How Often Do Hummingbirds Sleep (5 Mysterious Habits)

Key Notes

  1. Hummingbirds sleep once a day, an average of 12 hours, including torpor.
  2. Unique sleep patterns: short bursts, lowered body temperature.
  3. Factors influencing sleep: weather, season, size, predators.


Normally, Hummingbirds sleep once a day and their average sleeping time is around 12 hours. They typically sleep from dusk to dawn, but they can also enter a state of torpor during the day, which is a deep sleep-like state that helps them conserve energy. Torpor can last for up to 16 hours, but it is usually shorter.

Unlike most birds, hummingbirds have interesting habits when it comes to sleep. In this article, we’ll uncover the mystery of hummingbird sleeping patterns and torpor. 

Sleeping Facts of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds sleep in a unique way, which is different from how most animals sleep. They have a very high metabolic rate, which means their bodies generate a lot of heat. This high body heat is essential for them to survive, especially in colder temperatures.

When night comes, hummingbirds find a safe place to rest, such as a branch or a hidden spot. They lower their energy levels and start preparing for sleep. During this time, their body temperature drops slightly, but it remains relatively constant compared to other animals.

Hummingbirds sleep in short bursts that last around 10-15 minutes at a time. This method of sleep allows them to conserve energy while still staying alert to potential dangers. They can have multiple sleep sessions throughout the day and night.

Female hummingbirds, especially those that are nursing baby hummingbirds, need to sleep more often than males. The mother hummingbird needs to take care of her young ones and conserve her energy.

Hummingbirds also need to maintain their body temperature in warmer climates. In such conditions, they may sleep for shorter periods, around 20-30 minutes, as their energy requirements are different.

If you have a hummingbird feeder in your garden, you might notice that hummingbirds visit it less frequently during the night. This is because they are resting and conserving their energy for the following day.

Factors that can affect how often and how long hummingbirds sleep

  • Weather: Hummingbirds are more likely to sleep for longer periods in cold weather.
  • Season: Hummingbirds sleep for longer periods during the winter when food is scarce.
  • Size and type of bird: Larger hummingbirds tend to sleep for longer periods than smaller hummingbirds.
  • Predators: Hummingbirds are more likely to sleep for longer periods in areas where there are predators.

Hummingbird Sleep Patterns

Hummingbirds also have some interesting sleep patterns. For example, they may sleep in a variety of positions, including hanging upside down from branches. This helps them conserve energy by keeping their hearts and muscles from working as hard. 

Hummingbirds’ body temperature also drops significantly when they sleep, which helps them conserve even more energy. Their heart rate also slows down. 

Sometimes, hummingbirds may even sleep together in groups, especially during the winter. This helps them stay warm and conserve even more energy.

AspectSleep Patterns
FrequencyOnce a day
DurationAverage of 12 hours
State of TorporYes, during the day (less common)
Torpor DurationUp to 16 hours (typically shorter)
Sleep SessionsShort bursts (10-15 minutes each)
Body TemperatureDrops slightly, remains constant
Female HummingbirdsSleep more often (especially while nursing)
Energy ConservationConservation of energy during sleep
Influence of WeatherLonger sleep in cold temperatures
Seasonal VariationLonger sleep during winter (food scarcity)
Size and Sleep DurationLarger hummingbirds sleep longer
PredatorsLonger sleep in areas with predators
Sleep LocationsBranches, hidden spots, under eaves, in hollows, dense vegetation

How often do hummingbirds sleep?

Hummingbirds sleep once a day, usually at night. They may also enter a state of torpor during the day, but this is less common.

What time do hummingbirds go to sleep?

Hummingbirds typically go to sleep at dusk. However, the exact time they go to sleep can vary depending on the time of year and the weather.

How long does a hummingbird sleep?

Hummingbirds typically sleep for an average of 12 hours. However, the amount of time they sleep can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

Hummingbird Sleep Locations

Do hummingbirds sleep in nests?

Hummingbirds do not typically sleep in nests for a few reasons. First, nests are designed to keep eggs warm, not to provide a comfortable place for adults to sleep. 

Second, nests are often located in exposed areas, which can be dangerous for sleeping hummingbirds. Third, nests can be easily disturbed by predators or other animals, which can wake up the hummingbirds and disrupt their sleep.

Where do hummingbirds sleep when it rains?

Hummingbirds sleep in a variety of places, but they will often seek out sheltered spots when it rains. Some common places where hummingbirds sleep in the rain include:

  • Under eaves: Hummingbirds may sleep under eaves or other overhangs, where they are protected from rain and wind.
  • In hollows in trees: Hummingbirds may also sleep in hollows in trees, which provides them with a warm and dry place to rest.
  • In dense vegetation: Hummingbirds may also sleep in dense vegetation, such as thickets or shrubs. This helps to protect them from the rain and wind, and it also provides them with some camouflage.
  • On branches: Hummingbirds may also sleep on branches, but they will typically choose branches that are sheltered from the rain.

