The day cycle is a period of 20 hours in game from 6am to 2am. Past midnight (12:00 am), the player's character becomes tired and in need of sleep. However, the player can stay awake until 2am, after which their character will pass out.
If the character passes out they will wake up in bed, having been dragged there by either a JojaMart medical team, Linus, or Dr. Harvey if they are not married to him. In each case 10% of the player's money up to and including 1,000g will be lost (the details of this transaction will appear as a letter in the player's mailbox). An exception is if the player was lucky enough to pass out inside the house.
Sleep will restore the player's Energy and Health to full if they go to bed no later than midnight 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, with about 50% if they sleep right before 2am.
The heart level of cows and goats is increased through successful milking, which can be done any time, including while they are sleeping.
You normally cannot interact with animals while they are asleep, making it impossible to raise their heart level. You can, however, occasionally interact with them when they are sleeping if you walk into them (especially repeatedly), causing them to move. As of v1.3 it is much more difficult to "nudge" animals by walking into them.
- Tip: The advantage of milking after 8pm is that animals never walk away from you. Animals walking away mid-action frequently causes milking and shearing to fail.
You can also exit the barn and re-enter; the animals will change position randomly, but this makes it hard to keep track of who has been milked.
There is a glitch where, sometimes, if the player is on their horse at 2am, 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 2am. The same thing will happen every 10 in-game minutes.
Assuming the game will not be paused, a displayed time step of 10 minutes in-game will equal 7 real-life seconds. This means:
- One in-game hour equals 42 seconds.
- One in-game day equals 840 seconds (14 minutes).
- One in-game month equals 392 minutes (~6.533 hours).
- One in-game year equals 1568 minutes (~26.133 hours).
This calculation does not contain any game-play induced pauses like cut-scenes or the selling summary after each day.
Taking this into consideration, assuming the player will use the full 20 hours (6:00 AM to 2:00 AM) available on every day and that the player will collect everything else there is, it would take 3024 minutes (50.4 hours) to "complete the game", since Winter 21st in Year 2 will be the day the last recipe of The Queen of Sauce will be available through the TV enabling the player to earn the Gourmet Chef achievement.