.
If loud noise is waking up the hamster, consider moving its cage to a different area of the house where it’ll be quieter so it can start sleeping again.
Replenishing Food and Water
If it’s your normal routine to give the hamster food and water in the morning before you leave the house for the day, you could be disrupting its sleep.
Perhaps wait until the evening hours to replenish its food and water, as it’ll wake up soon anyway.
Since hamsters are supposed to be crepuscular, they’re accustomed to the dark.
However, if the hamster is sleeping and you turn on a light, there’s a good chance that the sudden brightness will awaken the hamster.
Cover the hamster’s cage with a sheet or dim the lights if you need to turn them on.
Hungry or Thirsty
Although hamsters are most active at night, they occasionally wake up throughout the day to eat, drink, or play for a while. This could be why the hamster is awake in the mornings.
Chances are that once it has food in its belly and runs on its wheel, it’ll return to sleep.
Perhaps the hamster slept later at night before waking up to eat and hasn’t returned to sleep yet.
Is it Normal for Hamsters to Be Awake All Day?
Hamsters often wake up throughout the day but spend most of their time awake during the night.
It’s not something you should be overly concerned about unless the hamster is either sleeping all night and awake all day or showing signs that it’s sick or stressed.
Signs of Sickness and Stress
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Discharge from the eyes or nose
- Wetness around its tail
Why is My Hamster Sleeping All the Time?
While you may be concerned because the hamster is awake during the day, it’d be more concerning if it slept excessively throughout the day and night.
When hamsters sleep too much, it’s usually a sign something is amiss, especially if they’ve recently started displaying this behavior.
Here are some reasons why a hamster has started sleeping all the time:
Hamsters feeling unwell tend to sleep more than usual to recover their bodies.
Hamsters are as likely to get colds and viruses as people. If you’ve had a cold recently, the hamster might have caught its cold from you.
Bored and Understimulated
If the hamster is sleeping the days and nights away and you’ve ruled out sickness, it’s possible it’s bored and doesn’t have enough interesting things to keep it awake.
If the hamster is getting old, excessive sleeping could be because it’s worn out. Unfortunately, this could mean the hamster won’t be around much longer.
You can always take the hamster to the vet to be checked out, but if it’s due to old age, all you can do is make the hamster comfortable.
A hamster’s excessive sleeping could be because it’s slipping into torpor hibernation. Hamsters hibernate during winter, usually for only a few days.
You’ll know a hamster is in torpor if its breaths are short and uneven and its body is limp when you pick it up. Its nose, paws, and ears will be cold to the touch.
Keep the hamster warm. The colder a hamster gets, the longer it’ll stay in hibernation. Continue leaving fresh food and water so that it’s there when the hamster awakens.