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How Long Do Chameleons Sleep

Have you ever wondered about your chameleon’s sleep patterns?

Do you question if a chameleon needs more or less sleep than your other pets?

If you are curious about a chameleon’s sleeping habits, you might ask:

How long do chameleons sleep?

On average, a chameleon will sleep approximately 12 hours per night, but this can vary based on the species and the time of year.

To find out more about the sleeping habits of your chameleon, keep reading this article.

how long do chameleons sleep

How Long Do Chameleons Sleep?

Most species of chameleons will sleep for approximately 12 hours.

Chameleons are going to sleep approximately from sunset to sunrise, averaging about 12 hours.

Like people, chameleons will experience the need for more or less sleep, depending on certain factors.

Think about times when you had needed more sleep, like maybe when you were sick or were very active during the day.

Much like you, a chameleon will need more rest if they are not feeling well or are recovering from a sickness.

You will also find, if your chameleon has expended a greater amount of energy than normal, they might sleep more.

The species of chameleon will also come into play in regards to the length of sleep needed.

Chameleons, who originally called the rainforest home, will sleep more than their cousins coming from desert locales.

Age, how much it has eaten, and the time of year will also help to determine the length of sleep for your pet.

As we touched on above, chameleons will sleep sunset to sunrise, and during the winter months, their sleep time might increase because there is less sun.

In the summer, your chameleon will sleep less as the days are longer and nights shorter.

To help regulate your animal’s sleeping habits, a timer for the lights in their enclosure should be installed.

Despite all those factors, the 12 hours we talked about above, is going to be a good baseline and will give your chameleon a good nights sleep.

Do Chameleons Sleep During The Day?

Chameleons are not nocturnal lizards and are not known to sleep at all during the day.

At night they don’t do anything besides sleep.

They are not active, will not get up to walk around and will not eat.

The darker the night, the better for a chameleon to sleep.

Their powerful eyes cannot see in the dark, so sleeping is best at night for these animals.

If you do notice your chameleon sleeping throughout the day, pay close attention as this could be a sign they are starting to get sick.

They may also be experiencing dehydration, causing them to be sleepy.

Contact your vet if you are concerned your chameleon might be developing an illness.

Before you contact your vet, make sure the animal is sleeping.

Sometimes, chameleons will close their eyes for a few minutes at a time, but this isn’t sleeping.

They could be readjusting to their environment if you have moved their enclosure or they are stressed and trying to calm themselves.

How Do Chameleons Sleep?

Have you ever watched your chameleon sleep?

If you have, you might have noticed they like to sleep on branches, like they would in their natural habitat.

During the night, they are found clutching the branches in their enclosure while they sleep, like their wild cousins.

In the wild, chameleons will clutch a branch near leaves or plant material to give them more protection against predators.

When they are in captivity, the chameleon might move around the enclosure to sleep in different places, not just on branches.

While they sleep, many chameleons will display bold and vivid colors.

They also do not sleep with their eyes completely open.

Some will sleep with one eye open and one closed, as a way to keep watch for potential predators during the night.

Throughout the night they will alternate the open and closed eyes to give each side of the brain a rest, but still keeping an eye out for possible dangers.

Others will close both eyes nearly all the way, leaving what looks like a small slit open.

Helping Your Chameleon Sleep

If your chameleon has the proper environment, sleep will not be a challenge.

Help your chameleon by providing a dark space with the ideal cool temperature.

Chameleons sleep at night and don’t mind total darkness.

There are ways to help your pet sleep and regulate their sleep cycles.

An easy way to help with their sleep cycle is to place their enclosure in a location not affected by light during the night.

Try not to have to move the enclosure very frequently, as this will cause the animal to become stressed.

If you live in a city or somewhere where the light will frequently be coming in and shining into your chameleon’s enclosure, cover it with a blanket or towel.

This will provide total darkness for your pet, allowing them to sleep.

A great way to regulate the sleep patterns for your pet is to use a digital timer for the USB light and one for the basking lamp.

Having those timers will ensure you keep your chameleon on a 12 on and 12 off cycle even if you aren’t home.

There is also an ideal temperature for chameleons during the night.

They need a temperature drop to help them cool off and go to sleep.

The enclosure should drop around 10° degrees Fahrenheit (-12° C) from the daytime temperature to allow them to sleep the best.

If you live in a colder location and are concerned your home gets too cold in the night, especially during the winter, add a ceramic heater for night time, but make sure it does not get too warm in the enclosure.


Chameleons will be found sleeping at night, in a cool, dark enclosure.

While some factors are affecting the length of sleep time, on average, your chameleon will sleep 12 hours per night.

After reading this article, we hope you have a better understanding of how long a chameleon sleeps.

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