With so many questions surrounding bearded dragon sleep, we have decided to take the 26 questions that owners ask on a regular basis and put them in one convenient post.
You can use the clickable table of contents to navigate to the question you want or you can simply scroll through the post.
The article is in a Q&A style format that should allow you to learn all you need to know about the sleep habits and needs of bearded dragons.
Ok, let’s answer the 26 common questions bearded dragon owners have regarding their beardies and sleep…
Is It Normal For Baby Bearded Dragons To Sleep A Lot?
Baby Bearded Dragons may be prone to sleeping more than adult Bearded Dragons due to their high growth rates. Bearded Dragons are also often acquired at young ages so a baby Bearded Dragon is more likely to go through relocation stress, causing them to sleep more.
Baby Bearded Dragons may sleep more than adults to fuel their rapid growth rates. Sleep is important for growth, development, and healing.
Baby Bearded Dragons may sleep a lot while undergoing a growth spurt, of which they have a lot of in their first year of life!
Most Bearded Dragons owners will purchase or adopt their beardies when they are young age and relocation at any age can cause a level of stress for Bearded Dragons.
Relocation stress can cause high levels of lethargy lasting up to 2 weeks so a baby beardie sleeping more than 12 hours could be undergoing this stress.
Other reasons for excess sleep that should be eliminated from concern before drawing it down to a growth spurt or relocation stress include (but are not limited to):
- Incorrect tank temperatures
- UVB levels are too low
You should not let a baby Bearded Dragon brumate as their metabolism is so fast they will quickly use up stored nutrients and end up in a very poor condition.
Do Baby Bearded Dragon Sleep More?
There is nothing to prove that Baby Bearded Dragons really need more sleep than Bearded Dragons at other stages of life. But many owners reports their young Bearded Dragons sleep more, likely to support their growth rates.
There has been no real scientific evidence that supports the claim that Bearded Dragon babies need to sleep more than adults.
But babies of so many other species tend to sleep more than their adult counterparts, so it is highly likely that baby beardies also require more sleep for healthy growth and development.
Bearded Dragons grow 90% of their full size in the first 12 months of their lives so a decent amount of sleep will support this rapid growth.
Do Older Bearded Dragon Sleep More?
Bearded Dragons that are in their elderly stage will likely sleep more than a regular adult. Animals in the senior years of their lives tend to have less energy as their body does not function as efficiently as it once did.
Bearded Dragons are already extremely conscious of their energy usage, attempting to be as efficient as possible with their resources.
Older Bearded Dragons will be even more so as regular behaviors will take more energy expenditure.
Elderly Bearded Dragons will have muscle wastage, stiff joints, and a slower metabolism that will make ordinary behaviors more difficult so to compensate they will likely sleep more to rest and recover.
See the age table below to see what constitutes an elderly Bearded Dragon in captivity
Bearded Dragons Life Stages
Bearded Dragons in the wild will have an average lifespan of 5 – 8 years but in captivity, with extra care, they can live for as long as 10 – 12 years.
So Bearded Dragons as pets can spend up to half of their life as “elderly” due to the increased lifespan.
Do Bearded Dragon Sleep During The Day?
Bearded Dragons are a diurnal species so they are active in the daylight hours and sleep during the night. While they make take small naps in the day, a Bearded Dragon sleeping a lot in the day may indicate a deeper issue.
Diurnal is the name for species that are active in the day, opposite to the well-known term nocturnal. As an ectothermic species, being diurnal is essential for Bearded Dragons as they require both the heat from the sun and UV rays to power their metabolism.
It’s not natural for wild Bearded Dragons to sleep in the day as the daylight hours can leave them vulnerable to predation.
Sleeping in the daylight can leave them exposed and unalert to their surroundings making them an easy target. While they may rest in the day they should remain relatively alert.
Bearded Dragons in captivity should mostly replicate this sleep schedule, but pet beardies may take small naps due to having low activity levels.
Anything more might indicate an issue with your Bearded Dragons health such as:
- Poor diet
Or it may be due to an issue with the habitat set-up, for example:
- Too hot or too cold
- Not enough UV
- Wrong photoperiod
- Disrupted sleep in the night
If your bearded dragon is sleeping a lot then check out the 15 surprising reasons why this could be happening…
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep More In Winter?
