Bearded dragons are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. In their natural habitat, they are used to being awake when the sun is up and falling asleep when it is dark outside. However, the amount of sleep they require can vary depending on the season and temperature.
During the summer, when it’s warmer, bearded dragons will spend more time sleeping, while in the winter, they will spend less time sleeping. Additionally, bearded dragons will sleep more in winter conditions, as they have fewer daylight hours to utilize sunshine and lower temperatures to heat their bodies to assist in metabolizing. This article will delve deeper into how bearded dragons sleep and answer some of the most common questions about their sleeping habits.
Sleeping Habits of Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are native to the arid regions of Australia, confirming Bush Heritage Australia. In the wild, they live in caves and crevices to avoid predators and regulate their body temperature. During the day, they bask in the sun to warm up; at night, they retreat to their burrows to sleep.
In captivity, bearded dragons require a warm and comfortable environment to sleep in. They need a basking spot with a heat lamp to regulate their body temperature and a cool spot to retreat when they get too warm. They also need a hiding spot to feel secure and comfortable.
Bearded dragons are daily, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night. However, their sleeping patterns can vary depending on the season and age. They may go through a brumation period during winter, similar to hibernation. They may sleep for days or even weeks at a time. It is important to note that bearded dragons may sleep in different positions, including lying on their stomachs or backs or standing upright.
This is normal and healthy behavior. However, if a bearded dragon is sleeping excessively or not waking up to eat or drink, it may be a sign of illness and should be evaluated by a veterinarian.
Signs of a Healthy Sleeping Bearded Dragon
Normal Sleeping Positions
A healthy bearded dragon will typically sleep in a relaxed position, with their limbs extended and its head resting on the ground or a nearby object. They may also curl up into a ball or tuck their head under their body. It’s important to note that bearded dragons can sleep for several hours, so changing positions throughout their sleep cycle is normal.
During sleep, a bearded dragon’s breathing should be slow and steady. Their chest should rise and fall regularly without labored breathing or wheezing. If you notice any irregular breathing patterns, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue and should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
A healthy bearded dragon’s body temperature will drop slightly during sleep but should remain within a safe range. It’s important to provide a temperature gradient in their enclosure, with a warm basking spot and a cooler area for them to regulate their body temperature. If their enclosure is too cold or hot, it can disrupt their sleep and lead to health issues.
Common Sleeping Problems in Bearded Dragons
While bearded dragons are generally good sleepers, some common problems can arise. For example, this section will cover three common sleeping problems that bearded dragons experience: insomnia, brumation, and sleeping too much.
Insomnia is when a bearded dragon has trouble falling or staying asleep. There are several reasons why a bearded dragon might experience insomnia, including:
- Too much light in their enclosure
- Noisy environment
- Incorrect temperature
- Stress or anxiety
- Illness or injury
If a bearded dragon is experiencing insomnia, it’s important to identify the underlying cause and address it accordingly. For example, if the bearded dragon’s enclosure is too bright, try covering it with a towel or moving it to a darker location. If the bearded dragon is stressed, try reducing their exposure to noise and activity or providing them with a hiding spot.
Brumation is a period of dormancy that bearded dragons experience during winter. I’ve learned that during brumation, a bearded dragon will sleep for extended periods and may not eat or drink as much as usual. While brumation is a natural and healthy process, it can be concerning for bearded dragon owners unfamiliar with it.
If a bearded dragon is in brumation, providing them with a safe and comfortable place to sleep is important. This could be a hide box or a separate enclosure kept at a cooler temperature than their standard enclosure. Monitoring their weight and hydration levels to ensure they are healthy throughout the brumation period is also important.
Sleeping Too Much
While bearded dragons need plenty of sleep, sleeping too much can indicate an underlying problem. Some reasons why a bearded dragon might sleep too much include the following:
- Illness or injury
- Incorrect temperature
- Stress or anxiety
If a bearded dragon is sleeping too much, it’s important to identify the underlying cause and address it accordingly. For example, try increasing the temperature if the bearded dragon’s enclosure is too cold. If the bearded dragon is stressed, try reducing their exposure to noise and activity or providing them with a hiding spot. If the bearded dragon is obese, try adjusting their diet and giving them more exercise opportunities.
Tips for Providing a Good Sleeping Environment
Bearded dragons are used to sleeping in the dark, so it is important to ensure their room or cage is as dark as possible during the hours they are supposed to be sleeping. This means turning off any lights in the room and covering the cage with a dark cloth or blanket. If you need to provide some light for safety reasons, use a red or blue light bulb, which will not disturb your pet’s sleep.
Bearded dragons need to be kept warm, but they also need a cooler area to sleep in. During the night, the temperature in their cage should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved by turning off the basking light and using a ceramic heat emitter or a low-wattage heat lamp. Make sure the temperature is consistent throughout the night.
Bearded dragons like to feel secure when they sleep, so providing them with a hiding spot is important. This can be a small cave or a box with a hole cut. Please ensure the hiding spot is big enough for your pet to fit in comfortably but not so big that it loses its sense of security. Place the hiding spot in a cool, dark corner of the cage.