Bearded dragons are prized pets for both their ease of care and extended range of entertaining behaviors, including
- threat poses and
- strange sleeping postures. Understanding when and how your pet sleeps is an important part of caring for him.
Bearded dragons dig in their sand a lot. This helps them regulate their temperature by covering or uncovering themselves, the same way you do with your blanket. Many dragons dig and cover themselves with sand before they sleep. They are known to fall asleep in bizarre positions as well, including on their backs while lying on their basking rocks.
The following information will be addressing bearded dragons sleeping habits and lethargy:
- bearded dragons sleeping habits
- how much sleep bearded dragons need
- why bearded dragons need so much sleep
- how much sleep baby bearded dragon needs
- hours of the day that bearded dragons sleep
- importance of light when sleeping
- importance of heat on bearded dragon’s sleep
- last meal before a bearded dragon sleeps
- nocturnal vs diurnal in the case of bearded dragons
- brumation in winter for your bearded dragons
- bearded dragon’s dehydration
- causes of bearded dragons lethargy
- differences between being lazy and lethargic
- bearded dragon act lazy due to lack of proper heat
- bearded dragon act lazy due to uva radiation
- impaction symptoms in bearded dragons
- possible parasites
- Way out
How Much Sleep Do Bearded Dragons Need? (Must Know Facts)
When you own a Bearded Dragon it’s important to know how much sleep they need on a daily basis. This will allow them to grow both happy and healthy.
So how much sleep do Bearded Dragons need? Bearded Dragons need anything from 8-12 hours of sleep per day. You should try and create a regular pattern that replicates the natural day-night cycle in the wild.
Allowing your Bearded Dragon the same amount of sleep each day and ideally, at the same time, each day will help them to create a good, healthy sleeping habit.
Read on to find out to take a deeper look at how much sleep bearded Dragon need, do they light and heat then sleeping and much more.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need So Much Sleep?
Bearded Dragons need lots of sleep to support growth and good health. It’s important that they follow a good ‘bedtime routine’ because in the wild Bearded Dragons follow the day-night cycle of the sun rising and setting.
This pattern is a natural process that most of the animal kingdom adhere to including humans.
Think about how important having a settled sleep pattern is to us. We rise in the morning and sleep through the night, this is exactly the same for Bearded Dragons.
This process also helps them to regulate their body temperature in the wild. They will sleep at night when the temperature is cooler and bask in the sun through the day to gain energy for tasks such as finding food.
Having a set amount of hours per day that your Bearded Dragon can sleep is highly recommended as well as trying to keep the same hourly pattern too. For example, if you choose to let your Dragon sleep between 9 pm and 9 am then try to keep to these times every day.
How Much Sleep Do Baby Bearded Dragons Need?
You should give your Baby Bearded Dragons the same amount of sleep as an adult Bearded Dragon, around 8-12 hours of sleep per day.
Baby Bearded Dragons are growing at a rapid rate and they will grow to 90% of their full-length n the first 12 months.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to let them have longer sleep patterns to ensure they are getting all the sleep they need.
You will also still want to consider keeping to a regular pattern of not just how many hours sleep they have. But also the time the lights go out, for instance, 9 pm to 9 am.
If you get into a good pattern while your Bearded Dragon is young they will know what to expect as they get older. And things like feeding in the morning should become easy because your Bearded Dragon will be expecting food at the same time every day.
Bearded dragons dig in their sand a lot. This helps them regulate their temperature by covering or uncovering themselves, the same way you do with your blanket. Many bearded dragons dig and cover themselves with sand just before they sleep.
They are known to fall asleep in awkward positions as well. Including on their backs while lying just on their basking rocks. If your dragon is used to your touch, you may pick her up and hold her while she is sleeping.
Instead of trying to run away from you, she may actually snuggle up against your warmth and continue sleeping.
Do Bearded Dragons Close Their Eyes While Sleeping?
Yes, bearded dragons close their eyes while sleeping. They sleep as soon as it is dark. If there is too much light in the room they are sleeping in, they will open their eyes.
I really wondered why people ask that question, but I think I have the answer now. A lot of people want to see their bearded dragons sleeping and try to do that in the dark with a flashlight or with the light of their mobile phones.
Bearded dragons often open their eyes in such a situation and seem that they sleep with open eyes.
Always make sure that your bearded dragon has enough hides to sleep or that the room where you have put the tank in is completely dark during sleeping time.
What Hours Of The Day Should Bearded Dragons Sleep?
Bearded Dragons aren’t nocturnal like a lot of the animal kingdom, they are diurnal, which means that they look for food through the day and sleep at night.
When thinking about what hours of the day your Bearded Dragon should sleep. You need to consider the day-night cycle in the wild and choose something close to this.