Do hummingbirds sleep in the same place every night?

Hummingbirds do not typically sleep in the same place every night. They may choose different sleeping locations depending on the weather, the time of year, and the availability of food.

Hummingbird Torpor

Hummingbird Torpor

Hummingbird torpor is a state of deep sleep that allows hummingbirds to conserve energy. 

When in torpor, hummingbirds’ body temperature can drop by as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, their heart rate can slow to as few as 10 beats per minute, and their breathing can become shallow. 

This allows hummingbirds to survive on a fraction of the energy they would need to stay active.

Benefits to hummingbird torpor

First, it allows hummingbirds to survive cold nights. Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism, and they need to eat constantly to stay warm. In cold weather, it can be difficult for hummingbirds to find enough food to stay warm. Torpor allows them to conserve energy and survive on less food.

Second, torpor allows hummingbirds to survive periods of food scarcity. In the winter, when food is scarce, hummingbirds may enter torpor for several days at a time. This allows them to survive until food becomes more plentiful.

Third, torpor allows hummingbirds to save energy. Hummingbirds are very active birds, and they need a lot of energy to fly and feed. Torpor allows them to conserve energy and stay active for longer periods.

Hummingbird torpor is a fascinating adaptation that allows these tiny birds to survive in some of the most challenging environments on Earth. It is a testament to the incredible resilience and adaptability of these amazing creatures.

Sleeping Habits of Hummingbirds

Do hummingbirds sleep during the day?

Hummingbirds do sleep during the day, but they do so in a very different way than most other birds. 

Do hummingbirds sleep with their eyes open?

Hummingbirds do not sleep with their eyes open, but they may have their eyes partially open during torpor. This is thought to help them to stay aware of their surroundings and to be able to wake up quickly if necessary.

Hummingbirds sleep alone or group

Hummingbirds typically sleep alone, but they may occasionally sleep in small groups, especially during the winter. There are a few reasons why hummingbirds might sleep in groups.

  • First, sleeping in groups can help to conserve heat.
  • Second, sleeping in groups can help to deter predators.
  • Third, sleeping in groups can provide social benefits, such as the opportunity to exchange information about food sources.

 How can I attract hummingbirds to my garden for sleeping? 

Here are some tips on how to attract hummingbirds to your garden for sleeping:

  • Plant nectar-rich flowers. Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that produce nectar, so planting a variety of nectar-rich flowers in your garden will help to attract them. Some good choices for hummingbird-friendly flowers include:
    • Hummingbird trumpet: This flower is a favorite of hummingbirds, and it produces a lot of nectar.
    • Zinnias: Zinnias come in a variety of colors, and they are a good source of nectar for hummingbirds.
    • Scarlet Sage: This flower is a good source of nectar, and it also attracts other pollinators, such as butterflies.
    • Lantana: This flower is a good source of nectar, and it comes in a variety of colors.
    • Pentas: This flower is a good source of nectar, and it is also drought-tolerant.
  • Provide a water source. Hummingbirds also need a source of water to drink and bathe in. You can provide a water source for hummingbirds by placing a shallow dish of water in your garden.
  • Create a sheltered spot. Hummingbirds like to sleep in sheltered spots, so providing a sheltered spot in your garden will help to attract them. You can create a sheltered spot by placing a birdhouse or a hanging basket in your garden.
  • Avoid using pesticides. Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that are filled with nectar, but they can also be harmed by pesticides. Avoid using pesticides in your garden to protect hummingbirds and other pollinators.


Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures, and their sleep habits are no exception. They have evolved some remarkable adaptations that allow them to conserve energy and survive in some of the most challenging environments on Earth.

Further research into the sleep habits of hummingbirds is important for understanding these tiny creatures and their amazing adaptations. This research could also lead to new insights into the evolution of sleep in other animals.


Can hummingbirds sleep while flying?

Hummingbirds cannot sleep while flying. They need to perch in a safe spot to sleep.

How do hummingbirds sleep in different environments?

Hummingbirds sleep in a variety of environments, including forests, mountains, and deserts. However, their sleep patterns may change slightly depending on the environment.

For example, hummingbirds that live in cold climates may enter torpor more often than hummingbirds that live in warm climates. This is because hummingbirds in cold climates need to conserve energy to stay warm.

How do hummingbirds regulate their body temperature during torpor?

Hummingbirds regulate their body temperature during torpor by a combination of behavioral and physiological mechanisms.

Behaviorally, hummingbirds may choose to sleep in sheltered areas, such as under eaves or in hollows in trees. This helps to protect them from the wind and rain, which can help to conserve heat.

Physiologically, hummingbirds have several adaptations that help them to lower their body temperature during torpor.

For example, their metabolism slows down, their heart rate decreases, and their breathing becomes shallow. These changes help to conserve heat and energy.

Do hummingbirds’ wings stop when they sleep?

No, hummingbirds’ wings do not stop when they sleep.

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