Every bearded dragon needs sleep but if you notice your bearded dragon sleeping a lot more than usual then it can be a worry.
There are several reasons why bearded dragons might suddenly start to sleep a lot and even sleep all day in some circumstances.
In this post, we will take a close look at all the reasons why your bearded dragon could be sleeping more than usual so you can get a better understanding of why this is happening and if action is needed.
So, why do bearded dragons sleep a lot? Here are the 15 reasons why bearded dragons sleep a lot:
- Incorrect temperature
- Incorrect levels of UVB
- Incorrect Diet
- Feeding food that’s too large
- Too little food offered
- Incorrect lighting cycle
- Lack of stimulation
- New to the home
Read On to Find Out…
The 15 Reasons Why your Bearded Dragon Sleeping a Lot? (A Closer Look)
If you are used to seeing your bearded dragon active during certain hours of the day or stick to a strict sleeping schedule at night then it can be worrying if they are all of a sudden sleeping more than usual.
There are several reasons why this can happen, even though most of them are harmless and totally natural, some reasons why your beardie is sleeping a lot can be serious and need attention right away.
We have listed and explained the 15 common reasons why your bearded dragon could be sleeping more than usual at night or even sleeping all day in certain cases.
We recommend trying to eliminate the reasons that aren’t relevant to your beardies specific situation and then focusing on and trying to fix the ones that are.
Here are the 15 reasons why your bearded dragon might be sleeping a lot:
One of the main reasons why bearded dragons will suddenly start to sleep a lot is due to brumation.
If you are a new owner and have never experienced this before, brumation is basically the reptile equivalent of hibernation.
Beardies will often settle down and sleep during the wintertime from anywhere between 4 weeks to 3 months plus.
Unlike hibernation, bearded dragons will often wake up and move around while in brumation as this can make it hard to tell if they actually brumating or ill in some cases.
Here are some tell-tale signs of brumation you should look out for:
- Sleeping more
- Earlier bedtime
- Eating less
- Pooping less
- Frequent hiding
- Attempting to burrow
- Slow movement
Again, lots of these signs can be associated with illness and it can be hard to differentiate between the two.
If you are unsure if your bearded dragon is preparing to brumate then we would advise speaking to your vet and allowing them to check over your beardie.
This is especially useful if you have a young bearded dragon as attempted brumation when young can cause some complications as baby and juvenile bearded dragons are still growing and don’t always have the fat stores built up that are needed for many weeks of not eating while when sleep.
We have a full easy to follow guide that shares everything you need to know about bearded dragons brumation including how to care for your beardie before, during and after this process.
Another common reason why your bearded dragon could potentially be sleeping more is due to illness.
You will often find that bearded dragons will sleep more throughout the day if they are ill and not just at night.
Common signs of illness in bearded dragons are:
- Sleeping more often
- Eating less
- Pooping less or diarrhoea
- Hiding more frequently
As we mentioned earlier, when bearded dragons are brumating, ill or even shedding, the signs can all look similar and this can make it confusing for owners to understand exactly what is causing the issue.
Parasites are another common cause of illness in bearded dragons and they can cause increased sleep both during the day and at night.
These parasites eat a portion of the food your beardie consumes, which means what your beardie goes underfed and undernourished, which, in turn, makes them sleep more frequently.
Parasites can sometimes be hard to detect as there are often little to no signs of their presence at first.
Your bearded dragons may have parasites if:
- They lose weight
- They have diarrhoea
If you suspect your beardie could have parasites then the best thing to do is take them to your vet for a faecal examination as this will determine one way or another if parasites are present.
Bearded dragons can be found sleeping more often if they are going through the shedding process.
Shedding for bearded dragons can be quite a stressful experience as unlike snakes that shed their skin in one piece, beardie shed in patches over a much longer period of time.
This will usually mean that they become irritable, sore and can be found hiding more
Here’s a post that covers exactly why bearded dragons need to hide when they shed…
Due to the stress that shedding can cause, bearded dragons can be found sleeping a lot.
