Do Bearded Dragons Sleep with Their Eyes Open? Exploring the Sleeping Habits of Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragon Sleeping Habits

Bearded dragons are diurnal reptiles, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night. Like humans, they need a good amount of sleep to stay healthy. So, how do bearded dragons sleep? Do they sleep with their eyes open?

Sleeping with Eyes Open

Bearded dragons do not sleep with their eyes open. They need darkness and quiet to rest properly, and closing their eyes helps them achieve that. However, bearded dragons have a transparent eyelid called a nictitating membrane, making it appear that their eyes are partially open even when sleeping. This membrane protects their eyes from dust and debris while allowing them to see their surroundings.

Providing a dark and quiet sleeping environment for your bearded dragon is important. If they are not getting enough sleep, it can affect their health and behavior. In the wild, bearded dragons may sleep in underground caves to protect themselves from predators and regulate their body temperature. In captivity, they may sleep in hiding spots or under rocks.

Sleep Cycle

Bearded dragons have a sleep cycle similar to humans. They go through different stages of sleep, including light sleep and deep sleep. During deep sleep, their body temperature drops, and their breathing slows. They may also twitch or move their limbs during sleep, which is normal.

Bearded dragons need around 12-14 hours of sleep daily, depending on their age and activity level. Younger dragons may need more sleep than adults. Therefore, it is important to establish a consistent sleep schedule for your bearded dragon, so they can get the rest they need.

Bearded Dragon Sleeping Habits

Bearded dragons have different sleeping habits, depending on their personality and environment. For example, some may sleep in a laid down position, while others may sleep in an upright position and in unusual positions, such as on their backs or with their limbs stretched out.

In captivity, bearded dragons may be exposed to artificial lights, which can disrupt their sleep cycle. It is important to provide a natural day and night cycle for your bearded dragon, with 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. You can use a timer to control the lighting in their enclosure.

Tips: Bearded dragons cannot sleep with their eyes open. They need a dark and quiet sleeping environment to get the rest they need. Understanding their sleeping habits and providing a natural day and night cycle can help your bearded dragon stay healthy and happy.

Health and Sleep

Factors Affecting Sleep

Bearded dragons need an adequate amount of sleep to maintain their health. Various factors, including light, temperature, and illness, can affect their sleep patterns. Bearded dragons are diurnal animals that are active during the day and sleep at night. They require a total darkness environment to sleep well at night. Pet owners should cover their tank with a blanket or towel at night to ensure complete darkness.

Temperature is another critical factor that affects sleep. Bearded dragons are ectothermic, meaning their environment regulates their body temperature. They require a basking temperature of 100-110°F during the day and a nighttime temperature of 70-75°F. If the temperature is too high or too low, they may become lethargic and have trouble sleeping. Pet owners should use a thermostat to regulate the temperature in their tank.

Brumation is a form of hibernation that occurs in bearded dragons during the winter months. During this time, they slow their metabolism and sleep deeply. They may sleep for extended periods, and their behavior may change. Therefore, pet owners should monitor their bearded dragon’s behavior during brumation and ensure they are not exhibiting signs of illness or dehydration.

Sleeping Positions

Bearded dragons can sleep in various positions, including curled up, stretched out, or with their head bobbing. Baby bearded dragons may sleep more than adults, requiring more sleep for development. They may also sleep in different positions than adults.

Pet owners should ensure their bearded dragon has a comfortable substrate to sleep on, such as reptile carpet or paper towels. Sand or gravel substrates can cause impaction if ingested, leading to sickness and even death.

Diet and Health

It is important for bearded dragons to eat a balanced diet in order to stay healthy and sleep well. A poor diet can lead to lethargy and other health problems. They require a diet that is high in calcium and low in phosphorus. In addition, pet owners should provide their bearded dragon with fresh vegetables, fruits, and insects.

UVB light is essential for bearded dragons to maintain their health and sleep patterns. It helps them absorb calcium, which is necessary for their bone health. Pet owners should ensure their bearded dragon can access a UVB light source for 10-12 hours daily.

If a bearded dragon is exhibiting signs of illness or lethargy, pet owners should take them to a veterinarian. Parasites, dehydration, and impaction can cause health problems and disrupt their sleep patterns.

Bearded dragons are hardy and docile animals that make great pets. Pet owners should ensure their bearded dragon has a safe and comfortable environment and regularly monitor their behavior and health.

Sleeping with Eyes Open

Normal or Abnormal

Bearded dragons are diurnal creatures that are active during the day and sleep at night. While they sleep, they usually close their eyes like humans do. However, it is not uncommon for bearded dragons to sleep with their eyes open. This can be normal or abnormal, depending on the situation.

If a bearded dragon sleeps with its eyes open occasionally, it is usually not a cause for concern. Some bearded dragons may open their eyes briefly while sleeping if they hear a loud noise or a sudden environmental change. However, if a bearded dragon consistently sleeps with its eyes open, it may indicate an underlying health issue.

Reasons for Sleeping with Eyes Open

Bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona vitticeps, are a type of lizard native to Australia. While they are diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the day, they can occasionally be observed sleeping with their eyes open. There are a few possible reasons why bearded dragons exhibit this behavior:

1. Sleep Position: Bearded dragons may sleep with their eyes open simply because of their natural position. They often rest with their eyes partially or fully open, especially during short naps, to remain aware of their surroundings while still getting some rest.

2. Survival Instinct: In the wild, bearded dragons face potential threats from predators, and can quickly detect any danger approaching by keeping their eyes open during sleep. This heightened alertness helps them stay safe and respond appropriately to potential threats.

3. Temperature Regulation: Bearded dragons are ectothermic, relying on external sources to regulate their body temperature. During sleep, they may keep their eyes open to monitor the ambient temperature and adjust their position accordingly. They can move to a more suitable spot if they sense a temperature change that is too hot or too cold.

4. Visual Sensitivity: Bearded dragons have excellent vision and rely on their eyes to navigate their environment. Even during sleep, they may keep their eyes open to maintain visual awareness. This could be particularly important for hatchlings and young dragons who are more vulnerable and must be constantly vigilant.

5. Environmental Factors: Bearded dragons are highly adaptable reptiles, and various environmental factors can influence their sleeping habits. For instance, if they are in a new or unfamiliar setting, they might feel more cautious and sleep with their eyes open until they become acclimated to their surroundings.

It’s important to note that occasional bearded dragons sleeping with open eyes are generally considered normal behavior. However, suppose you notice other signs of distress or abnormalities, such as prolonged periods of open-eyed sleep, loss of appetite, or lethargy. In that case, it’s advisable to consult with a reptile veterinarian to ensure the health and well-being of your bearded dragon.


In conclusion, bearded dragons cannot sleep with their eyes open. As with most animals with eyelids, they will sleep with their eyes closed. However, they may open their eyes if something is disrupting their sleep, such as sudden illumination or loud disturbances at night.

It is important to note that if a bearded dragon appears unresponsive with their eyes open, they may be unwell and should be examined by a veterinarian. Additionally, if a bearded dragon’s eye is infected with bacteria or a virus, they may close their eye as a response.

While bearded dragons may occasionally open their eyes during sleep, it is not a common occurrence and should not be a cause for concern. As long as they are getting enough sleep and are otherwise healthy, bearded dragons should be able to sleep peacefully with their eyes closed.