Bearded Dragons will sleep more in winter conditions. Winter brings fewer daylight hours for Bearded Dragons to utilize sunshine and lower temperatures to heat their body to assist in metabolizing. They will sleep in the extended nighttime hours as well as undergo brumation.
In their wild environment, Bearded Dragons will naturally experience seasons and the environmental changes that seasons bring. Winter is a time of lower temperatures and shorter daylight hours.
As diurnal species beardies will sleep will it dark and cool, thus in winter, they will sleep longer.
In the deep of winter, they will not have enough environmental resources to function so will undergo a process of brumation to conserve energy and condition.
The changing hours of daylight are called a photoperiod and the varying photoperiod is what sends cues and signals to animals of when to be active when food is available and when is the best time to breed.
You should aim to provide the replication of their natural seasons in your provided environment to support a healthy internal rhythm and health.
See the table below as a guide to hours of heat, UV and lighting required through the seasons.
Bearded Dragon Hours Of Heat & Light Required Daily
|Season||Hours Of Heat & Light (Per Day)|
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep For Days?
Bearded Dragons will sleep for days on end when they are in a period of brumation. Brumation lasts from 4 weeks to 3 months in which Bearded Dragons will spend a lot of that time sleeping. If they are not brumating, sleeping for days is a sign of serious illness.
Brumation is the reptile equivalent of hibernation where reptiles will go into an energy-conserving state of “deep sleep” where their heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature will lower.
Brumation differs from hibernation in that hibernating animals will eat a lot of food beforehand to sustain themselves. Reptiles that brumate will stop eating beforehand as they will not be able to digest the food once their metabolism slows down.
Instead, Bearded Dragons will sustain themselves by conserving energy and using resources from fat packs.
Brumation also differs from hibernation in that brumating Bearded Dragons may exhibit some level of activity during brumation. Sometimes making it difficult for owners to tell if they are brumation or very sick.
Other signs of brumation in addition to excess sleeping include:
- Eating a lot less
- Slow movement
- Trying to burrow
- Hiding away
- Not defecating
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep Without A Heat Lamp?
Bearded Dragons can and should sleep without a heat lamp. Heat lamps are provided for basking purposes and basking behavior is restricted to daylight hours. Lower temperatures should also be provided overnight to simulate natural nighttime conditions.
The heat lamp in your Bearded Dragons enclosure should be the equivalent of the sun in their natural habitat. It should provide high temperatures for basking behaviors and provide natural light and UV.
Bearded Dragons take all cues from environmental factors whether it is to eat, be active or rest. At night, the temperature should drop and it should be dark to signal Bearded Dragons brains that it is time to rest.
Leaving the heat lamp on overnight will maintain high temperatures in the tank and disrupt restful sleep.
See the guide below for the temperature range you should be aiming for overnight.
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Bearded Dragons cannot sleep with their eyes open. They may open their eyes when they should be sleeping if something is disrupting their sleep. If they appear unresponsive like they are asleep but have their eyes open they may be unwell.
All animals with eyelids will sleep with their eyes closed. Keeping the eyes closed protects the surface of the eyes and stops them from drying out.
If your Bearded Dragon is opening its eyes when it has been sleeping, then it may have been disrupted by something in the surrounding environment. Any sudden noises or turned-on lights may irritate them and prevent them from getting restful sleep.
If your Bearded Dragon seems asleep in every way, flattened on its stomach, unmoving and unresponsive but have their eyes open then they may simply just be relaxing. If they are not very alert and completely unresponsive they may be ill.
Many common sicknesses and diseases will feature lethargy as a symptom.
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep After Eating?
Bearded Dragons should not sleep directly after eating as they need to spend energy digesting their meal. Instead of sleeping, they should spend some time basking to get to the correct body temperature for optimal digestion.
After eating a Bearded Dragons priority should be to bask in high temperatures to fuel their metabolism to digest the food. Without this basking, the digestion process may not be efficient and could cause issues such as the impaction of undigested food in the digestive tract.
