7 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Sleeps So Much

Is your bearded dragon sleeping too much? Sometimes laziness or lethargy can be a clue to a potential problem or underlying illness.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Reasons why your bearded dragon sleeps so much
  • What to do if your bearded dragon is sleeping too much
  • When too much sleep is cause for concern

Bearded dragons can be relatively lazy lizards compared to other species. I have owned many bearded dragons; some have more energetic personalities, while others prefer to rest more.

Most causes are either natural or caused by something wrong with the setup of their habitat. In some cases, it can be a symptom of an underlying illness. We outline some potential reasons your dragon may be less active below.

Why Is Your Bearded Dragon Sleeping So Much?

  1. Improper heating/lighting
  2. Boredom
  3. Brumation
  4. Shedding
  5. Age
  6. Dietary problems
  7. Illness and disease

Is Your Bearded Dragon Just Lazy or Lethargic?

Most reptiles tend to be lazy because of their cold-blooded nature. This can be caused by boredom, age, improper heat/lighting, and daily mood! Lethargy is a symptom of an underlying health issue or natural reptilian process like shedding and brumating. Determining the difference can be challenging, but lethargy is typically more prolonged and accompanied by other symptoms like abnormal poop or regurgitation.

Signs Of Laziness

  • Boredom: provide your lizard with enrichment to stimulate its brain.
  • Age: young bearded dragons are developing and sleep more than adults. 
  • Improper heat/lighting: Ensure your bearded dragon’s enclosure is warm enough, especially in their basking area. A temperature gun can help you identify temperatures in specific locations within the tank. Make sure they have UVB light available, and it is not expired.

Signs Of Lethargy

  • Brumation: bearded dragons go through a seasonal slowdown when temperatures drop in the winter. This hibernation-like process can cause them to sleep for weeks. 
  • Shedding: reptiles are vulnerable while they shed. This process can be stressful and tiring; more sleep is necessary. 
  • Dietary Problems: make sure your dragon is not dehydrated by observing them when you provide water. Provide fruit with a high water content and mix up their diet to ensure they get the proper nutrients.
  • Illnesses: lethargy is a common symptom of an illness and is usually present with other symptoms when they are ill. 
  • Parasites: Common parasites are present outside, in food, and from other reptiles. Other symptoms include weight loss, appetite loss, and abnormal defecation. 
  • Impaction: Some substrates can be dangerous to bearded dragons by blocking their intestinal tract. Other symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, not walking correctly, or dragging back legs.
  • MBD: Proper UVB and vitamin supplements are crucial for preventing this disease caused by too much phosphorus and insufficient calcium and D3.

7 Causes Of Lethargy In Bearded Dragons

Improper Heat/Lighting

Bearded dragons are cold-blooded creatures, relying on the environment to regulate their body temperature. When trying to recreate the natural cycles of the sun artificially, we can encounter some issues, and it may take some trial and error to get it right.

Your dragon will slow down if your basking temperatures are not high enough. Check them using a temperature gun. You may need to decrease the distance between their basking position and their heat lamp, allowing them to get hotter. Be careful; they can get burned if they are too close to the bulb.

Check the temperature of the room they are in during the day or at night. If your dragon is near a window, it may be causing a draft that is cooling your dragon down. Find a warmer spot for them!

If you supplement the tank heat with under-tank heat pads, feel them to ensure they are working correctly, or check the outlet to ensure it functions.

Your dragon should also have access to UVB lighting to keep them healthy and maintain their natural circadian rhythm. UVB rays are required for the lizard to metabolize vitamin D3 correctly. D3 is necessary for your dragon to absorb calcium from their food properly.

These light bulbs expire after six months, and they should be replaced. These bulbs also come in different strengths; they are 100, 150, or 200. Bearded dragons should have 150 or 200 as they are subarboreal and inhabit deserts, woodlands, scrublands, and savannas. There are also mercury vapor bulbs that provide heat and UVB. These are more pricey but last longer as they must only be replaced every 12-24 months.

