Are Crested Geckos Diurnal or Nocturnal?

Crested geckos as friendly, cute and very active pets, but most of new pet owners don’t know if crested geckos are diurnal or nocturnal. In this article, you can learn about this reptile’s sleeping behavior as well about their activities.

crested gecko diurnal or nocturnal

Diurnal animals exhibit much of their activity during the daytime and rest during the nighttime. The situation is reversed for nocturnal animals. But crested geckos have a specific category of their own, making this species that much more interesting. Crested geckos are categorized as crepuscular animals.

What are Crepuscular Animals?

Crepuscular animals are those that are the most active during dusk and dawn. They rest both during the day and during nighttime. Geckos are crepuscular, but they’re not the only one to exhibit this behavior. Many other crepuscular animals include spotted hyenas, jaguars, bobcats, foxes, squirrels, mice, bears, etc.

The interesting part is that animals adjust their behavior depending on that of their prey or predators. For instance, geckos are crepuscular because that’s when insects are most active, providing the gecko with more feeding opportunities. It’s also when geckos are less likely to face predation, as most of their predators are either diurnal or nocturnal.

Crested Gecko Sleeping Behavior and Pattern

Crested geckos sleep during the daytime and become active at dusk. They maintain fairly active throughout the night, typically alert and ready in case of detecting any prey or predator nearby. Their activity rate drops again after dawn when daylight sets in.

Geckos tend to sleep approximately 12 hours per day, depending on the individual, as some are sleepier than others. The reptile will wake up several times to drink water and return to resting to conserve energy for the night.

How to Tell if Crested Gecko is Sleeping?

Crested geckos do not close their eyes because they don’t have mobile eyelids. This makes it more difficult to assess the animal’s state. However, there are two basic signs informing you that the gecko is sleeping.

The first one is the eye crest. Crested geckos have a skin crest stretching over the eyes, hence the name. When awake, the gecko keeps the crest elevated; when asleep, the crest goes down, becoming parallel to the ground. It’s easy to notice.

The second one is the pupil size and shape. The gecko’s pupil is wide and almost round when awake, changing its shape and size depending on the environmental light. When asleep, the pupil narrows dramatically, becoming a slit across the eyeball.

This difference is also easy to notice. Just make sure you can differentiate between sleep-specific pupil shape and the instances where pupils only react to more powerful light sources.

crested gecko sleeping

Can You Wake Up Your Crested Gecko?

You can, but I don’t recommend doing it. Crested geckos demand to have their sleep sessions to recover from their night activities. You should avoid disturbing the reptile during its day naps and allow it to rest properly. Keep the tank in a calm and serene area, and dim the lights a bit so that your gecko can rest.

Don’t turn them off completely, as this could make the lizard believe it’s nighttime. Also, avoid walking around the terrarium too often or making too many loud noises. Crested geckos are just as sensitive as humans to noises when sleeping.


Geckos begin their activity around dusk and remain active throughout the night. They tend to sleep throughout the day to recover, which may be off-putting if you want to see your gecko more active during your wake hours.

But there’s no way around it. You need to transform your program to match that of your gecko, not the other way around.

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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