The day cycle is a period of 18 hours in game (or 13.5 minutes real time; one in-game hour is 45 seconds) from 6:00AM to 12:00AM (Midnight). Past midnight, the player's character becomes tired and in need of sleep. However, The Player can stay awake until 2:00AM, after which their character will pass out.
If the character passes out they will wake up in bed, having been dragged there by either the town's doctor, Harvey, Linus, a JojaMart member or JojaMart doctor. In each case some of the player's money will be lost (the details of this transaction will appear as a letter in the player's letter box). An exception is if the player was lucky enough to pass out inside the house.
The game saves only after the player]] has gone to bed and the daily profit breakdown has been accepted, commencing the end of day.
Sleep will restore the player's Energy and Health to full if they go to bed before 12:00AM and are not exhausted, and to half if they pass out or are exhausted. The longer past midnight the player stays awake, the less energy they wake up with (regardless of amount before sleep), with about 50% if they sleep right before 2:00AM.
It is considered nighttime after 6:00PM, which makes it possible to catch night time fish. However, it doesn't become dark until 8:00PM.
Cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks and rabbits will automatically go inside their coop or barn at 5-6:00PM and will start going to sleep at 6-7:00PM; however, they will only stop moving around at 8:00PM.
It is not possible to talk to the above animals while they are asleep, so you cannot raise the heart level of pigs, sheep, rabbits, chickens or ducks at this time. However, the heart level of cows and goats is increased through successful milking, which can be done any time, including at night while they are sleeping.
- Tip: The advantage of milking after 8:00PM is that the animals never walk away from you. Animals walking away mid-action frequently causes milking and shearing to fail.
- Issues: Animals cannot be moved around by nudging after 8:00PM, which is problem when they are in an awkward position. For example, if two cows are end-to-end, the game may keep trying to milk the same one. To address this, the player should stand a full pace behind or in front of the intended target, so there is a sizeable gap between the player and the animal.
There is a glitch where, sometimes, if the player is on their horse at 2:00AM, they will not pass out. Instead, the game will freeze momentarily before giving back control. The player can then get on and off their horse again, and continue beyond 2:00AM. The same thing will happen every 10 in-game minutes.
There is also a glitch in version 1.1 where if the player selects the journal of quests while beginning to pass out, they will be able to avoid the penalty and continue beyond 2:00AM. To exploit this glitch, the player must select the journal manually, i.e., by clicking, rather than pressing F. Again, the player will attempt to pass out every 10 minutes.
Normally, going to bed late consistently reduces the player's energy for the next morning. If the player uses these glitches to go to sleep after 2:00AM, the energy reduction rate varies.
There are game modifications (mods) that allow to manipulate the clock speed, i.e. to slow down or speed up the time to e.g. 10 minutes every second or every 14 seconds, and even to freeze the clock.
Monster waves do not occur in mines if the time is frozen, and fish swarms never disappear.