Bearded Dragon Sleeping Habits, Position, Too Much

It is not just the head bobbing, arm-waving, and beard display that make bearded dragons the first choice of many exotic pet owners, including first-timers but also other things, including behaviors.

Of course, their docile and laidback personality makes everyone love them. Furthermore, these reptiles are easy to care for and hardy.

Bearded dragon sleeping
Bearded dragon sleeping

However, that is not all. There are many other reasons to buy a bearded dragon. For instance, did you know that these pets are diurnal (they sleep at night and stay awake during the day)? What about their sleeping positions that may seem odd to some people?

How long do bearded dragons sleep?

Beardies sleep for about 8-12 hours, i.e., from the time their lights go off to the time they come on in the morning. In winter, they may snooze for more hours since days are shorter than nights.

Sleep is crucial to these pets as it helps reduce stress, promote growth, development, body repair, optimum health (strengthen immunity), among other things.

Therefore, ensure they have an interrupted regular cycle of day and night, i.e., they should go to bed as well as wake up at the same time each day. To achieve this, invest in a good day and night timers. For instance, the Zilla Reptile Habitat Lighting & Terrarium Heat Power Center is an excellent way to program when heat and light go on and off.

Finally, if you have a thermostat, set the nighttime temperature to 70 °F and 75°F. However, if your ambient temperatures don’t go below 65 °F,  you don’t need nighttime heat lamps.

Where do they sleep in the wild and captivity?

While in the wild beardies sleep in sheltered places, i.e., those protected from natural elements and predators. Such locations include tree holes or hollow, beneath fallen logs, in rock hollows, burrows, dens, or any other sheltered place that will keep them warm at night and be safe from predators.

In captivity, you need to provide them with a place to sleep, a place where they will feel secure and without any distractions. Their hiding place or hideouts make a perfect napping place.

Do they sleep in darkness?

Yes. For these pets to have a good sleep, these pets require total darkness. Hence don’t use incandescent bulbs, including the moonlight, red, or blue light-emitting ones. If you are worried about keeping them warm, ceramic heat emitters, heat mats, or any other way to keep them warm without emitting light will work well.

Do they close their eyes?

Yes. Beardies do close their eyes while speeding in their sleeping corners or place. However, they can sleep with their eyes open, especially if you put them where there is much light. Light will disrupt their sleep.

However, when handling them, they may close their eyes. When this happens, these lizards are not sleeping

Sleeping position – how they may nap

While some will lie down in their hideout or a sheltered corner and sleep, others have odd sleeping positions. For instance, some sleep while standing up with their arms and belly lying against vivarium wall, hammock, climbing branches or logs, and so on. There is nothing to worry about these sleeping positions. Leave them alone.

My bearded dragon sleeping too much

While we have noted that bearded dragons snooze for an average of 8-12 hours. However, sometimes these pets may slumber more even during the day. What are some of the reasons why this happens?

1. Brumation

As winter approaches, bearded dragon brumate. Unlike hibernation, which is marked by total inactivity and feeding, during brumation, they become inactive, don’t eat but might drink water intermittently. Brumation is a survival mechanism since during winter as there is a scarcity of foods and temperatures are low.

During brumation, these pets will spend most of their time slumbering (sleep all the time). Signs that these reptiles are about to brumate include:

  • Going to bed a little earlier
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Hiding more
  • Defecating less

If they are brumating, you need to turn the light and heat off. However, do this gradually and after they have stopped eating for about a week. You don’t want them to remain with any food in their digestive system as it will rot.

2. Cold terrarium

Secondly, if your beardie seems to spend more time napping more than usual, you need to check your terrarium temperature since if it goes to low, this pet will be less active and spend more time sleeping.

Buy an accurate thermometer and ensure the basking temperature is 100°F – 110°F or ten points lower for hatchlings while the colder side temperature is 85°F -95°F.

Remember, these pets cannot digest their food if they are cold, and if the low temperature stays for a long time, they may become lethargic, ill, and have other health problems.

3. UV lighting

Wrong UV light intensity may be the reason why your beardie spends much time lying in its hiding place. Did you know that UVA regulates the circadian cycle (wake-sleep cycle) in a day as well as other daily and seasonal activities like eating, breeding, and so forth?

Therefore, ensure you have an adequate UVA/UVB light. Try brands such as Zoo Med Repti Sun 10.0 or MyComfyPets UVB Light and UVA 2-in-1 Reptile Bulb 100W bulb.

4. Sickness

When ill, most beardies will not only sleep for longer but also be lethargic, lack appetite, lose weight, amongst many other symptoms specific to various diseases or conditions afflicting them.

Let your herp vet conduct a proper diagnosis and treat them accordingly. Don’t ignore any signs of illness.

5. Stress and relocation

When stressed or they have just relocated, beardies tend to sleep more. They will also be skittish, eat less, be lethargic, have stress marks, glass surf, and so on.

Relocation, a dominant cage mate, a small habitat, wrong temperature, humidity, and UV lighting, excessive handling, sickness, poor diet, among other things, can stress these pets.

Find out what is stressing them and manage it. If these lizards are ill, take them to your vet for diagnosis.

Baby bearded dragon sleeping too much

Since they are growing fast, young and baby beardies may sleep for longer hours than adult ones. Similarly, they will eat more. Besides growth, any other reasons we have mentioned above can be a cause of excessive slumbering.

Do they dream?

One study on beardies has shown that like human beings, mammals, and birds as they experience REM (rapid eye movement sleep) as well as slow-wave sleep, making their ability to dream as they slumber a possibility. By studying their brain activities while sleeping, scientists made this conclusion.

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