If your beardie prefers to sleep after eating them there may be a few reasons why:
- No suitable basking spot – if there is not a comfortable and safe place for your Bearded Dragon to bask then they may not be basking as needed.
- Temperature too low – for proper basking behaviors you should aim to provide a basking area of 95°-100°F.
- Overfeeding – if your Bearded Dragon has eaten too much in one sitting they may feel too sluggish and weighed down to move themselves to a basking area.
Recommended Reading: How Often To Feed Bearded Dragons (All Ages)
Can Bearded Dragons Safely Sleep In The Water Bowl?
Bearded Dragons should not sleep in their water bowl as they can become overhydrated and cause them to have diarrhea or be polyuric, cool their body temperature, and increase their likelihood of getting fungal infections and respiratory infections.
The water bowl is not a safe place for Bearded Dragons to sleep for an extended period.
Bearded Dragons absorb some water through their vent so any time immersed in water is a time of potential water absorption.
Overhydration can cause Bearded Dragons to have diarrhea or become polyuric, which is when they excrete a high amount of urine.
Both these are an increase in the passing of waste which can put Bearded Dragons at risk of cloacal prolapse and dehydration of excess waste passing.
Bearded Dragons may originally choose to sleep in their water bowl if they are too hot and are trying to cool themselves down. If they fall asleep in this spot they may become too cold with the water decreasing their internal body temperature.
Excess moisture on the skin may in some cases encourage the growth of fungi and cause fungal infections.
The evaporating water near your Bearded Dragon as it sleeps can cause them to breathe in significant amounts of water vapor, which over time can cause respiratory issues such as pneumonia.
Take the bowl out of the tank at night if your beardie exhibits this behavior and ensure you provide a nighttime temperature range of between 70°-75°F to ensure it is cool enough for your beardie.
Want to know if bearded dragons can swim? Check out this post that covers all you need to know…
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep Standing Up?
Bearded Dragons don’t sleep standing up. When they sleep they release the tension in their muscles and lay flat on their stomach. Some Bearded Dragons like to sleep leaned up against furniture or the glass of the tank.
Just like all other types of animals, reptiles sleep to rest and recoup. During sleep, their muscles will not be engaged so they will not be able to “stand up” per se.
If your Bearded Dragon is standing with its eyes closed it may just be rested and not truly be asleep.
Some beardies like to sleep in a way that looks as if they are standing but they are actually resting up against something. This is usually something of the likes of furnishing in the enclosure or up against the tank of the glass.
Is It Normal For A Bearded Dragon To Sleep Standing Up?
No, it’s not normal for a Bearded Dragon to sleep standing up. If your Bearded Dragon reminds standing all through the night it may indicate they are not getting restful sleep or are not able to lay down properly due to injury.
The normal way for a Bearded Dragon to sleep is to splay its legs out and let its belly rest against the ground. If your beardie remains standing at night time it may not be getting any sleep.
This may be due to the environmental conditions stopping them from being able to relax such as temperature, light, or noise.
The reason your Bearded Dragon might try to sleep standing up is if it is unable to properly lay down. For example, an injury is preventing them from bending their legs. Joint stiffness or paralysis could be potentially caused by MBD.
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep With Noise?
Bearded Dragos can sleep with some background ambiance noise but loud noises will likely disrupt their sleep and limit the amount of deep and regenerative sleep they can get through the night.
Bearded Dragons are similar to us humans in their reaction to noise while trying to sleep. Some light, soothing, and natural sounds can be ignored by the brain for an easy time sleeping, while loud, erratic, or harsh noises will be distrustful.
They can be irritating or even scary for a beardie trying to sleep.
Concerning that, every Bearded Dragon is different. Just like some of us can easily ignore a ticking clock in the bedroom while others will get driven mad, your Bearded Dragon will have its preferences for noise at night.
A quiet space is ideal for beardie to shut down and for the brain to allow rest.
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep Walk?
There’s no evidence to say that Bearded Dragons can sleepwalk. It would seem unlikely for an ectotherm to sleepwalk due to their survival instinct to conserve energy. Sleepwalking would be considered a waste of vital energy resources.
