Bearded dragons are a cute, gentle, and intriguing reptile species. They have some endearing and strange behaviors. Some of these habits and traits are what endears the owners to them. Especially when the owner understands the meaning of these gestures. A beardie, as they are often called, is a diurnal creature just like we humans. In the wild, they are active during the day, and they fall asleep at night. As a result, your bearded dragon should have the same sleeping period as you. So what do your bearded dragons’ sleeping positions really mean?
A bearded dragon usually sleeps longer than the average human being. They spend 8 to 12 hours sleeping at night and into the morning. In the wild, bearded dragons sleep when it is dark, and as a result of that, you must switch the lights off and create a dark atmosphere when it is time to sleep. They relish the darkness once it is time to sleep. If the nighttime period is longer than daytime, expect your bearded dragon to sleep more.
Bearded dragons have some weird sleeping positions and behaviors.
Sometimes they sleep lying on their belly with their eyes closed which one will expect to be their normal sleeping routine. However, they are fond of deviating from this sleeping posture from time to time. An example of a weird sleeping posture is sleeping while standing uprightly against the walls of its enclosure. They could also sleep while climbing logs or branches, or other objects in their tank.
These sleeping positions do not carry health hazards. There is no cause for alarm, and you should just let your pet sleep.
Why is my Bearded Dragon Sleeping In an Upright Posture?
This behavior may seem odd, and there are some reasons your bearded dragon may find comfort in sleeping in this position. You must bear in mind that this sleeping behavior itself is not harmful to your bearded dragon. A lot of bearded dragons exhibit this sleeping posture. The underlying reasons could, however, pose a problem. The reasons are examined below.
Increased stress levels
One of the many indicators of stress in a bearded dragon is when it starts to hug the glass walls of its enclosure. This behavior is called ‘glass surfing.’ Glass surfing occurs as a result of a desire to escape. Your bearded dragon will stand upright against the glass and keep struggling to climb out of its enclosure.
The reasons for this behavior are if the enclosure is too small, if the temperature, humidity, and lighting are incorrect, or if your bearded dragon sees its reflection in the glass and wants to go and meet the new bearded dragon. Boredom can also cause glass surfing.
If glass surfing is a regular daytime activity for your bearded dragon, and you also observe that it sleeps in an upright posture at night, then it could be that your pet slept off while struggling to escape its enclosure.
You can get a terrarium wrap to keep your pet from seeing its reflection in case that’s the reason for the stress. A larger enclosure will help to relieve the stress caused by temperature issues. Generally, a larger space is more comfortable.
Good hygiene and a peaceful environment are also stress repellant factors. Be faithful to these factors, and your bearded dragon will even rarely develop health problems.
Improper temperature and humidity levels.
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded creatures. They need a particular amount of temperature to help regulate their bodily functions. Wrong temperature levels could affect your bearded dragon. When they are in the wild, they instinctively know how to get the desired temperature levels for their bodies.
Once domesticated, the responsibility falls on you as the pet owner to supply the correct temperature in its artificial habitat. The temperature needed in the daytime differs from that needed when it is sleeping. This is because they bask in the daytime.
The ideal temperature for the environment of an adult bearded dragon ranges from 95 to 115˚F. However, once asleep, the temperature should drop to a range of 75-85˚F. This reduction in temperature is necessary for your bearded dragon to enjoy its sleep.
When your bearded dragon is sleeping in an upright posture, and it rests its abdomen area against the wall of the tank, there is a possibility it is trying to regulate its body temperature. It just wants to cool off a bit. So if you observe that your bearded dragon has been adopting this sleeping posture more often than recently, you must take a look at the temperature levels of its enclosure. The tank may be overheated, and that is not safe for your beardie.
The humidity of the tank is another reason your bearded dragon may be sleeping in an upright position. You need to keep the tank damp always and especially at night. However, if the tank is too damp, it will be uncomfortable for your pet. You can use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.
The size of the enclosure may also be what is affecting the temperature and humidity. Probably the size is too small, and there is an increase in the temperature levels. If this is the case, then you should consider buying a larger-sized cage for your pet.
Lastly, a bearded dragon’s skin coloration becomes lighter while it feels too much heat. This is a reliable indicator that you need to fix the temperature issues in its enclosure.
They could be enjoying the posture.
This sleeping posture is not harmful to a bearded dragon, and it may even enjoy and sleep better in this position. They might even come to enjoy it, and if you administer the remedies suggested, they might continue sleeping in an upright position.
Bearded dragons sleep in this kind of posture in their natural habitat. They are comfortable with sleeping on branches and tree stems. If there is no tree in its cage, the next best thing might be to sleep upright while hugging the glass wall.
This is why it is important to constantly monitor your bearded dragon. You need to become conversant with its behavioral patterns, so you will know the normal ones and the ones you need to be wary of.
You must do your part as a pet owner by ensuring your pet’s dietary needs are met, it is hydrated, and the living conditions meet the minimum required standards. When all these are in place, a sleeping posture is no cause for alarm.
Although we do our absolute best to ensure that we understand our pets, some of their behaviors are just beyond us, and they do it for reasons we do not know. Just allow your bearded dragon to express itself and thrive as long it is not causing any personal injury to itself.
Other sleeping habits your bearded dragon could exhibit
The major odd sleeping habit your bearded dragon may display is the upright sleeping position, but other ones are not as pronounced but are worthy of being taken note of.
Sometimes, your bearded dragon may start to cover itself in the loose substrate just before it goes to sleep. This is most common when the substrate is sand. Don’t be alarmed if you discover your bearded dragon does this act.
As long as your bearded dragon is not trying to escape another bearded dragon in the cage and there is no excessive amount of light pointed directly at it, then this is a normal habit, and there is no inherent danger attached to it.
Bearded dragons usually exhibit a change in color while asleep. This is a reaction to the temperature conditions in its enclosure. They usually darken their skin when they want to get more warmth and when they need to cool off, they lighten their skin and look pale.
When asleep, bearded dragons commonly change to a white color, or they look very pale. This is to reduce its temperature while it is sleeping so it can get some much-needed peace and tranquility.
Bearded dragons can reduce their breathing and slow down their metabolism while sleeping. It may appear to not be breathing at all while fast asleep. This could just be a normal breathing habit while sleeping, or it could indicate something is wrong. Make sure you check your beardie and be certain it is okay.
Bearded dragons in captivity seasonally hibernate for an extended period. It could last for weeks or months. Brumation occurs before the mating season. During brumation, they rarely eat, drink, or pass out feces. They remain inactive for a long while.
During brumation, your bearded dragon will sleep a lot in the daytime. The duration of brumation usually ranges from 1 to 3 months. If your beardie is experiencing this, don’t be afraid. It is normal behavior.
One of the things that makes a bearded dragon a good pet option is its sleep routine. Some of its sleeping habits are odd and may seem like an indicator of an ailment or condition. These habits are normal and healthy. However, if your bearded dragon is lethargic during the day and it is not in the brumation period, contact your vet because something could be wrong.