11 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon is Sleeping More

Sleeping is something a bearded dragon does quite well! They are masters of it in fact! Sometimes though, they go through times when they sleep a lot more than usual.

Most of the time, it’s natural and nothing to worry about, but sometimes it could be a more serious issue.

Knowing the causes of excess sleep is a step towards rectifying any underlying issues.

Reptiles can be very sensitive to their environments, and usually, the problem will be to do with how things are set up in their tank.

Occasionally, it’s something else though, so knowing the difference is important. Keep reading for the top 11 reasons.

1. Winter Is Coming

Bearded dragons being cold-blooded, when the weather turns cold they start to slow down. Beardies go through a process called brumation, which is similar to hibernation.

As the weather cools down, your bearded dragon is going to start behaving likes it’s winter, and that means slowing down, resting, and preparing once again for sunny days.

2. Your Beardie Thinks Winter Has Come

The natural cycle of a bearded dragon can be easily disrupted. A habitat that gets a lot of sunlight will benefit from increases in temperature, making your beardie believe it is summer.

Conversely, put the tank too close to a cool vent in the summer and the colder air might make your lizard think its winter.

Just like with actual winter, this will trigger the bearded dragon’s instinct to brumate.

That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the habitat thermometer and always ensure you have the optimum light setup for your bearded dragon.

3. It’s Night-Time

Most reptiles tend to snooze whenever the temperature or mood may strike, largely as a result of the weather.

Bearded dragons are unlike many other reptiles because they maintain what humans would consider being a standard sleeping cycle. That is, they sleep when it’s dark outside.

Your beardie is going to sleep with the moon and rise with the sun.

An easy fix here is to invest in a digital light timer to ensure that a consistent light pattern is maintained.

Zilla Reptile Habitat Lighting

4. Your Bearded Dragon is Cold

Once again, bearded dragons are cold-blooded. If the temperature is cool but not enough to trigger brumation, a bearded dragon is still going to be sleeping a fair bit since it won’t have the energy to do much else.

Unlike waking a teenager during summer vacation, adjusting the temperature here is an easy fix.

The tank should have 3 separate temperature zones like in the photo below.

Bearded Dragon temperature

You will need to keep an eye on these temperatures, doing so with a regular thermometer can be quite difficult.

Instead, you should make use of an infra-red thermometer that can give accurate and specific readings for any given area in the tank.

Bearded Dragon Lighting Setup Thermometer

5. Your Beardie is Not Getting Enough Food

Getting the diet right for your bearded dragon can be quite tricky. Since they’re cold-blooded, beardies don’t require as much food as warm-blooded mammals.

That said, if your bearded dragon is sleeping more often and the temperature is fine, it might just be hungry and needing some more food.

Food scarcity is one of the triggers for brumation, so do some searching to get a better idea of their dietary needs if lack of food is the case.

It can be a good idea to keep a food diary so you can track what foods you are feeding your beardie.

Sometimes, you may have just forgot to feed them, if so, go ahead and do it right now. Everyone forgets to feed their pets once in a while, after all. It can be a simple mistake.

6. Your Beardie Needs a More Varied Diet

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both insects and veggies. For an adult beardie, the ratio between the two should be about 80% vegetables and 20% insects (with an occasional fruity treat).

Too much fruit can be bad for a beardie due to the high sugar content, this can damage their teeth.

As for insects, crickets and worms are the ‘go-to’ choice for beardie owners.

There are a variety of different worms that you can feed your beardie, they each have varying nutritional values so be sure to check on which worms are best for your bearded dragon.

7. Messed Up Sleep Cycle

Much like an overworked college student, if a bearded dragon’s sleep cycle is messed up, snoozing at odd hours can be expected.

You should avoid the red incandescent lights which retailers promote. These interrupt a bearded dragon sleeping pattern.

Instead, if you need to provide more heat during the night then you will want to invest in a ceramic heat emitter that provides adequate warmth without producing any visible light.

Zoo Med Repticare Ceramic

8. Baby Bearded Dragon Development

Younger bearded dragons, much like other animals, sleep a lot. If your beardie is young and getting in plenty of rest, do not adjust their day/night cycle.

Let them sleep themselves into adulthood, just like with teenagers.

Their bodies need to rest to allow them to build up energy for their growth and development. Disturbing this process could result in stunted growth and other health complications.

9. Your Bearded Dragon is Stressed

Beardies are incredibly receptive and therefore can suffer from anxiety quite easily.

There are many factors that can cause stress in a bearded dragon to become stressed and similar to humans, anxiety can cause a desire to sleep which can then lead to depression.

It is true, bearded dragons suffer from mental health just as we do.

10. You Recently Relocated Your Bearded Dragon

If you just bought your bearded dragon or placed them into a new, larger habitat, the change in scenery is going to stress them out.

Hopefully, this will only be a short term problem and once they’ve settled in, your beardie should resume a normal sleeping cycle.

11. Your Bearded Dragon is Sick

Unfortunately, if none of the previous items in this list relate to your beardie, then it may be that he/she is suffering from an illness.

Fighting off illness is tiring work, they’re going to try and sleep it off to regain strength.

Some of the more obvious signs of sickness include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Discoloration
  • Abnormal Behavior

If you think you’re bearded dragon is sick, make an appointment with your vet. Often they will require a stool sample so consider this when making a trip to see them.


Whatever may happen to your bearded dragon throughout its life, an altered sleep cycle is not always a serious complication.

Reptiles are not generally high maintenance pets, but it’s still important to keep an eye on the habits.

As long as you’re aware and make necessary corrections, your bearded dragon should be fine, happy, and healthy.

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bearded dragon sleeping

  • About Matthew Cantell

    I was just 15 years of age when I first met a bearded dragon. It was at my friend's house and I instantly grew an immediate attraction to, what has now become, my favourite animal on the planet! Making fantastic pets for both children and adults alike, they each have their own personality and are certainly full of character. There are, though, some important things that we should all know when it comes to caring for these amazing animals!
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