There are several reasons why your bearded dragon might be sleeping a lot, including brumation, environmental factors, illness, stress, age, diet, dehydration, shedding, impaction, or individual differences.
Baby and young bearded dragons may also sleep more than adults do as they develop. If your bearded dragon is sleeping for seemingly no reason, it may be good to make some gentle changes to their habitat and make certain they’re receiving adequate food, sunlight, and a stress-free atmosphere.
The Bearded Dragon’s Hibernation During colder months, bearded dragons may undergo brumation, a hibernation-like state. This natural process can last from a few weeks to months, causing your bearded dragon to sleep a lot more than usual. Don’t fret, though; this is entirely normal!
A Matter of Comfort Bearded dragons are sensitive to their environment. Temperature, humidity, and lighting all play a significant role in their well-being. If any of these factors are off, your bearded dragon may catch more Z’s as a coping mechanism.
Bearded dragons require specific temperature ranges to thrive. Ensure that their basking spot maintains a temperature of 95-105°F (35-40°C), while the cooler end of the enclosure stays at 75-85°F (24-29°C).
The proper light spectrum is crucial for your bearded dragon’s health. Ensure they receive 12-14 hours of UVB light daily, mimicking their natural environment.
Illness: When Slumber Turns Sour
Why is my bearded dragon sleeping so much? It might be a sign of illness. If your bearded dragon is sleeping excessively and exhibiting other concerning symptoms, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, consult your vet immediately.
The Silent Sleep-Inducer Stress can cause a bearded dragon to sleep more than usual. Common stressors include sudden changes in their environment, excessive handling, or the presence of other pets. To reduce stress, maintain a consistent routine and environment for your bearded dragon.
The Sleepy Side of Growing Up Young bearded dragons require more sleep than their adult counterparts. As your bearded dragon matures, you may notice a decrease in their sleep patterns.
The Snooze-Inducing Culprit An imbalanced diet can lead to excessive sleepiness in bearded dragons. Ensure your bearded dragon receives a diet rich in protein, vegetables, and calcium supplements.
Dehydration: The Stealthy Sleep Thief
Dehydration can make bearded dragons lethargic and sleepy.
Signs of dehydration in bearded dragons include:
- Sunken eyes: When dehydrated, a bearded dragon’s eyes may appear sunken or hollow.
- Wrinkled skin: A dehydrated bearded dragon may have wrinkled or loose skin that does not spring back when gently pinched.
- Lethargy: A dehydrated bearded dragon may be less active than usual and exhibit a lack of energy.
- Loss of appetite: A bearded dragon may eat less or refuse food when dehydrated.
- Thick, discolored urates: Urates are the white, chalky part of a bearded dragon’s waste. When dehydrated, urates may become thicker and more yellow or orange in color.
- Darkened or discolored skin: Dehydration can cause a bearded dragon’s skin to appear darker or have a more dull coloration.
To prevent dehydration in bearded dragons:
- Provide fresh water: Ensure that your bearded dragon has access to clean water daily, either in a shallow water dish or through regular misting.
- Maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels: Bearded dragons require a basking temperature of around 95-110°F (35-43°C) and a cooler area around 75-85°F (24-29°C). The humidity level should be around 30-40%. Adjust heat and humidity levels as needed to meet these requirements.
- Offer water-rich foods: In addition to providing water, offer your bearded dragon foods with high water content, such as leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. This can help supplement their water intake.
- Regularly mist your bearded dragon: Some bearded dragons prefer to drink water droplets from their surroundings. Lightly misting your bearded dragon and its enclosure can help provide additional hydration.
- Monitor your bearded dragon’s health: Keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s behavior, appearance, and waste output to detect any signs of dehydration early
Shedding: A Sleepy Affair
During the shedding process, bearded dragons may become more lethargic and sleep more. This is normal and should not be a cause for concern.
Signs of shedding: A bearded dragon about to shed may exhibit a few signs, including a dull, pale, or grayish appearance to their skin, a decrease in appetite, and lethargy. You may also notice their eyes appearing puffy, as the skin around the eyes will be shedding as well.
Frequency: Shedding frequency varies based on the age and growth rate of the bearded dragon. Juvenile dragons can shed as often as every few weeks, while adult dragons may shed a few times per year.
Uneven shedding: Bearded dragons may not shed their entire skin at once. It’s common for them to shed in patches, which can sometimes make the process look uneven or incomplete.
Impaction: The Hidden Danger
Impaction, a blockage in the digestive system, can cause bearded dragons to sleep more. If you suspect impaction, consult your vet immediately.
Symptoms of impaction in bearded dragons may include:
- Constipation or lack of bowel movements
- Straining while trying to defecate
- Swollen or bloated abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy or inactivity
- Paralysis or dragging of the hind legs (in severe cases)
If you suspect impaction in your bearded dragon, consult with a reptile veterinarian as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are some things you can try to help alleviate the issue:
- Hydration: Make sure your bearded dragon has access to fresh water. You can also offer water by gently dripping it on their snout or giving them a lukewarm bath.
- Temperature: Ensure your bearded dragon’s enclosure has appropriate basking and cool areas. Proper temperatures help with digestion. Basking temperature should be around 95-110°F (35-43°C), while the cool side should be around 75-85°F (24-29°C).
- Lighting: Provide adequate UVB lighting to help with calcium absorption and metabolism. A 10-12% UVB fluorescent tube or mercury vapor bulb is recommended.
- Diet: Make sure to feed a balanced diet of greens, vegetables, and appropriately sized insects. Avoid feeding overly large or hard-to-digest insects like mealworms or super worms. Dust the insects with calcium and multivitamin supplements.
- Exercise: Gently massage your bearded dragon’s belly to help stimulate bowel movements. Encourage your bearded dragon to move around and exercise.
- Substrate: Use a non-particulate substrate, like reptile carpet or tile, to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion of indigestible materials.
Every Dragon is Unique Lastly, some bearded dragons simply sleep more than others. As long as your bearded dragon is healthy and exhibits normal behavior when awake, there’s no need to worry.
How can I tell if my bearded dragon is brumating?
Brumation typically occurs during colder months and involves a bearded dragon sleeping more, eating less, and becoming less active. If your bearded dragon is exhibiting these behaviors and the temperature has dropped, brumation is a likely cause.
Should I wake up my bearded dragon if it’s sleeping too much?
It’s best not to disturb your bearded dragon’s sleep, as this can cause stress. If you’re concerned about their sleep patterns, consult with a veterinarian.
What should I do if my bearded dragon is sleeping a lot due to an imbalanced diet or dehydration?
Provide a well-balanced diet, including protein, vegetables, and calcium supplements. Ensure your bearded dragon has access to fresh water daily and mist them to promote proper hydration.
By understanding the 10 reasons discussed above, you can better care for your sleepy scaly friend and ensure they maintain optimal health. Remember, each bearded dragon is unique, and as long as they are healthy and active when awake, there’s no need to worry. However, if you’re concerned about your bearded dragon’s health or sleep patterns, always consult a trusted veterinarian.