Bearded Dragons Sleep
Learn when bearded dragons sleep, as well as where, how often and how long they sleep for in this post.
Are They Lazy Lizards?
When Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?
Bearded dragons sleep overnight, and often during the day, and in the evening. Sometimes they sleep in the morning too. Actually, during the day they’re probably not actually asleep, they’re just resting their eyes.
In seriousness though, bearded dragons mostly sleep overnight as they are diurnal creatures as opposed to nocturnal (they sleep at night and are awake during the day). They rely on good eyesight for hunting and catching food and that’s easier to achieve during the day where the colours are brighter. It’s also warmer during the day and they require the energy from basking under the sunlight to move quickly enough to catch and then digest their food.
Are Bearded Dragons More Active At Night?
No, bearded dragons are usually asleep at night. Although some people do have bearded dragons who are quite active at night, most owners agree that it’s during the day time when their bearded dragons are active.
What Time Should I Turn My Bearded Dragons Light Off At Night?
Bearded dragons like between 12 to 14 hours of lights on, and 10 – 12 hours of lights off. This usually means that the lights would come on at 7 in the morning and go off at between 7 to 9 at night. Some people advice that during brumation times, the lights should be reduced to 10 hours per day. If your bearded dragon has entered brumation, and you’re sure it’s brumation and not some kind of illness happening, then this can work.
Is It OK To Wake Up A Bearded Dragon?
This largely depends on why you want to wake up your bearded dragon. It’s not OK to wake up your bearded dragon just because you’re bored and want some company. That’s selfish. But if there’s a good health reason why you need to wake them up then yes, it’s OK. Do it gently so as not to startle them too much.
Most bearded dragons (unlike humans) don’t seem to wake up aggressive, but they might startle if you do it too quickly and harshly. We tend, if we need to wake ours up, to gently talk to them as we open the door of the tank to let them know we’re there. This is usually enough to wake them up. If they don’t, then we’ll gently stroke their back from head to tail. And then they look at us with that disdain in their eye. “Why? Why did you wake me?”.
Some good reasons for waking up a bearded dragon can be;
- They’re on medication and need to take it at set times.
- You need to get a dragon who’s sleeping too much to a vet.
- You need to obtain a fecal sample and some stimulation might be needed.
- They’re in a dangerous position.
- They’re in a position that is too cold, such as sleeping in a water bowl.
Is It Normal For A Bearded Dragon To Sleep During The Day?
Bearded dragons may sleep during the day. Some bearded dragons do become quite lazy in captivity. They’re fed by hand perhaps, and don’t get the stimulation of the hunt. They know where they’re well off and get used to having their every whim met. And so they sleep, even during the day.
If they’re easily rouseable and stimulated when they wake up, there’s probably not much to worry about. Some bearded dragons will appear like they’re asleep while basking for example. This is normal. Once they are warm enough they’ll likely move somewhere a little cooler and be more active.
If they’re difficult to rouse, or always sleeping even during the day, there’s a few things that could be going on. We’ll break that down in the next section.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Sleeping So Much?
As we mentioned above, if a bearded dragon is sleeping too much there’s a few reasons why this might be, including;
- Tank temperatures that are too low.
- Illnesses such as respiratory infection, parasites or even metabolic bone disease.
- Parasite overload.
- Old age.
Bearded Dragon Sleeping Too Much Because Of Temperatures
Temperature plays an important role in bearded dragons metabolism and energy levels. If your bearded dragon is sleeping too much, especially if that’s a lot during the day, then one of the easiest things to check first is the tank temperature. The tank needs to be between 100-105 Fahrenheit (38 – 41 Celsius) at the basking end and around 75 – 85 Fahrenheit ( 24 – 29 Celsius ) at the cool end. If your bearded dragon tank is too cool there’s some tips available here.
Illness Causes Bearded Dragons To Sleep
Fighting off illness is exhausting. You probably know this from your own experience. And the same happens with bearded dragons. If they’re fighting any kind of infection then they’re quite possibly going to sleep a lot more to conserve energy to fight it off.
A bearded dragons that is sleeping too much may have a medical issue, often parasites, that is going on which needs a bit of attention. Testing for this can be done by a vet, using a sample of the bearded dragons poop. In some cases this sample can simply be mailed in, other places will want to see the beardie as well as the sample. If you think your bearded dragon is sleeping too much during the day, a fecal check (poop check) and a vet visit might be advisable.
There’s various other illnesses which bearded dragons can contract that can cause sleepiness. We outline the more common bearded dragon illnesses here.
