Bearded Dragon Sleeping Habits: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Like human beings, bearded dragons are diurnal. These creatures sleep when darkness sets in and wake up when it brightens in the morning. A bearded dragon’s sleeping behavior is significantly influenced by lighting and heating.

However, lizards often exhibit strange sleeping behaviors, especially regarding their sleeping positions and where they sleep. These creatures can fall asleep anywhere, anytime when they get comfortable.

While this is not something that should raise concern, it may indicate a problem in the enclosure when the sleeping position or time is unusual.

If you’re a new bearded dragon keeper worried about your pet’s weird sleeping behaviors and habits, keep reading to understand more about bearded dragons.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Sleep?

Yes, bearded dragons need to sleep. Sleep is an integral part of a bearded dragon’s life. Like all other creatures, bearded dragons need adequate sleep to rest, rejuvenate, support growth, and maintain good health.

Pet keepers must follow a profound bedtime routine to allow their bearded dragons to rest and relax.

Beardies in the wild follow a day-night cycle for several reasons. First, sleeping provides a perfect time for beardies to relax and rejuvenate after a long day searching for food under the scorching desert sun.

Additionally, nighttime sleep allows these lizards to evade predators that hunt when it gets dark.

Lastly, wild beardies sleep through the night and stay awake during the day to regulate body temperature.

Beardies sleep at night when the temperatures are low and spend the day basking to warm up and gain energy for performing various bodily functions.

Still, bearded dragons in captivity should also get enough sleep to stay healthy and relax after a long day of climbing, hiding, eating, and bonding with their keepers. Beardies that don’t get enough sleep are always moody and aggressive.

Do Bearded Dragon Sleep at Night?

Yes, bearded dragons in the wild sleep at night and stay active during the day. Similarly, bearded dragon owners should create a pattern replicating the day-night cycle like in the wild. Beardies are inherently diurnal. This means they’ll exercise, bask and look for food during the day and slumber at night.

Beardies don’t sleep with the lights on. They immediately go to bed once the lights are turned off.

However, lizards can also nap during the day, especially after an extended outdoor experience. The sleeping pattern may be arbitrary depending on an individual lizard’s situation.

In most cases, sleeping during the day is healthy and shouldn’t raise any concerns. However, there are instances where daytime sleeping indicates a health issue in bearded dragons.

Therefore, you should constantly monitor your scaly friend so that you can notice when their sleep pattern changes.

5 Reasons Why Beardies Sleep During the Day

Like humans, beardies too can take a nap or doze off during the day. However, when beardies sleep too much during the day, this might indicate a problem somewhere. If a beardie sleeps night and day without caring about the surrounding, there is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed.

Well, here are the potential reasons why your scaly friend might be sleeping during the day.

1. Bearded Dragons Are About to Brumate

Unlike most pets, bearded dragons have a unique behavior known as brumation. This is a natural process where beardies slow down their bodily function and become inactive to conserve energy and brave through the winter season.

Before beardies start brumation, they display various signs, one of which is sleeping too much during the day.

If you have a lizard over 12 months, they might start brumation, which is why they may be oversleeping during the day. Other signs and symptoms that will tell you whether your bearded dragon is about to brumate include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding inside the cage
  • Sleeping even when the light is shining bright
  • Lack of basking

Bearded dragons will likely refuse food and spend time sleeping during the day when they are about to brumate.

2. Poor Lighting Inside the Cage

Your beardie may also sleep during the day because of an inappropriate lighting setup. If your scaly reptile is not getting adequate UVB, they’ll not have enough vitamin D in their bodies, leading to calcium deficiency.

Lack of calcium will cause a potentially dangerous condition known as metabolic bone disease. One of the symptoms of MBD is lethargy. Therefore, if you catch your bearded dragon sleeping during the day, ensure that you check the light setup.

Ideally, adult beardies need at least 8-12 hours of UVB exposure. Young beardies should get between 11-12 hours of UVB since they are still growing.

3. Low Temperature in the Enclosure

Your bearded dragon may sleep during the daytime if the enclosure is too cold. As aforementioned, one of the reasons why wild beardies sleep at night is to try and conserve heat.

Therefore, if the tank becomes chilly, you can expect captive-bred lizards to respond by sleeping to save energy.

Conversely, low temperatures affect the bearded dragon’s ability to digest food. This means that the lizards won’t have the energy to move around and might also lead to other health complications.

When beardies feel weak, they’ll opt to shut their eyes and nap. The temperature inside the cage must be maintained between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit on the basking zone and 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit on the cooler side.

4. Sickness

Another reason your bearded dragon may sleep during the day is sickness. Unfortunately, when your beardie is ill, it may display symptoms similar to brumation.

However, a sick lizard will have soft bones, sunken eyes, rough skin, look emaciated, and might sometimes shut its eyes.

For beardies younger than 12 months, these signs may indicate that the lizard is ailing since brumation occurs after this age. However, you must consult a reptile pet vet whether you suspect your beardie is brumating or sick.

A licensed reptile vet will perform the necessary tests to confirm whether your beardie is brumating or ill.

5. Stress

Bearded can also alter their sleeping pattern because of stress. Several factors can make your scaly friend stressed. This includes:

  • Relocation
  • Housing multiple dragons in the same cage
  • Crickets’ bites
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Lack of hideouts
  • High temperature
  • Poor diet

So, if your bearded dragon is sleeping during the day, it’s highly probable they are stressed.