Bearded Dragons are highly instinctual and run off basic motivations to fulfill needs. While sleepwalking doesn’t have a proven scientific cause in humans it is most likely related to complex parts of the human brain that process emotions and rational thinking, which Bearded Dragons don’t possess.
Although, it is shown that Bearded Dragon experience deep sleep and even REM sleep so it is speculated that they have the potential to dream.
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep With A Blanket?
Bearded Dragons should sleep within a blanket. Due to their externally sourced thermoregulation, blankets can actually cool them down, not heat them up, and can restrict them from getting heat from the air around them.
Blankets are excellent at keeping us warm because they insulate our bodies from our internally generated body heat from escaping us. Bearded Dragons are ectotherms so rely on external heat sources to maintain a regular body temperature.
Placing a blanket around a reptile can insulate them from receiving any of these external heat sources and cool their overall body temperature. Much like an insulated icebox.
A blanket may be safe if laid flat as used as comfort, not heating. As long as this blanket is used with supervision and not keep under the heat lamp as depending on the material of the blanket it may become overheated or even melt if synthetic.
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep On Their Backs?
Bearded Dragons do not sleep on their backs as this position makes them especially vulnerable to predation. It is also speculated that laying on their back may limit their breathing and put them at risk.
Naturally, Bearded Dragons will rest in a position that they can quickly get moving if suddenly awakened by a threat. This position is on their stomach as they can quickly engage their legs to move if needed.
Sleeping on their backs would put them at risk as it would greatly reduce their reaction time. In addition, beardies have significantly softer scales on their underside than their dorsal side so will be more vulnerable belly up.
It is also commonly thought that placing a Bearded Dragon on its back can restrict its ability to breathe due to the lack of a diaphragm.
Being on their backs may put pressure on their lungs and cause them to collapse. While we could not find any scientific evidence of this in our research, it seems to be a widely held belief.
Either way, your beardie should not naturally choose to lay on their backs nor should you ever put them in this position as not to put them under mental and physical stress.
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep On The Cold Side Of The Tank?
Bearded Dragons can sleep in any part of the tank at night as the temperature should be around the same across the whole tank. Without the heating lamp on at night, there should be no “cool side”. In the day your Bearded Dragon may rest on the cool side when it becomes too hot.
The gradient of heat in a Bearded Dragons enclosure and the creation of a cool side and a warm side is based on the provision of a heat lamp to emulate basking temperatures of the sun in an open area in their natural environment.
At night this heat lamp should not be on to lower the overall temperature in the tank to a cooler night temperature to stimulate a restful night’s sleep for your Beardie.
You may find that during the day your Bearded Dragon may like to utilize the cool side of the enclosure to rest when it becomes too hot under the basking lamp.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Sleeping Curled Up?
Bearded Dragons will usually sleep any way that is comfortable for them. Curled up may be comfortable if sleeping within a hide or burrow to feel safe and secure. Curling up may also be a sleeping position of brumation.
Unlike mammals, reptiles won’t curl up when they are cold to preserve heat as their bodies aren’t internally making any heat to preserve.
To heat up they will flatten out. Curling up may be seen if they are cozied up to fit in a cave or burrow
If curled in the open they may be trying to seek more cover to feel less vulnerable and more secure, in which case they may benefit from more hides in the enclosure.
This curled sleeping position may also be seen during brumation as your beardie may be trying to tuck itself away safe out of sight for the period of its brumation.
Head over to our easy-to-follow guide for all the information you need as an owner about brumation…
Can I Let My Bearded Dragons Fall Asleep On Me?
Letting your Bearded Dragon fall asleep on you is fine. They should only stay here for a short amount of time before returned to their enclosure to ensure a full night of restful sleep in the right conditions.
Your Bearded Dragon feeling asleep on you may signal they feel safe and secure while being handled by you or they enjoy you as a heat source!
While it’s okay they fall asleep on you, they should not stay sleeping here for long as their best sleep will come from their enclosure as it should be set in the perfect parameters for a good beardie sleep.
Do Bearded Dragons Sleep In The Same Spot?
