Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night: Everything You Need to Know About Providing Heat for Bearded Dragons

Yes, bearded dragons may need heat at night if your home’s temperature drops below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is important to note that providing too much heat at night can be just as harmful as not providing enough.

Nighttime temperatures should stay around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Bearded dragons require a temperature gradient in their enclosure, meaning they need different temperatures throughout the day and night to regulate their body temperature. 

Providing a heat source that emits light can also disrupt their natural sleep cycle. So, while it may be necessary to provide heat at night in some situations, it should be done carefully and with consideration for the needs of your bearded dragon.

The Importance of Heat for Bearded Dragons

A Biological Need

Bearded dragons are a species of lizard that require heat to survive. Heat is essential for their overall health. Without proper heating, bearded dragons can become lethargic, lose their appetite, and even die. 

Bearded dragons are ectothermic, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. In the wild, they bask in the sun to warm up and seek shade to cool down. In captivity, it is up to the owner to provide the necessary heat. 

The optimal temperature range for bearded dragons is between 104 to 107°F during the day and 70 to 75°F at night. Bearded dragons cannot regulate their body temperature without proper heat, leading to various health problems. As mentioned, they can die in extreme cases.

For Digestion and Metabolism

Heat plays a crucial role in the digestion and metabolism of bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat plant and animal matter. To properly digest their food, they require a warm environment. The heat helps to activate the enzymes in their gut, which break down the food and extract nutrients.

Heat also plays a role in the metabolism of bearded dragons. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy. Without proper heat, bearded dragons may have a slow metabolism, leading to weight gain and other health problems.

Owners must provide the necessary heat to ensure their pet is healthy and happy. By understanding its role in digestion and metabolism, owners can provide the optimal environment for their bearded dragon to thrive.

Why Practice Caution in Providing Heat to Bearded Dragons

The Risks of Inadequate Heat

Bearded dragons are cold-blooded reptiles; if the temperature drops too low, they can develop hypothermia. Hypothermia is when the body temperature drops below the normal range, and it can be fatal if not treated promptly. Symptoms of hypothermia in bearded dragons include lethargy, lack of appetite, and difficulty moving. 

Inadequate heat can also lead to digestive problems in bearded dragons. When the temperature drops, their digestive system slows down, and they may not digest their food properly. This can lead to constipation, impaction, and other gastrointestinal issues. If left untreated, these problems can become serious and even life-threatening.

Another risk of inadequate heat is immune system suppression. Bearded dragons rely on their immune system to fight off infections and diseases. When their body temperature drops, their immune system becomes less effective, and they may be more susceptible to illness. 

This can lead to various health problems, including respiratory infections, skin infections, and more. In addition, providing your bearded dragon with adequate heat is essential to prevent these risks. 

Monitor the temperature in their enclosure and provide additional heat sources if necessary. You can help ensure your bearded dragon stays healthy and happy with proper care and attention.

The Risks of Too Much Heat

Bearded dragons rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. While they need heat to stay healthy, too much heat can be dangerous. Hyperthermia, or overheating, is a serious risk for bearded dragons exposed to high temperatures for extended periods.

Some signs of hyperthermia in bearded dragons include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, lethargy or weakness, loss of appetite, and seizures or convulsions. If left untreated, hyperthermia can be fatal for bearded dragons. Therefore, owners need to monitor the temperature in their pet’s enclosure and take steps to prevent overheating.

Another risk of too much heat is dehydration. When bearded dragons are exposed to high temperatures, they can lose moisture through evaporation and perspiration. As a result, they can become dehydrated if they do not have access to water or cannot regulate their body temperature.

Signs of dehydration in bearded dragons include sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, lethargy or weakness, and loss of appetite. Dehydration can be especially dangerous for young or sick bearded dragons. Owners should always ensure their pet has access to clean water and monitor their behavior for signs of dehydration.

How to Provide Heat for Bearded Dragons

There are several types of heat sources available for bearded dragons. Common heat sources include basking bulbs, ceramic emitters, and heat mats. I usually use either basking bulbs to provide heat and light or ceramic heat emitters to provide heat without light. 

Heat mats are placed under the tank and provide heat from below. Each type of heat source has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose a heat source that meets the specific needs of your bearded dragon.

When setting up a heat source for your bearded dragon, it is important to consider the size of the tank and the specific needs of your bearded dragon. For example, the heat source should be placed on one side of the tank to create a temperature gradient. 

This allows your bearded dragon to choose the most comfortable temperature for them. The basking spot should be between 104 to 107°F, while the cooler side of the tank should be between 71 to 77°F. 

Monitoring the temperature in your bearded dragon’s tank regularly is important. Use a thermometer to check the temperature in different tank areas to ensure the temperature gradient is correct. If the temperature is too high, adjust the heat source accordingly. 

If the temperature is too low, consider adding a heat source or increasing the wattage of the current heat source. Be sure to monitor the temperature regularly to ensure that your bearded dragon is comfortable and healthy.