Do Bearded Dragons Sleep Upright?

Although beardies typically sleep when lying on their stomach, don’t be surprised to see your scaly friend sleeping in other obscene positions. In the wild, you might catch your bearded dragon sleeping on top of a branch or in an upright position.

Captive-bred bearded dragons can also bring these sleeping positions into their enclosures. You might catch your scaly reptile sleeping vertically on the glass walls or top of branches placed in its terrarium.

Although the behavior may be alarming, it shouldn’t be if it doesn’t happen regularly. However, if it keeps happening, you should dig deep to know whether your bearded dragon is trying to communicate or pass a specific message.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Sleep Weird?

Below are some potential reasons why your bearded dragon might as doze off when leaning vertically against the glass walls:

Inadequate Tank Temperature

Bearded dragons come from the Australian deserts, which boast warm to hot climates. This doesn’t change when they are brought into captivity.

Their enclosures should have two zones; the hot zone with temperatures ranging from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cooler side 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature gradient between the different zones in the bearded dragon’s tank allows them to self-regulate their internal body temperature.

Without optimal body temperature, beardies won’t be able to perform pivotal body functions such as digestion, sleeping, and readiness for mating.

When your beardie sleeps while standing upright with its belly pressed against the glass walls, it might be trying to cool off because the heat inside the cage is too much.

This might insinuate that the temperature gradient in the enclosure is compromised.

When you catch your lizard sleeping while leaning vertically onto the walls, the first thing you should check is the terrarium’s temperature.

Check whether you’re using the correct heat lamp for the size of the tank you have. If you’re unsure which tank size or basking lamp is appropriate, you should seek help from your local vet.


One of the interesting behaviors that your beardie might display is glass surfing. When your bearded dragon is constantly stressed, they start scratching, climbing, or running across the glass walls.

Your bearded dragon may result in glass surfing if the enclosure has incorrect temperature and lighting, A small tank, boredom, or seeing their reflection.

Bearded dragons will sleep wherever they feel comfortable. After a long day of running across the terrarium while scratching the glass walls, bearded dragons may fall asleep while in this position.

If you suspect that stress is causing bearded dragons to exhibit strange sleeping behaviors, you should investigate the causes of stress.

Beardies Find Joy Sleeping Vertically

Sleeping in an upright position may seem strange, but have you ever stopped to think that the bearded dragon may enjoy doing this? Bearded dragons in the wild can sleep on trees, on walls of homes, or on top of rocks.

Even when bearded dragons are brought into captivity, they’ll still sleep in positions and places where they feel comfortable.

It’s only that there are no trees to sleep on in captivity. Hence, they stand with their hind legs and bellies against the walls and sleep since this is where they feel comfortable.

Other Surprising Sleeping Sleep Habits in Bearded Dragons

Sleeping for Weeks or Months

Bearded dragons in the wild usually enter a period of inactivity in the winter months to escape the harsh environmental conditions.

Although beardies in captivity live in a controlled environment, they may also enter this phase of complete dormancy known as brumation and sleep for weeks or months.

Lightening of Color While Sleeping

Bearded dragons are known to lighten in color when joyful and relaxed. Although beardies also change to a lighter color when asleep, researchers explain that it’s because of their circadian rhythm.

Burrowing in Sand to Sleep

At times, bearded dragons may cover themselves with sand when sleeping. There’s nothing wrong with your scaly friend burrowing under the sand to sleep.

However, you must investigate whether they are doing this for other reasons, such as hiding from predators or preparing to lay eggs.

Shallow Breathing

Bearded dragons are astonishing creatures that can slow their metabolic and bodily functions to the bare minimum. Your bearded dragon can slow its breathing to the extent that you might think it’s dead.

FAQ About Bearded Dragon Sleeping

Does Sleep Work on Dragons?

Sleep is very crucial for bearded dragons of all ages. However, babies and juveniles need sleep the most for growth and development. This doesn’t mean that adult beardies don’t need sleep. They also need to rest throughout the night.

How Long Do Dragons Sleep?

Baby dragons and juveniles need about 11-12 hours of sleep daily. Adult beardies need to sleep anywhere between 8 and 12 hours every day.  

What Does It Mean When a Beardie Closes Its Eyes?

Like many animals, beardies sleep with their eyes closed. So, whenever you see your bearded dragon with its eyes closed, they are asleep.

Do Bearded Dragons Sleep Upright?

Typically, beardies sleep while lying flat on their stomachs. However, they might assume weird sleeping positions, such as sleeping while standing upright or on top of rocks and branches.

Do Bearded Dragons Like Blankets?

Yes, beardies dragons like blankets. However, wrapping them with a blanket won’t help much since bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals that don’t generate heat.

A blanket should only be used when you want them to relax or when you want them to get warmth by placing them next to your body.

To Wrap It Up

From this guide, there’s no doubt that bearded dragons have peculiar sleeping habits. They can sleep while standing against the walls, lighten their bodies when they sleep, sleep for weeks or months, and burry themselves with sand to sleep.

Conversely, beardies can sleep during the day because of various reasons. We hope this article has detailed everything you wanted to know about bearded dragons sleeping patterns and habits.

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