This will usually only last a short period of time before they get back to their old selves again.
If your dragon is going through the shedding process then there is a good chance that this is causing the changing in their sleeping habits.
You will need to closely monitor this and see if they return back to their usual sleep pattern in the next few days.
You can find out all you need to know about bearded dragon shedding as an owner in this easy to floor guide!
4. Incorrect Temperature
If your bearded dragon is sleeping more often, especially throughout the day then it could be that the temperatures in the tank are too low.
If the temperatures fall below the optimal levels for too long then it can have a serious negative effect on your dragon’s health and behaviours such as sleeping more often can be displayed.
Here’s a guide to recommended tank temperatures for your bearded dragon…
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
If the optimal temperatures aren’t achieved, your beardie can become lethargic.
They can also be tricked into thinking that winter is coming and this can result in them preparing for a period of brumation.
As we mentioned earlier, bearded dragons that are preparing to brumate will sleep more than usual.
You should always keep the enclosure at the correct temperature using a thermostat, however, we also recommend you use a handheld digital thermometer to double-check all areas of the tank.
This will give you peace of mind that your thermostat is working correctly and keeping the tank to the correct temperatures.
The handheld thermometer we suggest you use is the ‘ZooMed Repti Temp’
You can check it out on Amazon below…
- Great for Monitoring Basking Areas, Thermal Gradients, Incubation, and Hibernation Temperatures.
- Temperature measurement Range -28° to 230°F (-33° to 110°C)
Last update on 2021-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
5. Incorrect Levels Of UVB Exposure
One of the most important factors in the health and bell being of bearded dragons is exposure to UVB rays.
UVB provides vitamin D3, which then helps to absorb vital nutrients such as calcium. Without sufficient exposure to these rays, beardies can become ill, lethargic and will often sleep a lot more.
A common mistake by new owners is installing a UVB bulb and not realising that the strength of UVB rays produced by that bulb will decrease over time.
As a general rule of thumb, UVB bulbs will need to be replaced around every 6 months (depending on the bulb)
If your beardie has a bulb that has been used for a longer period than this then there is a good chance that they aren’t getting the exposure they need.
The UVB bulb we recommend you use is the ZooMed ReptiSun 10.0
There are two different sizes to this bulb, we suggest you go with the T5 as this bulb has a much higher UVB output and provides more exposure for your beardie.
You can check out the ZooMed ReptiSun Below…
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Dehydration can be common in bearded dragons and this can easily lead to them becoming lethargic and sleeping more than usual.
Dehydration often occurs due to beardies not drinking from the water bowl you provide them as many beardies won’t do this naturally.
This is because bearded dragons don’t actually drink from pools of water in the wild, and instead hydrate themselves by licking dew drops from plants and intaking water and moisture contained in the food they eat.
In captivity, if your dragon isn’t drinking from their bowl you can actually take steps to train them to do so.
Here’s a step by step guide that shares exactly how to train your beardie to drink from a bowl…
You can also mist your bearded dragon, which provides them with essential levels of hydration.
Again, here’s a guide that shows you how to mist your bearded dragon step by step…
If you are unsure if your dragon is dehydrated then there are some tell-tale signs to look out for.
Here are the signs of a dehydrated bearded dragon:
- Wrinkled skin
- Sunken eyes
- Saliva strings in the mouth
- Decreased elasticity in the skin
If you are concerned that your bearded dragon is dehydrated then we have put together a guide that contains a chart that shares how much water a beardie needs each day depending on their age.
Recommended Reading: How Often Bearded Dragons Need Water (With Chart)
7. Incorrect Diet
As bearded dragons are omnivores, It’s important to provide your dragon with a balanced diet at all ages of their life to ensure they are healthy, happy and full of energy.
If your beardie isn’t receiving a diet that is considered balanced then this can cause them to lack energy and sleep much of the time.
