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Why is My Bearded Dragon Sleeping So Much?

Reptile enthusiasts love bearded dragons because of their unique personalities and endearing behaviors. Typically, they are alert and active, and they provide endless hours of interaction and entertainment for their owners. But what if your scaly companion is sleeping more often than usual? If you’re thinking, “Why is my bearded dragon sleeping so much?” you’re not alone. 

Understanding the complex issues of bearded dragon behavior is essential for preserving their health and wellness, and this article will dive into some of the reasons for this and help you understand what your pet is going through. 

Why is my bearded dragon sleeping so much?

Your bearded dragon may be sleeping so much due to various factors including brumation, its age, health conditions, insufficient lighting, changes in the environment, or its diet.

Keep reading to delve deeper into six potential reasons, which will provide a better understanding of why your bearded dragon is spending so much time being sleepy. 

1. Brumation

Bearded Dragon
Bearded Dragon

Reptiles, including bearded dragons, undergo a hibernation-like state called brumation. It’s a natural process in response to colder weather and reduced daylight hours, typically in the fall and winter months. During these periods, animals in the wild have a survival instinct because food and warmth become less available.

During brumation, bearded dragons experience dormancy periods in which they become extremely inactive and sleep significantly more than normal. They can sleep for days, weeks, or even months without interruption, only waking occasionally to drink water and perhaps eat a little. Some individuals may choose not to eat during this time. 

2. Their tank is too cold

Bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals, also known as ectotherms, which means their environment regulates their body temperature. This makes the temperature of their environment extremely crucial to their overall health and activity levels.

In the wild, these animals are adapted to hot climates and need a specific heat level to do regular activities like digesting, moving, or staying awake. If the environment isn’t warm enough, their metabolism slows down. Your pet might appear lethargic due to their body going into survival mode when the temperature in its tank dips too low, especially over an extended period. 

It’s important to examine the temperature gradient in the tank if your bearded dragon is sleeping a lot. You should always use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature. 

3. Age

Bearded Dragon on the floor
Bearded Dragon on the floor | Image by Alexa from Pixabay

If your bearded dragon sleeps more than usual, it may be because they’re still developing. These reptiles have all the physical structures they need when they’re born, but their bodies need to grow and mature significantly in the first year or two of life. 

These animals conserve energy by sleeping because rapid growth and development need energy. As they age, they’ll sleep less and become more active when awake. 

4. Stress

Like many other animals, bearded dragons are susceptible to having their sleep cycles disrupted due to stress. They can become mentally and physically worn down from prolonged stress, resulting in lethargy.

Chronic stress can occur when the source of stress is ongoing or recurrent over a period of time; for example, when an unsuitable environment, improper handling, or the presence of a perceived predator are all factors that might contribute to it. 

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Changes in the reptile’s typical sleeping habits are one of the many negative effects of long-term stress on their health. 

5. Dehydration

Bearded dragon drinks on the ground
Bearded dragon drinks on the ground

One of the potential causes of your pet’s excessive sleeping could be dehydration. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their body has less water to carry out essential functions, making them sluggish. Lethargy can cause the body to sleep more to conserve energy.

Bearded dragons can become less active if dehydrated because their skin becomes dry. They get most of their moisture through their skin, so dehydration can quickly affect how active they are compared to other animals. You should give your pet fresh water, feed them hydrating foods, and maintain the correct humidity levels in their enclosure.

6. Diet

Diet imbalances can greatly impact a bearded dragon’s ability to sleep and overall health. Your pet can become lethargic and sleep more than usual if it doesn’t receive enough amount of a balanced diet, which includes the appropriate proportions of insects, vegetables, and fruits. 

Overfeeding can lead to discomfort and obesity-related health issues while underfeeding can result in a lack of energy, both resulting in increased sleep. Incorrectly feeding them at the wrong times can also interrupt their regular habit, which might cause them to become less active. 

It’s essential to provide your bearded dragon with a consistent and well-balanced diet to maintain its normal activity and health levels. In addition, you should always speak with a veterinarian if you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior or eating habits.

7. Incorrect lighting setup 

Bearded dragon enjoying heat lamp
A bearded dragon enjoying heat lamp | image by Dennis Harper via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The lighting configuration significantly influences a bearded dragon’s behavior, health, and sleep patterns in its habitat. Your pet dragon needs UVA and UVB lights to stay healthy.

This aids in synthesizing vitamin D3, which is required for calcium metabolism, influences their behavior, stimulates their appetite, and controls their activity levels. Without proper UV lighting, bearded dragons can suffer from health issues that lead to lethargy and increased sleeping.

Aside from the different forms of light, they also require a regular light-dark cycle to regulate their internal clock. Inconsistent or dim lighting schedules can confuse their circadian rhythms and potentially make them sleep more.

8. Shedding

A bearded dragon’s life cycle typically includes shedding. It removes old skin to make space for new, healthy skin. When your pet sheds, its skin dries out and peels off in large patches.

These reptiles may find this process uncomfortable, stressing and irritating the dragon. Because of this, bearded dragons often seek to minimize their activity during shedding, and they do this by sleeping more than usual. It’s a way for them to conserve energy and rest while their body goes through this taxing process.

9. Diseases

Bearded dragon sleeping
Bearded dragon sleeping | image by JoshuaDavisPhotography via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

A sick bearded dragon may sleep more than usual to save energy and help its body fight off the disease. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and parasitic infections, like pinworms, can make you feel more tired and sleepy. Even conditions like impaction, where the dragon’s digestive tract gets blocked, can cause discomfort and lead to more sleep. 

These diseases and conditions make the dragon fatigued, so it sleeps more. If your bearded dragon sleeps a lot and shows signs of illness, like not eating or acting strangely, you should consult a reptile specialist veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.