When do Pet Hamsters Usually Wake Up When Living in captivity?

Any time a young child asks for their first pet, most American parents get them a furry little hamster.

After all, why wouldn’t you get a hamster? They are small and loving and look super cute, especially when they’re in their enclosure, having a ball of a time.

Moreover, these rodents barely take up any space and are also easier to manage than larger pets, such as dogs and cats, and are also less expensive to take care of.

Both adults and children across the globe love the warm companionship of a small hamster. Although a hamster does not pounce or leap at their owners with joy, they still have a gentle way of showing affection.

However, although the apparent attraction of owning and caring for a pet hamster causes people to buy these rodents, they are usually unaware of how sensitive this animal is.

Anytime a light goes off in a room, or a sudden loud sound penetrates the hamster’s living space, it will wake up immediately, and the stress might prevent it from falling into a deep slumber again.

What Time do Hamsters Usually Wake Up?

When people bring hamsters to their homes for the first time, they are only concerned about their little pet’s bedding situation and nutritional requirements.

Although both these concerns are quite accurate, people tend to ignore that a pet hamster’s needs lie way beyond just food and a cozy-looking bed.

In general, hamsters are extremely sensitive animals, no matter if they live in the wild or in a cage at your home. Any external stimulus that is either unfamiliar or is introduced suddenly will cause extreme emotional stress and anxiety to your rodent companion.

Apart from being in a state of distress, the hamster will also suffer terribly by being unable to sleep comfortably, which can lead to multiple psychological and health problems.

This is one of the primary reasons many people, especially young children, end up killing their pet hamsters way before the hamster is supposed to pass away.

Although some people mistakenly believe that a threatening stimulus has to be a super sharp noise or a predatory animal, this is not always the case.

Even an untimely light penetrating a resting hamster’s environment can cause it to react frantically. However, even if the hamster eventually calms down, it will not be able to sleep again.

This is because a hamster is not fit to live in a constantly changing environment.

In the wild, hamsters have a well-developed sleeping cycle that allows them to rest in the darkness of the night and move around during the day.

Even if the hamster gets tired during the bright daylight, it can always dig up a well-insulated hole that protects it from any disturbing light, sounds, or other threats, allowing it to sleep comfortably.

On the contrary, a pet hamster living in captivity does not have the option to always enjoy the night’s darkness, or to dig up a shallow enough hole that will allow it to sleep peacefully.

Instead, the hamster’s resting or sleeping routine will completely depend on its owner. When the owner turns off their night light, the hamster is able to fall asleep, and when the night light is turned back on, the hamster will instinctively wake up, even if it is in the middle of the night.

Hence, a pet hamster living in their owner’s room will not have a fixed sleeping pattern and will thus not have a particular time to wake up, as, unlike most other pets, a hamster will never really get used to sleeping in a stimulating environment.

However, how does this unnatural routine or lack of sleep affect the hamster’s mental state and physical health?

Continue reading to learn more about how you can contribute to your hamster’s restlessness and lack of sleep. The article will also shed light on the potential consequences of not letting your hamster sleep.

Moreover, the article will also highlight some potential tips that you can follow to help your pet hamster enjoy longer periods of sleep so that it can have a happier life.

Let’s get started!

Click here: Can I Put My Hamster Cage on the Floor? [10 Reasons]

How You Contribute to Your Hamster’s Restlessness and Lack of Sleep

It is almost impossible for an animal lover to not fall in love with a pet hamster. Their small furry bodies, big eyes, tiny noses, and adorable movements make them one of the most common and beloved pets across the globe.

However, although you might not want to hurt your pet hamster purposefully, you can still unknowingly contribute to your pet hamster’s restlessness and lack of sleep.

This lack of sleep can lead to several health issues and can cause your hamster’s health to deteriorate.

This is how it usually happens:

  • If you tend to watch lots of TV, play a lot of loud video games, or listen to loud music in your room, the auditory stimulus will prevent your hamster from resting properly.
  • Since a captive hamster will be unable to dig up a hole to hide from the uncomfortable noise, it will have no choice but to suffer silently in loud environments.
  • Moreover, if you accidentally surprise your hamster with a high-pitched noise, the heightened stimulus may cause extreme stress to your pet.
  • This might keep it from resting at all, even when the external environment has become much quieter.
  • If you keep the lights on till late at night to study or read, your hamster will have to unwillingly stay up with you too. 
  • This might still be the case even when you have a smaller nightlight. As long as the light can reach the hamster, its brain will be stimulated to remain active.
  • Your hamster will also wake up early in the morning as the light of the sun shines through your uncovered windows.
  • Although this is a natural time to wake up for a hamster in the wild, it might be quite disturbing if the captive pet hamster already had a sleep-deprived night.
  • Moreover, by inviting unfamiliar people to your room, you might be invading the hamster’s personal space.
  • The unfamiliar and loud sounds of people talking and laughing will keep the hamster on high alert, preventing it from falling asleep.
  • Furthermore, delayed medical checkups or untreated illnesses can also disturb your pet hamster’s natural sleeping cycle, causing it to wake up at odd times.

What Happens to a Pet Hamster When it is Frequently Deprived of Proper Sleep?

Anytime you fail to get a proper night’s sleep, you might experience disorientation, frustration, and a lack of emotional positivity the next day.

The same will happen to your pet hamster; however, due to its extremely sensitive nature, all these emotions will be far more intense.

This is what happens when a pet hamster is frequently deprived of proper sleep:

  • If your hamster wasn’t able to sleep the night before, it will be extremely disoriented during the day. This may lead to stressful confusion and a lack of appetite.
  • Moreover, if a sudden external stimulus suddenly shocks your pet hamster, it might cause the rodent to experience extreme anxiety, leading to a state of frenzy.
  • When this happens, the pet hamster might react by scurrying around in circles, itching and biting itself, digging up its bedding frantically, or even playing dead.
  • Furthermore, if this sleep deprivation becomes a frequent part of the hamster’s lifestyle, this unnatural routine may cause it to fall into depression or even get physically ill.
  • Eventually, the pet hamster will not have the energy to move around or even eat during the day. If nothing changes, this could result in the pet hamster’s premature death. 

Read: Can I put a heating pad under my hamster’s cage?

Top Tips to Help Your Pet Hamster Enjoy Longer Periods of Uninterrupted Sleep

Some of the top tips to help your pet hamster enjoy a healthy sleeping cycle are as follows:

  • If you cannot turn your night light off due to work, cover the hamster’s cage with a thick-enough fabric so that its living space is sufficiently dark.
  • However, ensure that the covering fabric does not affect the cage’s ventilation.
  • Moreover, if possible, watch TV or listen to music in another part of your house, especially during the night time.
  • However, if it is not possible for you to leave your room, just place the hamster’s cage in a dark and quiet place of your house for the night.
  • Furthermore, if your pet hamster cannot sleep even in an unstimulated environment, take it to your local veterinarian for a medical checkup.

Final Thoughts

Although a hamster may seem like a low-maintenance pet, this is not always the case. While you might not have to worry about giving it too much space or food, you must watch out for its sleeping pattern.

If your hamster seems quite inactive and distressed during the day, the chances are that your routine or actions are depriving it of a proper night’s rest. Hence, if this is the case, you need to either change your everyday routine, or place the hamster’s cage in a dark and quiet place of your house during the night.

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