What should you do?

  • Purchase a temperature gun: This device lets you get a more accurate reading on specific locations in your lizard’s tank.
  • Move them to a warmer room in your house, and avoid keeping them near drafty places like windows or rooms with doors that are not insulated well.
  • Check that the heat pads are functional and that the outlet is working it is plugged into.
  • Replace your UVB bulb every six months.


Take caution judging the distance your lizard’s basking position is from their heat bulb. If your dragon is too close to the bulb, it can get burned, requiring vet attention. 

Pro-Tip ⚡

Write the date you installed your UVB bulb on the base of the light bulb, so you remember when it was last changed. They only provide proper UVB for about six months before needing to be replaced.


Sitting in the same area all day can be boring. Give your dragon some adventure to liven them up. There are many different ways to stimulate your beardie intellectually. Be creative but safe by focusing on tried and true enrichment tactics. Enrichment could be providing more hides, rocks, sticks, or decorations for your dragon to explore, providing their food in different ways, or bringing them on an adventure outside their enclosure.

What should you do?

A simple way to enrich your dragon is to provide them with various foods at different times. Offer other vegetables or provide new fruits for your bearded dragon. You can also purchase worm-feeding devices that dispense worms slowly, so it takes more time for your dragon to get their meal while also problem-solving how to get it out.


During the winter months, your dragon may go through brumation. This is essentially hibernation but for reptiles! It is common for your bearded dragon to sleep for days, even weeks because their system slows them down to save resources. Bearded dragons need heat, so without heat, your beardie cannot metabolize foods as quickly, meaning they stay full for longer. They may refuse food during this time and will not defecate as often. When the warmer months roll around, your dragon will return to their hungry self.

What should you do?

Let your dragon do their thing! The best action is to ensure they always have a fresh water supply and keep their enclosure clean. They will be back to normal when the season changes.

Shedding Their Skin

If your bearded dragon is ‘going into shed,’ it may act differently than usual. They can sometimes get grumpy and often get lethargic. Removing their skin can be complicated for them, causing stress. They are often more vulnerable to predators at this time because their natural camouflage is not up to par. Their typical action in the wild is to hunker down somewhere safe and wait for it to end.

What should you do?

Allow your dragon to complete their shedding process independently if there are no specific problem areas. It can be helpful to soak your bearded dragon once a day in warm water up to its elbows for 15-minute sessions. This softens the skin and allows it to separate from the lizard better. 


Do not pull the skin off of your bearded dragon. If you remove skin that is not ready to come off, you can put your bearded dragon in pain, stress them, and cause a risk of infection. 


Baby bearded dragons sleep more than adults. Just like puppies, they are in developmental stages that take a lot of energy from them. Their bodies are building their bones, and more sleep is required to metabolize their food optimally.

What should you do?

Let your baby sleep. Ensure they are not stressed, as excess sleep can be a symptom of stress. If you feel your dragon is stressed out, cover the outside of the viewing side of their tank with something opaque like paper or black plastic to give them privacy. You can also provide extra hides, or you may need to move them to a quieter section of your home with less activity.

Dietary Problems

If your dragon is not receiving a balanced diet, it can become lethargic. Please provide them with various insects, fruits, and vegetables to ensure they get a wide range of nutrients. Supplements should always be used, like a multivitamin and calcium powder. It is also possible your dragon is dehydrated.

What should you do?

  • Provide a varied diet, including different insects, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Use multivitamin supplements and calcium powder.
  • If you feel your dragon is dehydrated, soak it in warm water or provide them with fruits with high water content, like watermelon.

Pro-Tip ⚡

Sometimes, bearded dragons require a little movement in the water to stimulate drinking. You can do this by gently splashing the water when you place it in their enclosure or by placing them in a clean sink that is plugged with a slow stream/drip of water, causing ripples in front of them where they are sitting.

