How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep? A Comprehensive Guide

Bearded dragons, those enchanting reptilian companions, are renowned for their captivating personalities and unique behaviors. Yet, one facet of their lives that often remains shrouded in mystery is their sleep patterns and habits.

How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?  In this extensive exploration, we’ll unveil the enigmatic world of bearded dragon sleep, uncovering the intricacies of their slumber, the conditions they require for a restful night, and the fascinating secrets behind their nocturnal habits.

You may also want to know if bearded dragons bite.

Understanding Bearded Dragon Sleep Patterns

To truly appreciate how bearded dragons sleep, we first need to understand their intricate sleep patterns.

Daytime Naps

Bearded dragons exhibit a duality in their sleep patterns. By nature, they are diurnal creatures, meaning they are primarily active during the day. However, they are also known for taking short daytime naps, akin to brief rest periods between their active bouts. During these siestas, they often find a cozy spot, curl up, and shut their eyes. While these naps might resemble deep sleep, they serve as intermittent breaks in their daily activities rather than extended periods of rest.

how do bearded dragons sleep
How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?

Nighttime Rest

Unlike mammals that snooze through the night, bearded dragons are not strict nocturnal sleepers. Instead, they experience a form of light sleep during the night. Their slumber is often punctuated by short episodes of wakefulness. This adaptation is thought to be a survival strategy in the wild, allowing them to stay vigilant against potential predators even while at rest.

How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?

To truly appreciate how bearded dragons sleep, we first need to understand their intricate sleep patterns.


Bearded dragons require a substantial amount of sleep to maintain their health and activity levels during the day. On average, they need approximately 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily. Younger dragons may require slightly more sleep, while adults can manage with a bit less.

Optimal Sleep Environment

Creating a comfortable sleep environment is vital for your bearded dragon. To replicate their natural sleeping conditions, ensure their enclosure is dark and quiet during the night. Covering the enclosure with a blanket or employing a sleep-friendly habitat can help maintain the ideal sleep atmosphere.

Temperature Matters

Temperature plays a pivotal role in a bearded dragon’s sleep. They require a cooler sleeping area within their enclosure, typically between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius). This allows them to lower their body temperature during sleep, which is crucial for their overall well-being.


Proper lighting is essential for regulating your bearded dragon’s sleep-wake cycle. Mimicking natural daylight hours with a UVB light source during the day, and switching it off at night, helps maintain their diurnal rhythm. Whenever possible, provide access to natural light during the day to reinforce their circadian rhythms.

Bearded Dragon Sleep Positions and Behaviors

Bearded dragons exhibit various sleep positions and behaviors that might appear peculiar to those unfamiliar with these reptiles. Here are some of their common sleep behaviors:

Curled Up

One of the most recognizable sleep positions among bearded dragons is the curled-up posture. They often sleep in this position, tucking their legs neatly under their bodies. This posture helps them conserve heat and maintain their body temperature during sleep.

Limb Stretching

Some bearded dragons prefer to stretch out their limbs while sleeping. This behavior is believed to help them relieve muscle tension and maintain flexibility.

How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?
How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep?

Eye Covering

It’s not uncommon for bearded dragons to cover their eyes while sleeping, either with their front limbs or by burying their heads in their substrate. This seemingly quirky behavior may serve to block out light and create a more conducive sleeping environment.

Flickering Tongue

Observant caregivers might notice that their bearded dragon’s tongue flickers occasionally while they sleep. This intriguing behavior is thought to be related to their olfactory system, aiding in sensing their surroundings even during slumber.

Sleep Disorders in Bearded Dragons

Just as in humans and other animals, bearded dragons can experience sleep disturbances or disorders. Recognizing these issues is crucial for the well-being of your pet.


Some bearded dragons may develop insomnia, marked by a persistent inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. This condition can be triggered by stress, inappropriate environmental conditions, or underlying health problems.

Parasitic Infections

Parasitic infections, including internal parasites, have the potential to disrupt a bearded dragon’s sleep patterns. These parasites can cause discomfort or pain, leading to restlessness during the night.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections can affect a bearded dragon’s breathing, making it challenging for them to sleep soundly. If you observe signs of respiratory distress, such as wheezing, consulting a veterinarian is essential.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease can inflict pain and discomfort on bearded dragons, making it difficult for them to enjoy restful sleep. Proper nutrition and calcium supplementation are vital for preventing this disease.

Preparing for Hibernation

Bearded dragons are known to enter periods of inactivity, often mistaken for hibernation. This is more accurately termed “brumation” and usually occurs in response to seasonal changes. During this time, bearded dragons significantly reduce their activity and food intake.

Brumation vs. Hibernation

It’s essential to distinguish brumation from hibernation. While hibernation entails a deep, prolonged sleep, brumation is more akin to a period of torpor. Bearded dragons entering brumation become less active and consume less food, yet they occasionally wake up to drink water and adjust their position.

How Do Bearded Dragons Sleep? Conclusion

In the captivating world of bearded dragon sleep, there’s much more than meets the eye. Their sleep patterns, behaviors, and requirements reflect their unique biology and evolution as diurnal reptiles. As responsible caregivers, providing a comfortable sleep environment and recognizing sleep-related issues is essential to ensuring your bearded dragon thrives during their active hours.