Bearded Dragons are creatures of habit and they may well sleep in the same spot if they find it to be safe and comfortable. In the wild, they could sleep in the same spot as they occupy territories.
Bearded Dragons in the wild that occupies small territories. Their space will have a few good spots to sleep and they may have a favorite spot that they feel safe in.
Pet Bearded Dragons will often sleep in the same place when they find a perfect spot. A comfortable, secure place with the perfect temperature will likely be revisited night after night.
The sleeping spot is an individual preference so while one beardie may be in the same spot night after night without fail, another might changes spots nightly.
How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Sleeping?
There’s no absolute way to tell if a Bearded Dragon is asleep but signs often include eyes closed, rhythmic breathing, laying flat, unmoving, and less responsive. Bearded Dragons also experience REM sleep so some eye movement under closed lids may be observed.
The signs of a sleeping Bearded Dragon tend to be very similar to that of any other species sleeping. You can tell if they are sleeping in the same way you would with other people.
A sleeping Bearded Dragon may also be extra startled by sudden light or movement.
Is It OK To Wake A Sleeping Bearded Dragon?
It’s OK to wake a sleeping Bearded Dragon if it is necessary but it will disrupt their sleep patterns. Similar to us they experience light, deep, and REM sleep with each stage offering different benefits.
Waking a Bearded Dragon can disrupt these sleep cycles and reduce the overall quality of sleep. While this is fine now and then but if woken regularly it can have long-term can have effects.
Think of parents woken every few hours by a baby. They may get equal hours of sleep but frequent waking severely diminishing the quality and restful benefits of sleep.
A Bearded Dragon awoken from a deep sleep will likely wake up scared and confused and may become aggressive, thinking they are under threat. A natural reaction for a prey species.
What Temperature Should Bearded Dragons Sleep In?
The nighttime temperatures for a Bearded Dragon should be between 70°-75°F to recreate a natural night dip in temperatures. This signals the brain to slow down and promotes quality sleep.
The variation of temperatures through the day and night is what creates signals and cues to animals such as Bearded Dragons. The lower temperature indicates approaching nightfall and for a beardie to find a safe and comfortable place to rest for the night.
See the temperature guide below for some guidelines.
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
What Can Bearded Dragons Sleep On?
Bearded Dragons can sleep on a range of different things, depending on their individual preferences. This may be logs, rocks, hammocks, or even just on the ground – where ever they seem safe and comfortable.
Bearded Dragons can sleep on virtually anything as long as they feel comfortable enough to fall and stay asleep and safe and secure.
Sleeping is a vulnerable time for any animal but especially so for prey species such as Bearded Dragons. Often your beardie will find odd places to sleep, whether it is up high or nestled in a hide.
If they are sleeping in some strange spots you should look at changing up their environment to include more safe sleeping places.
All beardies are different and will have different preferences to where they like to sleep and what they like to sleep on.
Why Does My Bearded Dragon Sleep Against The Glass?
Bearded Dragon may sleep against the glass because the edges of the tank provide more security than being vulnerable in the middle. If they sleep scaled upwards against the glass they may be looking for a higher place to sleep.
The edges of the glass, especially the corners will resemble the feeling of a safe burrow more than laying out in the open.
Sleeping pressed up against something offers fewer sides they may be ambushed from, leaving them feeling safer.
If your beardie is falling asleep standing up against the glass, with back legs on the ground and front legs up against the glass they may be feeling mildly stressed by their sleeping arrangements and searching for a higher place to rest.
Height can also offer a sense of safety so include some areas your Bearded Dragon can sleep higher than the ground.
Where Do Bearded Dragons Sleep In The Wild?
Bearded Dragons will sleep in one of two places in the wild, either up high or dug into a burrow. They won’t sleep out of the open ground as it will leave them vulnerable to predation as they are vulnerable while they sleep.
Bearded Dragons in the wild are often found sleeping up a tree, vertically or perched high on rocks, plants, or posts.
This heightening themselves from the ground offers them safety from any nocturnal predators lurking on the ground.
If not up high, beardies will sleep in some kind of hide. This may be a hole they dug, under the cover of some plants or the inside of a log. This is usually preferred in cooler weather as it insulates them from the cool air.
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