Brumation Will Make Bearded Dragons Sleep A LOT
Brumation is a natural process in the bearded dragon world. As we outline in our post specifically about bearded dragon brumation, it’s a similar process to hibernation in mammals and has been ingrained genetically into bearded dragons. It occurs when the environment cools down and contains less opportunity for eating. So, to conserve energy for more abundant times, the bearded dragon brumates. We won’t go into more detail than that in this post, except to say that if your bearded dragon is sleeping a lot and you’ve ruled out other causes, then it’s probably brumation. Follow the link for more details about bearded dragon brumation.
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Some bearded dragons will sleep with their eyes open and others don’t. It’s largely up to your bearded dragon. Many owners report that even the smallest amount of light coming on (when you go to check if they’re sleeping soundly!) their bearded dragon at least partially wakes up and opens their eyes.
If it’s very dark it is going to be difficult for you to tell if they’re sleeping with their eyes open or not. If it’s during the day then many bearded dragons who look like they’re asleep with their eyes open, or partially open, probably aren’t actually asleep. They’re just relaxing, slumbering but still ready to pounce if an insect walks past, or run away if something bigger comes along that might want to eat them.
How Long Do Baby Bearded Dragons Sleep?
Baby bearded dragons sleep in similar patterns to adult bearded dragons, usually between 10 – 12 hours per night.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Light At Night To Help Them Sleep?
No, a bearded dragon does not need light at night and should not have light at night. Many pet stores will tell owners that their bearded dragons require a red light at night. This is absolutely not true. Bearded dragons should not have red lights in their tanks at any time, especially night time.
Light at night will disrupt bearded dragons sleep patterns and potentially lead to health problems later on. Red lights, especially at night, can interfere with bearded dragon’s colour vision in later life which can lead to difficulties seeing insect foods and causing clumsiness.
Things Bearded Dragons Like To Sleep On
Bearded dragons will sleep on literally anything. They’re not fussy like your dog might be. Some owners have hammocks and ledges and other bearded dragon equipment that they buy for their beardie to sleep on. Others buy soft toys and furnishing. Bearded dragons do not need a soft place to sleep, as they don’t have bony protrusions such as hips and elbows to worry about when they’re sleeping.
None of this helps the bearded dragon sleep at all and the best items for bearded dragons to sleep on are large logs, ledges or underneath these sorts of things in little hidey holes or caves.
Many bearded dragon owners post pictures online of their beardie sleeping with their belly against the glass, head high and tail stretched out on the ground for balance. It looks ridiculously uncomfortable but bearded dragons don’t seem to care.
Blankets For Bearded Dragons To Sleep Under
Many people put their bearded dragons under blankets at night in an attempt to keep them warm. Whilst this will have some impact on the temperature of the bearded dragon overnight it’s important to realise that bearded dragons don’t actually need blankets.
Whilst a blanket on a bearded dragon will help slow down the bearded dragon cooling overnight, it won’t stop it. This is because bearded dragons are cold blooded and don’t produce their own body heat. Since a blanket doesn’t stop heat loss, it only slows it down, a bearded dragon will not remain warm overnight with a blanket. And importantly when the heat lamps come on in the morning, the blanket which actually keep your beardie cooler first thing in the morning, which is not what they want or need.
Bearded dragons need to cool down overnight. It’s important for their digestion, comfort and overall health that they cool down overnight. They don’t feel cold in the same way that mammals do and they’re not going to be uncomfortable if they sleep without a blanket.
In short, there’s no need for a bearded dragon to have a blanket overnight, which can harbour bacteria, parasites and offers no benefit. Though if you prefer yours to have one, make sure you keep it meticulously clean and remember that the blanket is making you feel better not them.
Having said all that, some bearded dragon owners do like to snuggle with their bearded dragons, either after a bath, or just because. These snuggle times often involve beardie burritos (the blanket gets wrapped around the beardie with their heads sticking out, looking like a burrito) and there’s nothing wrong with this.
Soft Furnishings / Items In Bearded Dragon Tank
Any soft items that are in your bearded dragons tank need to be taken out regularly and washed to ensure they’re not harbouring bacteria or parasites.
You should also be careful to ensure your bearded dragon doesn’t mistake the soft items as potential food and try to eat them. This doesn’t seem to be a huge problem for most owners but it is something to bear in mind.
Bearded dragons sleep mostly at night, though some might nap during the day at times too. They don’t need, and shouldn’t have light at need. They don’t need blankets or soft furnishings to sleep on either, although there’s no harm if they do have them and many owners like to pamper their beardies in this way. Just make sure to keep them clean.
Too much sleep for bearded dragons can indicate health problems that we went into more detail above. If in doubt, a quick vet check is worthwhile as a bearded dragon that is sleeping too much can be an issue.
Each bearded dragon is different though. Be aware of your bearded dragon sleeping habits and if they’ve not changed then it’s unlikely anything is wrong!
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