This is a lot simpler than it sounds because this is the same pattern that we humans use for our sleep pattern.
If for example, you get up for work at 7 am, you could use this time to switch the light on in your Bearded Dragons tank. And then switch them back off again at 7pm-9pm.
This will give your Dragon ample sleeping hours while replicating the actual day-night cycle closely enough.
You don’t have to keep the day-night cycle in the tank exact to the sun in your part of the world, just keep it something close that is a fair reflection.
Some Bearded Dragons owners do actually like to use the exact times that the sun is rising and setting to set the light in your Dragons tank by. This is totally up to you but it’s not totally necessary.
You can also change the amount of nighttime hours you give your Bearded Dragon by the season, such as:
- 12 hours in winter
- 10 hours in spring
- 8 hours in summer, and
- back up to 10 hours in autumn before arriving in winter again.
How you work this cycle is totally up to you. But having a set 8-12 nighttime cycle all year round in fine too.
Nocturnal vs. Diurnal
Many reptiles are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night and sleep during the day. The bearded dragon is an exception to this rule. They are diurnal, they feed and roam during the day, and prefer to sleep at night, like you.
When caring for your bearded dragons, you need to ensure their nights are dark, so they can sleep. Avoid using the red incandescent light bulbs that manufacturers make for reptile enclosures at night. These can distract your reptile and prevent her from sleeping. Instead, go with an under-tank heating mat for the nighttime source of heat that your pet needs.
Can Bearded Dragons Have a Light On When Sleeping?
A UVB light is hugely important to Bearded Dragon. But when they are sleeping there is no reason to keep the UVB light on at all.
As long as you provide your Bearded Dragon with at least 10 hours of UVB light during the day time hours. And you have a good set up where they can get an ample amount of exposure. Then, you can rest assured they have all the UVB light they require.
Having lights on at night can be confusing for your Bearded Dragon as they are hard-wired to sleep when the sun goes down.
This can cause them to become restless and not get the amount of sleep they need to grow and stay healthy.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?
Bearded Dragons do need heat at night but only if the temperature drops below around 65°F.
This goes back to trying to replicate what they would experience in the wild. While it would be extremely hot during the day, at night the temperatures would drop to around 70-75°F.
If your room temperature is around this mark, then you shouldn’t actually need any additional heat in your Bearded Dragons tank at night.
If the temperature drops below this to the temperatures we mentioned above, then you will want to consider purchasing a ceramic heat emitter. The ceramic heat emitter I use is from Exo Terra.
This type of heat lamp will give you the heat you need to top up the temperature in the tank without giving off any light.
Obviously, this is important so you don’t disturb your Bearded Dragons sleep pattern with light. And cause them to think that it’s day time.
The nighttime temperature of around 70-75°F is the same for baby, juvenile and adult Bearded Dragons.
When Should Your Bearded Dragons Last Meal Be Before Sleeping?
This is something that is often overlooked but it’s very important to the health of your Bearded Dragon.
Bearded Dragons need to bask to aid the digestion of their food. In fact, without the opportunity to bask they would find it hard to digest their food at all.
If you give your Bearded Dragon it’s last meal and then turns the lights off for ‘bedtime’ shortly after, then you are running the risk of your Dragon going to bed with undigested food in their stomach.
For a human, this isn’t such a big deal. But for a Bearded Dragon, it can cause a lot of health problems.
One such problem is impaction. This is where your Dragon gets food stuck in their gut through lack of digestion and then they basically get constipated.
This can be very painful for Bearded Dragons. And cause them to become moody and lose their appetite through the pain they feel.
They also won’t be getting the nutrients that they need as they aren’t digesting any food, and this can cause health problems.
Baby Bearded Dragons need a lot of nutrients to keep up with the rapid growth that takes place in the first 12 months so being allowed time to digest their food is vital for their growth and development.
You should ideally give your Bearded Dragon 3 hours of time to with the basking light on after their last meal to ensure that they can digest their food and take the nutrients they need.
I hope you have got lots of value out of this post and you now know how much sleep your Bearded Dragon needs each night.
The things to remember are to make sure they get at least 8-12 hours of sleep each night.
Try to stick to the same pattern each day so your Bearded Dragon builds a sleeping and waking habit.
Give them their last meal around 3 hours before the basking light goes off so they have ample time to digest their meal.
This sleep should be undisturbed with all lights out in their tank and the temperature reduced to around 70-75°F.
If their tank drops below this temperature then you should consider a ceramic heat emitter to top up the heat.
If you stick to these general rules then you should have a good, solid bedtime routine in place that will lead to a healthy Bearded Dragon.
Why does a Bearded Dragon Act Lazy or Lethargic?
