Bearded dragons have similar sleeping habits with humans in several ways—they usually sleep lying down at night and without lights.
Some of their sleeping positions and habits tend to be very strange, while others are cute, but they’re completely healthy. Understanding how your bearded dragon sleeps will help you take proper care of them during this vulnerable period.
How Much Sleep Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Beardies need between 8-12 hours of sleep each day. Ensure to create a pattern that replicates their natural day and night cycle (while in the wild).
If a beardie enjoys a regular amount of sleep every day and at a specific time, it will enable them to create a healthy and good sleeping habit.
Why Do They Need So Much Sleep?
Beardies require plenty of sleep to support good health and growth. You need to ensure that they maintain a good sleeping routine. In the wild, these reptiles follow the ‘day and night’ cycle (sunrise and sunset).
It’s a natural pattern that most animals have, including humans. Imagine how vital having a regular sleep pattern is to humans. We sleep at night and wake up in the morning—it’s the same way for beardies.
In the wild, this process also enables the regulation of the reptiles’ body temperature. They sleep in cooler temperatures (at night) and gain energy from the sun (during the day) for activities like searching for food.
You need to set a certain amount of sleeping hours each day for your beardie and maintain the hourly pattern. For instance, if you decide to allow your bearded dragon to sleep between 8 pm and 8 am, ensure maintaining these times each day. You can use timers for easy regulation.
When Do Bearded Dragons Sleep – Day or Night?
Unlike several nocturnal animals, bearded dragons are nocturnal, which implies that they sleep at night and look for food during the day.
When deciding about your bearded dragon’s sleeping time, consider their natural ‘day and night’ cycle and select a timing close to this. It’s easy to achieve since it’s the same pattern humans use.
For instance, if you wake at 6 am, you can switch your pet’s tank light on and switch it off again between 6 pm and 8 pm. This will enable your bearded dragon to get enough sleeping hours and replicate its natural ‘day and night’ cycle.
The ‘day and night’ cycle you keep in the tank must not necessarily be exactly the same as the sun in your country; just ensure it’s a close and fair reflection.
Some beardie owners prefer to work with the exact timing of the sunrise and sunset to set the lights in their bearded dragon’s tank. While you may decide to do this, it’s not necessary.
You can decide to change how much sleep time your bearded dragon gets by the season—eight hours in summer, ten hours in spring, twelve hours in winter, and return to ten hours during autumn before the next winter season.
How you perform this cycle depends on your discretion, but keeping a set eight to twelve hours sleep time cycle in a year for your bearded dragon is also a great idea.
Can Bearded Dragons Sleep In Light?
While a UVB light is essential for bearded dragons, they don’t need it when they’re sleeping. As long as your bearded dragon gets UVB light for at least ten hours during the day and the set up provides enough exposure, they have all they need in terms of UVB light.
Your bearded dragon can get confused if the lights are on at night as they are meant to sleep after sunset. It might make them restless and, and they won’t get the right amount of sleep needed to grow and remain healthy.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Darkness?
Yes. Bearded dragons need total darkness to enjoy a good sleep. Hence, you want to avoid using incandescent bulbs—blue, moonlight, or red light-emitting options.
You don’t have to worry about keeping them warm as heat mats, ceramic heat emitters, and several other options that don’t require light emission will work perfectly.
Do Bearded Dragons Hibernate?
Beardies don’t hibernate, though they experience a hibernation-like process called brumation. In the wild, brumation occurs during winter—an unfriendly season to beardies.
There’s less available food for them, and they can’t process food well and maintain good health due to the changes in sunlight. Hence, the smarter choice is to go easy and wait until everything becomes warm and nice again. They achieve this through brumation.
A brumating bearded dragon will slow down its metabolism and body functions to retain the energy needed to carry them through the cold season. They won’t bask, will hardly move around, won’t eat much, and will remain in cool and dark areas.
During this process, they’ll nestle themselves in the dirt to get hydrated from the moisture present in the soil. It allows them to remain tucked away in that hiding spot without a need to venture out in search of water.
A brumating bearded dragon doesn’t sleep all day. It often moves around when it wakes up. It only doesn’t occur as frequently as when the bearded dragon is in its normal state—and they will do all these sluggishly too.
Beardies can sleep for a couple of weeks or even up to four months. They might only be sluggish for part of the period, eating little but not sleeping deeply.
They might sleep for some days and come out for some days, repeatedly. They can also choose to snuggle down to their preferred spot and remain there for months.
Signs Of Brumation
Every beardie owner should understand brumating signs in their pets to prevent panic. Inexperienced owners might be worried about their brumating bearded dragon when they’re actually fine.
Common signs showing a bearded dragon is about to brumate are:
- Lack of appetite
- Very little poop
- Frequent sleeping
- Less movement
- More burrowing time in the substrate
- Spending more time on cool parts of their enclosure
Most of these signs may overlap with a beardie that has health issues. That’s why several bearded dragon owners who are unfamiliar with the brumation process may get worried about seeing this behavioral change.
Although beardies have similar sleeping habits with humans, they have several strange behaviors. Some of these habits may seem unhealthy but are normal.
If your beardie seems lethargic or sleepy during the day, provide ideal sleeping conditions, and check for underlying issues.