Illness & Disease

Lethargy is a common symptom of many different ailments your bearded dragon may have. The most common are parasites, impaction, and Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). 


Parasites suck the nutrients out of your dragon, starving them even though they are eating. They may have abnormal colored defecation or diarrhea, and they may vomit, lose their appetite and lose weight. They can get these parasites through contact with other infected reptiles, eating contaminated food, or contracting it from the environment (like outside).

What should you do?

If you have a reliable local exotic pet store, they may be able to provide you with medication to treat common parasites. They do not always work, as some parasites resist certain medicines. If you suspect your dragon has them, I suggest going to the vet and testing a fecal sample to determine which parasites the dragon is infected with so the proper medication is administered. Conditions like this can escalate quickly, and it is essential to catch it early before it goes too far.


Impaction can be caused by injecting something too large to pass through the digestive tract or that cannot be broken down well enough. This can happen when a dragon swallows substrate while hunting for food or eats a prey item too large, like a mouse. Symptoms are lethargy, decreased appetite, constipation, throwing up, not walking correctly, or dragging their back legs. Sometimes a bump develops along their spine.

What should you do?

In some minor cases, you can assist the dragon by slowly and very gently massaging its stomach toward its vent, helping them pass the food through its digestive tract. If that does not work, I have successfully provided them with a small amount of mineral oil via a syringe. If these options fail, please bring your bearded dragon to the vet.

Metabolic Bone Disease

MBD is caused by improper calcium absorption. The most common cause of this is incorrect lighting or lack of calcium supplementation. It results from high phosphorus, low calcium, and low vitamin D3. This condition is reversible if caught early, and some warning signs are lethargy, trembling limbs, or swollen mouth/legs. It eventually leads to limited mobility and broken bones.

What should you do?

Metabolic Bone Disease is caused by improper husbandry. Check your dragon’s habitat and ensure they have proper UVB available. Change their UVB bulbs every six months and provide multivitamins, calcium supplements, and a balanced diet.

When To Be Concerned About Your Bearded Dragon Sleeping Too Much

You should be concerned about how often your bearded dragon sleeps and if they are acting abnormally or showing visible symptoms. A great way to monitor your dragon’s health is by observing how often your beardie goes to the bathroom and inspecting its fecal matter. It sounds gross but tells much about your dragon’s bodily functions.

You may need to see a vet if your dragon is: 

  • Vomiting
  • Losing weight
  • Constipated
  • Walking incorrectly 
  • Dragging back legs
  • Losing weight

Or if they have: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Sunken eyes
  • Twitching limbs
  • Swollen mouth or limbs.
  • A lump is developing on its back.


If you are concerned for your dragon, it is always a good idea to have them checked out by your exotic veterinarian, if possible. 


Why Does My Bearded Dragon Just Lay Around?

Reptiles conserve energy by being lazy. They also increase and decrease their activity levels with the temperatures and amount of lighting. This behavior is why your bearded dragon does not have to eat daily! There are many reasons your dragon may be lying around, but monitor them for other concerning symptoms to ensure there are no health concerns.

Is It Normal For A Bearded Dragon To Not Move For Days?

Yes! This is typical of their brumation period, where they slow down during winter months to save energy and prepare for the warmer seasons. Your dragon can even go over a week without moving during this time. However, ensure there is always water available to them and that the temperatures/UVB of your enclosure are correct.

Samantha Slevens

Samantha Slevens

Samantha holds a bachelor’s in Zoology from Delaware Valley University and has been a wildlife educator for over 10 years. She owns and operates a herpetology education company called Zoophoria in New Jersey. She has hands-on, professional experience with nearly every reptile available to the pet trade.

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Samantha Slevens

Samantha Slevens

Samantha holds a bachelor’s in Zoology from Delaware Valley University and has been a wildlife educator for over 10 years. She owns and operates a herpetology education company called Zoophoria in New Jersey. She has hands-on, professional experience with nearly every reptile available to the pet trade.

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