Can Hamsters Have Nightmares? Let’s Discover

When you see your hamster sleeping you surely wonder if your small and cute pet is dreaming something.

When hamsters dream, they also know how to scream in their sleep, which of course scares you even more and you worry about your pet.

Do hamsters have nightmares?

Yes, hamsters can have nightmares, because they are very sensitive animals who often dream about predators because they are usually prey.

They dream different dreams that are mostly related to stress and therefore often have nightmares, although they can also dream of playing and running.

Research shows that hamsters and other rodents dream a lot more than we think.

In today’s article, you will find out why hamsters have nightmares, what their dreams are, why they scream in their sleep, and other similar questions related to the topic.

Do hamsters have nightmares?

Yes, hamsters have nightmares because they often have stressful situations in their everyday life that they then dream about.

It can happen that hamsters also scream in their sleep when they have nightmares, although it is not known exactly how they really dream.

Some species of animals see images when they dream, which means that their dreams are different from ours because human dreams are more complex.

Scientists have discovered through research that mice dream, and since hamsters also belong to the group of rodents, it can be assumed that they dream too.

When hamsters dream they sometimes move in their sleep and move their whiskers and legs, although this may also mean that they are watching their surroundings for predators.

Research shows that rodents or hamsters can also have post-traumatic stress disorder.

This stress disorder manifests itself in nightmares in hamsters due to certain bad memories and traumas they have experienced in their lives.

However, scientists are still not sure if hamsters dream like us humans or if they only see images in their dreams.

What does my hamster dream about?

Hamsters often dream about things that happen to them in their everyday life, such as:

  • playing
  • running
  • predators

So let’s take a closer look at their experiences while sleeping and dreaming.

Hamsters dream that they are playing

Hamsters dream of playing because they have many memories of playing in or out of the cage.

Research shows that the mice had the same brain activity when they were sleeping, as when they were playing and running through mazes.

This can be seen through their rapid eye movement when they are actually dreaming the most.

Hamsters dream that they are running

Hamsters spend most of their waking hours running especially on their exercise wheel and therefore have such dreams afterward.

When they dream, they move their legs in a similar way to running when they are awake.

They run in their dreams and because they are running away from predators they mostly use their legs to save themselves from them.

That’s why when this kind of running is noticed while dreaming, it causes nightmares in your pet.

Hamsters dream about predators

Hamsters very often dream of attacks from predators, and they are always ready to defend themselves.

When hamsters dream of predators, it is very stressful for them, and they need to have a good place to sleep where they feel safe.

That’s why it’s best to provide them with at least 6 inches of deeper bedding to make them more comfortable and feel protected.can hamsters have nightmares

What can we do so that hamsters do not have nightmares?

Since nightmares in hamsters occur because of what they experienced when they are awake, it is necessary to provide them with a stress-free life and more comfort.

Here are some things you can do to help your hamster have fewer bad dreams and nightmares:

  • provide them with a comfortable environment in and out of the cage
  • they should always have bedding deep enough to sleep safely and comfortably
  • do not let loud noise and unfamiliar people around your hamster
  • do not keep other pets in his room
  • play and have fun with your pet every day when you have time

The happier and more comfortable the hamster’s life is when he is awake, the less likely he is to have nightmares when he sleeps.

Why does my hamster sometimes scream in its sleep?

Hamsters may scream in their sleep for many reasons such as nightmares, pain, or danger from predators. When hamsters have nightmares they start screaming because they are scared of something.

Hamsters can also scream if they feel threatened in the place where they sleep, such as by predators.

However, sometimes screaming in a dream can also mean that something is wrong with them, that is, that they are in some pain or are injured.

Especially if they scream for a long time then you should take them to the vet to have them examined.

Is it not good to wake the hamster from sleep

It is not good to wake your pet when he is sleeping, because he may react badly or get stressed, so avoid waking them early.

Here’s what can happen when you wake your hamster up early.

Risk of injury

If you try to wake up the hamster earlier it can result in aggressive behavior and they can hurt you.

Then the hamster will be angry and may bite you and hurt you, because it may think that it is attacked by predators.

Hamsters have very sharp teeth and can cause you to bleed when bitten, so it’s best not to wake them up.

The hamster will get stressed

Each awakening of the hamster from sleep can easily cause stress in your pet.

When hamsters are stressed it is dangerous to their overall health and can cause them to develop diseases and eventually die.

It is not terrible if you wake up the hamster a few times, but if you do it very often then you risk getting health problems.

It is best to wake the hamster only if you notice that the hamster is in pain, otherwise you should let it sleep and wake up on its own.

Shortening of sleep

Hamsters need enough sleep to be rested and have enough energy to run and play daily.

If you wake them up early, they will not be able to function as they should, they will run less, and it may have a negative effect on their memory.

If you wake the hamsters up early they will lose their daily sleep routine which can only negatively affect their health.

Read more: Should We Wake Up The Hamster When It Hibernates?

Do hamsters sleep deeply?

Hamsters can sleep deeply, it is more precisely a state of torpor or hibernation. Hamsters sleep deeply when the temperature is too low, and they do this so that they can have more energy.

This kind of sleeping helps them to survive when they are in the wild and when they are in danger from predators.

When hamsters go into hibernation they slow down their breathing and heart rate to conserve their energy.

Read more: Why Is My Hamster Sleep More Then Usual? (Find Out Now)


Hamsters can have nightmares, although it is not known exactly what they dream about and whether they only see pictures or dream just like us humans.

Hamsters can have nightmares because they are always running and hiding from predators because they are usually prey.

When hamsters dream and have nightmares, they may scream or move their legs in their sleep, because they usually dream of running, playing, or running away from predators.

In any case, we should keep the hamsters as best as we can when they are awake, so they will have less chance of having nightmares and fewer bad dreams.

Read more: How To Change A Hamster’s Sleep Schedule? Let’s Find Out