Are Bearded Dragons Nocturnal? What You Should Know

Are Bearded Dragons NocturnalIf you get a bearded dragon you definitely should know if your new pet is active during the day or active during the night. Let me answer your question right away.

Bearded dragons are not nocturnal. Bearded dragons are diurnal and they are pretty active during the day. Their daytime should be 10 to 13 hours long.

So what does that even mean for you? Do you have to be extremely quiet in the evening when the lights in your beardie terrarium went out? When should you switch on the lights? Are some bearded dragons still active during the night? Read further to learn why this is a sensitive topic.

Are Bearded Dragons Nocturnal?

So as I said above, no, bearded dragons are not nocturnal. Bearded dragons are diurnal reptiles which means that they are active during the day. During the night, bearded dragons sleep in caves or they bury themselves in sand to feel save.

In the morning they come out to drink some dew drops from plants and then they will look for a good basking spot where they can get their body on temperature. As soon as their body is on temperature they go hunting.

Besides that, male bearded dragons are territorial which means that they fight off other male bearded dragons that might enter their territory. As you see, bearded dragons are not the lazy reptiles we think they are.

Actually, when kept right, bearded dragon should be as active in your terrarium as they are in the wild.

The Right Daytime and Nighttime

Many bearded dragon owners just switch the lights on and off manually. However, is that really the best way to simulate a correct diurnal cycle? The answer to that is – no.

You should always use a time switch which will switch the lights on and off for you automatically. The problem is that most people think that switching the lights on and off manually is as good as using a time switch, but unexpected things can happen.

Maybe you have to work longer or maybe you go out spontaneously. Maybe you are visiting a friend and you come home later. Your bearded dragon will be totally confused. It will probably be sleeping with the lights on and that´s what confuses its biorythm completely.

You probably have not expected this, but things like that can even lead to horrible diseases and death.

How Many Hours Of Sleep Does A Bearded Dragon Need?

The nighttime inside the terrarium should be around 11 hours in the summer and around 14 hours during the winter.

Simulating summer and winter time is more natural and will show your bearded dragon when it is time to go into brumation again. I have experienced that the brumation phase will be easier to initiate when you are simulating a winter time.

You can start decreasing the daytime in September. Start with switching the lights on 15 minutes later and switching them off 15 minutes earlier. Continue to do this till January until you have 10 hours of light inside the terrarium during the day.

In February you should start to switch the lights earlier on 15 minutes ealier and switching them off 15 minutes later. The day cycle should not be longer than 13 hours and it should be the longest during June, July and August.

(Some bearded dragons even have a sleeping bag, lol.)

Is Your Bearded Dragon Sleeping During The Day?

I get a lot of emails from readers who tell me that their bearded dragons sleeps the whole day. Even on Youtube you can see that most bearded dragons are not very active during the day and actually this is a huge problem.

Most people think that bearded dragons are just lazy and love to lay around the whole day, but that is absolutely wrong. As I said at the beginning of this article, bearded dragons are very active reptiles. Normally they should be busy the whole day between their basking times.

So why is it that most bearded dragons in captivity are sleeping under the basking spot the whole day?

There are many reasons for such a behavior, but most of the times it is a pretty bad sign.

Check Your Lighting

Bearded Dragons need warmth and UVB light during the day. The problem is that many lights you can get on the market for reptiles are simply not good. For example, most of them do not have a UVB output that is strong enough.

It could also be that the temperatures in the bearded dragon tank are not on point. If your bearded dragon is not able to get its body temperature to where it should be, it will be inactive the whole day and this would also hurt your bearded dragon´s health.

So if your are confused right now or if you are afraid that you are doing everything wrong, don´t worry! Simply read my bearded dragon lighting guide to learn exactly which lights you need for your bearded dragon.

What Else?

If your lighting is perfect, it could also have other reasons why your bearded dragon is sleeping the whole time. For example, maybe you are feeding your bearded dragon incorrectly.

Feeding is actualy a huge topic and while it seems to be so easy, there are many things you could do wrong here. For example, overfeeding or using the wrong supplements.

If you feed your bearded dragon correctly, but it is sleepy nevertheless, your beardie might be sick.

Because of that, it is best to get your bearded dragon to the vet first and after you have made sure that your bearded dragon is healthy, you should start to check your tank setup your feeding habits and so on and so forth.

There are so many further reasons, this is actually a topic for a whole new article, but I wanted to get you on the right track and if you have any questions, you can still leave a message in the comment section below.


Are bearded dragons nocturnal? No, bearded dragons are diurnal and they absolutely love the light. Without it, bearded dragons would not be able to live and that´s why you have to make sure that your have the perfect lighting and the correct diurnal cycle.

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