A majority of the reptiles are nocturnal, which means they remain active and involved in all their activities in the nighttime. So are bearded dragons nocturnal like all the other reptiles too? Interestingly, beardies are just the exception. It is essential to know if the pet you are buying is active during which time. Pet owners usually prefer pets that remain active during the day so that they can spend and match their routine with their pets. Fortunately, bearded dragons are diurnal and remain up all day. Bearded dragons can stay active for 10-13 hours during the daytime.
NIGHT TIME FOR BEARDED DRAGONS
After being awake for 10-13 hours, beardies settle down to sleep. These exotic lizards sleep and rest in caves or bury themselves in the sand to feel safe as they naturally have to hide from other night-hunting predators. The night and daytime have to be carefully managed for pet beardies that are kept in enclosures or terrariums. The biological clock and rhythm work with the UVB light in the enclosure that you have fixed.
More importantly, you need the lights to turn off and on according to your beardie’s biological clock, which means you cannot be too early, too late, or switch the lights on and off during the middle. To be more clear, the manual on and off switch just won’t work for the sensitive sleep schedule of your dragon. You must have an automatic time switch that turns on and off timely and lets your beardie have a sound sleep when the sun goes down for him.
DAY TIME FOR BEARDED DRAGONS
The correct diurnal cycle starts off in the morning, beardies come out from their hiding and drink little drops of water to get their day started. They enjoy the warm temperature and find the perfect basking spot where the temperature is suitable. Bearded dragons in the wild start their hunt in the day to have enough food to eat throughout the daytime. They also, like territorial animals, stay alert for any other creature or dragon that might come into their territory.
HOW MANY HOURS OF SLEEP DOES A BEARDED DRAGON NEED
Bearded dragons sleep a little longer in the winters as compared to the summers. So if you are petting a beardie, then allow it 11 hours of sleep in the enclosure for summers, and 14 hours of sleep in the enclosure for winters. Be careful how you are simulating winter and summertime in the enclosure as not only the sleep cycle but also the beardie’s brumation cycle depends on it.
The winter period triggers the brumation period and assists the beardie to enter into the cycle smoothly, as the sleeping hours are already extended in the colder months. In the beginning, start delaying the morning time in the month of September by 15 minutes to extend the sleeping time gradually. Increase the delay and by January, only allow 10 hours of daytime to the beardie so that it has 14 hours of sound sleep. Also, read Why Do Bearded Dragons Bob their Heads.
WHY IS MY BEARDED DRAGON SLEEPING DURING THE DAY
Bearded dragons are very active creatures. Although it is a misconception to many people that they are lazy and only lie at a spot for basking and sleep with no visible movements, healthy dragons are always moving in the enclosure and carrying out their activities with energy. So if your dragon is lazy, lethargic, or sleepy during the day, it means that something inappropriate is causing this abnormality. Why is your dragon sleeping during the day when bearded dragons are not nocturnal?
There can be 3 major reasons for this behavior:
You might have been having the wrong lighting system in your beardie’s enclosure. Bearded dragons need warm UVB lighting to keep them active during the day hours. Make sure that the output of the UVB light you purchased from the market is strong enough. The perfect lighting schedule is also very important for an active pet. Observe if you switch the lights on and off irregularly during the night or the day.
Your bearded dragon might also be sleeping during the day if the temperatures of the enclosure are not set correctly. Beardies originated from Australia and require high temperatures to remain healthy. If the temperature is not hot, your beardie will feel sleepy and remain inactive during the day hours.
Lastly, you might not be feeding your pet correctly. Observe what meals you are feeding your dragon and also the number of meals you are feeding per day. Young beardies need food more often as compared to adult dragons, to grow and stay active. However, if you have checked all the reasons above and none of them is the cause of your pet’s sleepy behavior, then you must go to the vet and get your beardie checked.
Are bearded dragons nocturnal? No! Absolutely not. Bearded dragons are the exceptions in reptiles and so are diurnal. They are active during 10-13 hours of the day and sleep during the night hours. The active hours do decrease during winters when they sleep for longer hours that is about 14 hours during the night. In addition, beardies also go to long sleep during brumation. But other than these occasions, these exotic creatures are wide awake in the daytime to drink, eat, run around, and bask freely. If your beardie is sleeping in the daytime then make sure the UVB lighting is correct, the time switch is working properly, the temperature is hot enough, and you are giving enough healthy food to your dragon according to its age.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is my bearded dragon active at night?
Younger dragons are mostly too active and as each dragon is different from the other, some bearded dragons might have differing sleeping periods. However, a bearded dragon must sleep 8-10 hours. If it is not and stays awake late, then that means, the temperature is too high for the dragon to rest and sleep, and it is keeping the beardie awake and active. If you still can’t figure out the reason after setting the temperature lower, take your beardie to the vet and inquire.
Does a bearded dragon need heat at night?
No, beardies actually need colder temperatures during the night to make them sleep naturally. The high temperature makes them active and does not allow them to rest and sleep in their cave or in the sand. Turn the temperature lower when the lights are out for sleep.
Do bearded dragons need humidity at night?
Yes, bearded dragons need 20-40% humidity during the night for a peaceful sleep. The humidity is around 30-40% during the day, but you need to keep the humidity low at night. You can increase the ventilation, stop misting, keep the water bowl away from the heating source and also change the substrate to control the humidity during nighttime.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!