Chameleon Sleeping Habits – How Much Do Chameleons Sleep?

Curled up in their multi-hued pajamas, chameleons are a pretty sight when they sleep. Somewhat, chameleon’s sleeping pattern has been a point of contention for quite some time. Amid a string of uncertain questions, individuals are eager to know if, indeed, chameleons are diurnal or nocturnal.

In addition, do the sleeping habits differ from one species to another? Do they close their eyes or what happens to their coloring factor when they sleep? This and others make a whole string of questions that novice reptiles try to comprehend.

Despite all, your pet chameleon would appreciate an undisturbed sleep to rejuvenate. In this write-up, I aspire to satisfy your curiosity on matters on chameleon’s catnaps.

How Long Do Chameleons Sleep?

Similar to other creatures, chameleon sleeping duration varies on several factors. For instance, age, stress levels, season, and amount of food eaten determine how long your chameleon would manage to sleep.

On a full stomach and during colder seasons, your colorful friend might spend more time curled up. Then on a brighter day, your cold blooded friend would become more active and sleep less.

Generally, chameleons sleep for about 12 hours a day. Still, some experts wonder if chameleons require such a prolonged duration to rejuvenate yet they spend hours making minimal movements.

Amazingly, chameleons still exhibit their beautiful colors even when asleep. Nonetheless, if you wake them abruptly, they may turn whitish or display dazzling colors as a sign of annoyance.

When Does Chameleon Sleep?

Most definitely, chameleons are diurnal and sleep at night. Usually, sleeping during the day is a sign of a health implication. Either way, tiny naps during the day should not be a source of concern. Primarily, your little buddy might be going through a stressful moment at the time.

Baby chameleons not yet adjusted to a new environment habitually demonstrate this habit more. Instinctively, chameleons adapt to a particular sleeping timetable while in captivity. It is worth noting that the schedule can happen slightly before the usual time. Therefore, do not fret when you notice your pet dozing off an hour before switching off lights.

Nonetheless, if they frequently close their eyes during the day, thoroughly check the terrarium to find out the cause.

What Causes Chameleon Sleep During the Day?

Sleeping during the day depicts an abnormal condition for your chameleons. Sometimes, plant sap interferes with their eyes prompting them to sleep more often. Stress is another major determinant that affects chameleon’s sleeping and general well-being. Immediately you notice this habit take time to unearth the primary factor.

One effective measure is to check the UV levels, hydration, and temperature in the cage. Depending on the species, ensure that terrarium meets their daily requirements. When handling a stressed chameleon, the wisest decision is to calm it down immediately.

Apart from misting the cage, you can cover it with a dark blanket. Then, switch off the lights to lower the temperature. Note that when the body temperature recedes, chameleons become less active and calms down. If the situation persists, seek expert help right away.

How do Chameleons Usually Sleep?

Mostly, chameleons sleep with their eyes slightly open but shut the center part of the eye. Others open one eye and ultimately close the other. Mainly, this is a survival tactic used in the wild to look out for predators.

There is no distinct spot that your little friend would prefer to catch their forty winks. In reality, chameleons sleep anywhere they feel ideal in the enclosure. From the cage screen to beneath branches, you might find your pet chameleon hanging in awkward positions but deep asleep.

Surprisingly, chameleons also move about while still in slumber. Akin to the wild counterparts, they shift from one branch to another in search of a comfortable place to sleep. When handling a new pet chameleon, some may fall asleep as you touch them out of fear.

Remember that this is not a sign of the reptile’s ultimate trust in you.  Instead, it is a signal of extreme fright and stress. All in all, sleeping on the floor should be a call for alarm. Mostly, it translates to a health issue that requires a vet’s intervention.

Do Chameleons Need Light at Night?

In sooth, you do not have to be dramatic about installing lights in the chameleon’s tank. After all, the animal spends more than 12 hours in broad daylight and would prefer a dark night to revitalize. Moreover, like some human beings, lights keep chameleons alert and might affect their sleeping patterns.

Keep in mind that the primary purpose of the lights in the terrarium is to maintain optimal temperature levels. Although some pet owners install red lights for display purposes at night, it is not necessary.

On freezing nights, experts advocate for a low watts heat bulb. Equally, please switch off the UVB lighting at night and use it throughout the day for at least 12 hours.

Can Chameleons See in the Dark?

Based on their exceptional eye anatomy, chameleons have 360 degrees of vision. In contrast to human beings, chameleons have a different cone which allows vision within the ultraviolet range. Nevertheless, with the cones compactly packed, this does not work well with low light.

That said, your chameleon buddy would most probably see in the dark. Something else, chameleons have an extra eye recognized as parietal. The primary purpose of this eye is to distinguish ultraviolet from infrared light.

Given that pineal organs control the functioning of this eye, it plays a significant role in maintaining sleep patterns. Hence, even if chameleons close their eyes, the infrared red in the cage would still be visible. In the long run, this may affect their sleeping capability or stress them to death.

Wrap Up

Beyond anything else, there is no way a stressed chameleon would be able to enjoy a night’s sleep. While it is typical for chameleons to tense over miniature reasons, minimize handling and hydrating them cools them down.

In essence, your pet chameleon sleep quality depends on a proper diet, conducive environment, and minimal stress.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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