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
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.
Using timers is an easy way to regulate this. See our full review of the 9 best timers for bearded dragons here…
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How Much Sleep Do Baby Bearded Dragons Need?
Baby Bearded Dragons should be given the same amount of sleep 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.
Here’s a post (with charts) that details how fast Bearded Dragons grow and what can stop them grow growing to their potential.
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 example, 9 pm to 9 am.
If you get into a good pattern while your 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 Dragon will be expecting food at the same time every day.
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 Dragon by the season, such 12 hours in winter, 10 hours in spring, 8 hours in summer, and back up to 10 hours in autumn before arriving at 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.
Below is a seasonal sleep cycle that some Bearded Dragon owners use for their Dragons. You don’t have to stick to this pattern but it will give you an idea of how the seasonal pattern works.
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 Dragon will at least 10 hours of UVB light during the day time hours and you have a good set up where they can get 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.
If you are unsure about the light set up for your Dragons tank then check out this post here that walks you through the correct lighting set up and the correct equipment to use.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?
Bearded Dragons do actually 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.
I have created a guide that lists the equipment you need for your tank (including the ceramic heat emitter). You can check out the guide here
This type of heat lamp will give you the required 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 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 Dragon it’s last meal and then turn 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 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.