One of the most common occurrences many dragon owners face is when their bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic. This can be a normal behavior during certain times of the year or can be a sign of a severe health condition for many bearded dragons.
We will go over some things to look for when a dragon acts lazy or lethargic.
Differences Between Lazy and Lethargic
Typically, there’s a big difference between a bearded dragon that acts lazy and another one that is lethargic.
Lazy is generally defined as a bearded dragon that just lays around for a day or two then is peppy and roaring to go later. This could be very normal as dragons have off days just like their human parents.
Ever have that day where you just don’t feel like getting up to go to work or school? Well, bearded dragons have those days, too.
Lethargic can have a much more serious definition. Lethargic can mean that the dragon doesn’t move much at all, stays in one location for days and days, and acts very weak and unresponsive. A bearded dragon that act lethargic could be a very serious sign of a possible health issue.
If your bearded dragon is just being lazy, you really don’t have to be too concerned. But keep a close eye on their behavior for the next couple of days. However, if your bearded dragon is acting more lethargic, you need to take some steps towards getting help from a qualified veterinarian.
Brumation During Winter Months
It is very common for your dragon to brumate during the late fall through the winter months. Brumation mostly occurs in older juveniles and adults and is basically the act of hibernation for bearded dragons. Therefore, if brumation is beginning, your bearded dragon can sleep for days or even weeks at a time. And its appetite may drastically slow down or even stop.
You may be able to wake your bearded dragon up every few days for food and a bath, but each beardie is different.
Brumation is completely normal and many times there’s really nothing you can do just to stop it.
Bearded Dragons Dehydration
This is very common in captive-raised bearded dragons. It is important to regularly:
- bathe, and
- offer your bearded dragon fresh, and dechlorinated water every day.
Even if it doesn’t seem like your bearded dragon is drinking from the bowl, you ought to still offer fresh, dechlorinated water each day.
One common trick to get your bearded dragon to drink from the water bowl is to use The Big Dripper. Place The Big Dripper on top of the screen cover of the terrarium over the water bowl. Fill The Big Dripper with fresh, and dechlorinated water, treated with ReptiSafe. And set it to release a slow drip of water directly into the water bowl.
This dripping action will definitely cause a rippling effect in the drinking water. Allowing the bearded dragon to notice the water (bearded dragons cannot detect standing water).
Bearded Dragon Does Act Lazy Due to Lack of Proper Heat
A bearded dragon does act lazy or lethargic if the temperatures are not adequate enough. Low temperatures can cause a loss of appetite and activity levels can drop.
Make sure that you use a very high-quality thermometer at each end of the terrarium (one in the basking area and one in the cooler area) so you can monitor temperatures.
Bearded Dragon Acts Lazy Due to Lack of UVA Radiation
Bearded dragons need full-spectrum lighting for very good health and this lighting includes UVA radiation.
UVA radiation helps to stimulate appetite and promotes high levels of activity. If your bearded dragon is acting a bit sluggish, just make sure to check your lighting.
You should provide full-spectrum lighting via a
- fluorescent tube
- compact fluorescent, or
- Mercury Vapor bulb for at least 12 hours a day.
You should place the bulb within 12 inches of the bearded dragon unless you use Mercury Vapor, which can be a bit farther away.
Also, you should replace the fluorescent bulbs once every six months as they begin losing their effectiveness as they age.
Impaction sometimes leads to paralysis in the hind legs. If your bearded dragon stops moving or seems to be trying to drag its hind legs, this could be a sign of impaction.
If you witness anything similar to what’s described above, get your bearded dragon to a veterinarian immediately.
Impaction will most likely lead to death. And although treating it has slim chances of recovery, medical help ought to be sought to relieve any suffering.
Another possible factor why a dragon acts lazy or lethargic is parasites. Parasites could be sucking the energy from your dragon and causing serious health issues.
A very good sign of possible parasites is very runny, extremely smelly poop, that doesn’t possess solid white urates. Urates are the white clump you usually find on one end of the stool. The stool should be fairly solid (hold itself together well), be dark brown or green in color, and also have a solid white urate.
Parasites that are commonly found in bearded dragons generally come from tainted food sources or very dirty living conditions. Of course, runny stool could also be a sign of diarrhea or even poor diet.
If you suspect parasites, you will need to take a stool sample to a veterinarian for analysis.
See a Veterinarian
A bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic for many reasons, and it’s always very good to have a conversation with your veterinarian about the causes of lethargic or lazy behavior.
Like we mentioned, if the behavior las for just a few days, it could just be a lazy streak, but if other factors are found and laziness persists it could be a sign of a severe health condition which needs the attention of a qualified reptile veterinarian.