Do Bearded Dragons Need Light At Night While They Sleep? | Expert Advice

When you get a new pet dragon, you need to set it up in a glass tank or an exclusive enclosure where they get the right environment to feel at home! When setting up the tank, you would require a UVB lamp to keep these dragons warm. However, do bearded dragons need light at night? There are many essential details that you must know before getting their enclosures set up for them.

Bearded dragons are reptilians found in the dry, sandy deserts of Australia. When you bring these reptiles home, you have to give them a dry and warm place, but you also need to provide warm light similar to the warmth of sunlight. At night, they need a place as dark and cool as the desert where they are programmed to live.

Bearded Dragons At Night

The dragons living indoors cannot be exposed to sunlight every other day. You cannot keep your bearded dragon indoors without light during the day, and you can’t even keep taking them outdoors. Why? Because these reptilians get confused between the lights and then become anxious. Bearded dragons are very sensitive to their surroundings and if there are any issues, they will not be able to function well, which means they will not grow healthily.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Light At Night

Bearded Dragon Third Eye

Bearded dragons have a third eye on their head, which works like a sensor that gets disturbed if it is exposed to various kinds of lights. The third eye helps the bearded dragon adjust to their environment and the twelve hours of daylight and night mean that they know when to sleep and stay awake. Moreover, you can read all details about it here Do Bearded Dragons Have A Third Eye.

If you keep the light open at night, will the bearded dragon be able to sleep? No! This is because when the third eye senses light and sends a message to the brain that it is still not nighttime, the body stays alert and the dragon stays awake. When the dragon is awake for more than it should be, there can be many unwanted side effects like anxiety, and irritable behavior.

The Third Eye

Uvb Lamps In The Tank

The main purpose of the UVB lamp in the tank is to provide warmth to the bearded dragon. The ideal temperature for the dragons is between 90⁰F to 95⁰F, and the UVB lamp helps maintain that. However, for the 12 hours of light, you will have to install a small light that does not emit heat.

This lamp must be turned on every morning and shut off at night so that the bearded dragon knows that it is nighttime, and then they can adjust to it without any issues. The more you are particular about the 12-hour schedule, the more your bearded dragon can rest and become healthy. Bearded dragons do not understand indoor lighting because their third eye sensor is programmed to detect day and night in the wilderness. When they are indoors, any light near them can disrupt their mental clock! It is essential that pet owners understand the importance of keeping their room dark at night.

UVB Lamps In The Tank

What If Bearded Dragons Can Not Sleep

In case the bearded dragons cannot sleep, they will become irate and anxious. These reptilians are sensitive, but they express their discomfort, unlike any other pet. These dragons cannot bark or purr, nor do they become loud. On the contrary, if your bearded dragon pet is upset, it will lose its appetite, and become lethargic. Moreover, it will get anxious and behave differently. By different behavior, we mean that your dragon pet might express anxiety by scratching the walls of the tank or bobbing its head, or it may panic and begin biting your hand or the plants that are placed in its tank.

Bearded dragons need good nutrition and a healthy environment. In case any of these things are missing, their behavior changes drastically. Unless they begin sleeping well again, they will not change their behavior, and that might be a problem for owners.

How To Make The Night Dark For Them

While some pet owners suggest covering the bearded dragon’s tank with a black cloth, we never recommend this because if the cloth is too thick, and if the tank does not have ventilation through the walls, your bearded pet might die if you leave it in a closed box at night!

Blackout in the house is not possible for many of us, so it is best to place the tank in a permanent spot where you can make it dark at night. For example, if you place the bearded dragon in the living room, or in the hallway, the lights will have to be out all night. If you feel that your home life will be disrupted by this blackout, then place the tank permanently in another room where complete darkness is possible at night.

How To Make The Night Dark For Bearded Dragons

Yes, it sounds convenient to shut off the light by covering the tank. However, it is only possible if you have an enclosure that has holes or ventilation fans on the walls, or on the roof of the tank. However, since covering the tank to make it dark means covering it from all sides, only a tank with fans will work.

The purpose of darkening the tank is to ensure that your bearded dragon will remain healthy by sleeping full hours. If suffocation or uncomfortable enclosures are the only way to do it then the purpose is not met and the whole exercise becomes useless.


Bearded dragons do not need light at night because their third eye detects light and sends a signal to the brain that it is not time to sleep yet. If you want your pet to remain healthy and happy, ensure that you give it twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness so that it sleeps well and remains active during the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to keep the bearded dragon in complete darkness at night?

Yes, bearded dragons do not get used to night lights and if they can see their surroundings they will stay awake. You will have to close all the lights in the room for them to know that it is time to sleep.

Should I leave my bearded dragon out in the garden at night?

If your pet dragon is used to outdoor living then you can leave them outside. However, if they are not accustomed to the outdoors, you will have to keep them indoors, but without any light at night.

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