A baby bearded dragon needs around 80% of their food to come from insect proteins and only 20% of their food to come from greens and veggies.
Adults, on the other hand, need to total opposite of this and require around 80% of their diet to come from greens and veggies and only 20% of their diet to come from insect proteins.
As well as this, you will also need to provide both bay and adult dragons with a calcium supplement.
If any of this diet is out of order then it can easily have an effect on the energy levels and overall health of your bearded dragon.
If you are wondering just how important a calcium supplement is to your beardie then check this new guide out that shares all you need to know as an owner…
8. Feeding Food That’s Too Large
Feeding food that’s too large for your bearded dragon can have disastrous consequences for your lizard.
This is especially true for baby beardies and it’s something you should be aware of at all times.
If your dragon eats food that is too large it can become stuck and cause paralysis.
This kind of paralysis is often confused with sleeping but can actually be fatal for beardies.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon any food that is wider than the gap between its eyes.
This will ensure that they are able to digest the food correctly without the risk of paralysis and other digestive issues.
If you suspect that your bearded dragon could be suffering from paralysis from eating food that’s too large then we suggest you contact your vet at once.
9. Too Little Food Offered
Another scenario that’s often overlooked is the possibility that your bearded dragon isn’t being offered enough food.
If your dragon believes that food is scarce, they can instinctively think that winter is coming and prepare to brumate.
This means they will often sleep more to conserve energy as they would in the wild.
Always ensuring that your beardie has access to fresh greens should prevent this from happening.
10. Incorrect Lighting Cycle
The lighting cycle you set up for your bearded dragon is very important.
If you set the light in their tank to switch on and off at inappropriate times or the length of the cycle is too short then this can cause issues with how much sleep they get.
This can then make it look like your dragon is sleeping too much during the day, when in actual fact, they may have been forced to sleep at the wrong time at night or for a short period through the night.
Bearded dragons generally need around 10-12 hours of each day with the lights on and 10-12 hours with the light off.
Having the lights on from 10am while 10pm is usually a good place to start.
If you are only providing your beardie with 6-8 hours of nighttime hours each day (all year round) then this will most certainly cause them to sleep through the day to catch up on their missed sleep.
The age of your bearded dragon can have a bearing on how much they sleep.
If you have a baby beardie and notice them sleeping more than usual it could simply be down to the fact they are young and need a little more time sleeping to aid their growth.
On the other hand, if you have a bearded dragon that is coming to the senior years of their life, they may need to sleep more often to conserve energy as they simply don’t have the energy levels they once did.
You shouldn’t ever just take this for a given, and you should always do your due diligence before coming to this conclusion.
Going through this list of possibilities will help you do just that and will allow you to eliminate any other possibilities first.
Below is a table that shows at what age bearded dragons are classed as babies, juveniles, adults and seniors so you can see if age could possibly be affecting how often your beardie is sleeping.
Bearded Dragon | Age Category
A less common reason why bearded dragons may want to sleep more often is due to impaction.
Impaction is basically constipation and can be extremely painful for beardies. It can force them to be less active and sometimes sleep more often to nullify the pain.
One of the most common causes of impaction is poor substrate choices and substrates such as sand (especially for baby beardies) can clog up your dragon’s digestive system and easily cause an impaction.
The first and most obvious sign that your bearded dragon is suffering from impaction is when they are no longer pooping.
Here’s a helpful guide that walks you through how often your bearded dragon should poop and what can affect how often they poop…
If you suspect that your bearded dragon is suffering from impaction, it’s vital that you consult your vet as impaction can be serious and even fetal is left unattended.
13. Lack Of Stimulation
If your bearded dragon is sleeping all day then it could be a sign that they are lacking mental stimulation.
In the wild, beardies have to hunt their own food and escape predators, which means that every day is a stimulating fight for survival.
While it’s great that captive beardies are safe with no predators to worry about and they have their food brought to them daily, it also means that their natural stimulation is no longer present.
This means that it’s your job as an owner to give your bearded dragon all the enrichment they need by providing time out of the tank and combining that with stimulating activities.
If you are short of ideas then head over to our post that provides 17 great toys and activities for a happy bearded dragon…
Think about how often you play with your dragon, how natural their habitat looks and what activities you undertake with them.
This will give you a better insight into what more you can be doing to provide enrichment on a daily basis.
If your bearded dragon is stressed they can display many unwanted behaviours.
A stressed bearded dragon can display one or more of these behaviours:
- Excessive hiding
- Being lethargic
- Sleeping a lot
- Skittish behaviour
- Reduced appetite
- Stress marks
- Basking less often
- Frantically pacing around the tank
Some causes for a stressed beardie can be easy to notice, while others can go unnoticed for long periods.
Common causes of a stressed bearded dragon are:
- Dirty tank
- Other bearded dragons
- Other pets in the home
- Loud noises
- No hiding places within the tank
- Incorrect tank temperature
- Incorrect tank size
You may have noticed that many of the issues bearded dragons face usually centre around the same few potential issues.
If you can get the fundamentals right and keep on top of basic housekeeping, then you have a really good chance of reducing stress to a minimum.
Even if your beardie does before stressed for some reason, you will have far fewer reasons to eliminate to find the route cause of the issue.
If you are worried about stress marks or want to know what they look like then head over to our guide that covers everything you need to know about stress makes and bearded dragons…
15. New to The Home
Another time when bearded dragons often sleep more and become more lethargic is when they are new to the home.
This can be a baby beardie that is being homed for the first time or an older beardie that is being relocated.
While this is typically ‘relocation stress’ and could be grouped in the section we talked about above, it’s so common that it deserves its own section.
Most bearded dragons that are relocated and brought to a new home will experience some sort of stress and they should be allowed some time to adjust.
In this period, you should reduce handling to a minimum, while providing a habitat that looks natural with multiple places to hide.
Sticking to these principles and practices will allow your beardie the time they need to settle and become comfortable with you and their new home.
If your new bearded dragon is experiencing some level of relocation stress then they will usually display one or more of the behaviours we listed above (in number 14)
How Much Should My bearded Dragon Be Sleeping?
Bearded dragons are all individuals and have their own personalities, this is part of why we love them so much!
Some bearded dragons will naturally sleep more than others and as we have mentioned throughout this post, there are many factors that can affect how much a bearded dragon will sleep such as age.
With all things considered, bearded dragons should generally sleep between 10-12 hours per day, although this number is often reduced during the summertime to between 8-10 hours per day.
As bearded dragons are diurnal, they will sleep through the night and remain awake for the majority of the day.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Sleep All Day?
As bearded dragons are diurnal and sleep through the night, it can be worrying to find your beardie sleeping throughout the day.
There can be a number of reasons why bearded dragons sleep all day and while some are natural and nothing to worry about, others might need your attention.
So why do bearded dragons sleep all day? Bearded dragons generally nap through the day and this is perfectly normal, however, if your bearded dragon is sleeping all day for a sustained period of time then it could be a sign that they are brumating, ill or have some other serious factor affecting their behaviour or health.
If you are worried about your bearded dragon sleeping throughout the day then we suggest going through the list we have provided and trying to eliminate as many of the reasons as possible.
Once you have done this, you can logically work through the remaining items you have left on the list and make adjustments if needed.
What Should I Do If My Bearded Dragon Continues to Sleep A Lot?
If you have gone through this list, tried to make adjustments where applicable and your bearded dragon is still sleeping a lot or still sleeping all day, then you need to go to the next step.
We consider the next step contacting your vet and letting them take a look at your bearded dragon.
As you will have noticed, lots of the reasons we talk about in this post suggest consulting your vet anyway, for example, if illness or impaction are the reason why they are sleeping a lot more than usual.
You should always take a safety-first approach when it comes to your beardie and don’t let them display unusual behaviours for a sustained period of time without getting the opinion of your vet.
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