Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that capture the hearts of reptile enthusiasts worldwide. One of the most intriguing behaviors exhibited by these reptiles is brumation. But what exactly is brumation, and why do bearded dragons go through it? In this article, we will explore the mysterious phenomenon of brumation in bearded dragons and answer the burning question: do they keep their eyes open during this period?

What is Brumation and Why Do Bearded Dragons Go Through It?

Brumation is often likened to hibernation in mammals, but it is not exactly the same. It is a state of dormancy that bearded dragons enter during the winter months or when environmental conditions become unfavorable. During brumation, their metabolic rate slows down, and they become less active. This period allows them to conserve energy and survive through harsh conditions when food sources are scarce.

The main reason bearded dragons go through brumation is to adapt to the seasonal changes in their natural habitat. In the wild, their native regions experience colder temperatures and reduced daylight hours during winter. By entering brumation, bearded dragons can withstand these changes and ensure their survival. It is a natural and instinctive behavior that helps them navigate the challenges of their environment.

Signs of Brumation in Bearded Dragons

Identifying whether your bearded dragon is going through brumation can be crucial in providing the right care. Some common signs of brumation include decreased appetite, reduced activity levels, and changes in behavior. Your once active and voracious eater may suddenly become lethargic and disinterested in food. They may also spend more time sleeping or hiding away in their enclosure.

Other signs of brumation may include weight loss, darkened coloration, and a general sense of sluggishness. It is important to note that not all bearded dragons go through brumation, and those that do may experience it to varying degrees. Some may undergo a partial brumation, where they exhibit milder signs, while others may enter a deep brumation, lasting for several weeks or even months.

Do Bearded Dragons Keep Their Eyes Open During Brumation?

Now, let’s address the burning question: do bearded dragons keep their eyes open during brumation? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Some bearded dragons may keep their eyes partially open during brumation, while others may close them completely. It ultimately depends on the individual dragon and its comfort level.

During brumation, bearded dragons enter a state of deep sleep where their metabolic rate slows down significantly. This sleep is different from their usual sleep patterns, known as diurnal sleep, where they keep their eyes closed. While some bearded dragons may keep their eyes partially open during brumation, it is not uncommon for them to close their eyes entirely. It is essential to respect their natural instincts and provide them with a quiet and undisturbed environment during this time.

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Understanding the Sleep Patterns of Bearded Dragons

To better comprehend the sleep patterns of bearded dragons, it is important to understand their natural behavior in the wild. Bearded dragons are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. Their sleep patterns are influenced by the natural light-dark cycles they experience in their native habitat.

In captivity, it is crucial to mimic these light-dark cycles to ensure the well-being of your bearded dragon. Providing them with a consistent day-night cycle helps regulate their sleep patterns and overall health. During the day, they require an ample amount of light and warmth, while at night, they should be in a dark and quiet environment.

Factors That May Affect Whether Bearded Dragons Keep Their Eyes Open During Brumation

Several factors may influence whether bearded dragons keep their eyes open during brumation. One of the primary factors is the individual dragon’s comfort level and sense of security. Some bearded dragons may feel more at ease with their eyes partially open, while others prefer to close them completely during deep sleep.

Additionally, environmental factors such as light and temperature can play a role in their sleep patterns. Bearded dragons are sensitive to changes in light intensity and temperature fluctuations. Providing a consistent and appropriate environment during brumation can help them feel secure and may influence whether they keep their eyes open or closed.

How to Care for a Bearded Dragon During Brumation

Caring for a bearded dragon during brumation requires special attention to their needs. Here are some essential tips to ensure their well-being during this period:

  1. Provide a suitable brumation space: Create a separate enclosure with appropriate temperature and humidity levels for your bearded dragon to brumate in. This space should be quiet, dark, and free from disturbances.

  2. Monitor their health: While bearded dragons naturally lose weight during brumation, it is crucial to monitor their overall health. Regularly check their weight, hydration levels, and observe any changes in behavior or appearance.

  3. Offer occasional hydration: Although bearded dragons reduce their water intake during brumation, it is important to provide occasional hydration. Offer a shallow dish of water once a week to ensure they stay adequately hydrated.

  4. Limit handling: During brumation, bearded dragons prefer to be left undisturbed. Minimize handling and interactions to reduce stress and allow them to rest peacefully.

Common Misconceptions About Bearded Dragon Brumation

There are several misconceptions surrounding bearded dragon brumation that need clarification. One common misconception is that brumation is a sign of illness or distress. In reality, brumation is a natural and necessary behavior for bearded dragons to adapt to seasonal changes.

Another misconception is that bearded dragons need to eat during brumation. It is important to note that their reduced appetite during this period is normal, and force-feeding can do more harm than good. Respect their natural instincts and allow them to go through brumation without interference.

Tips for Monitoring Your Bearded Dragon’s Health During Brumation

While bearded dragons are resilient creatures, it is essential to monitor their health during brumation. Here are some tips to ensure their well-being:

  1. Regularly weigh your bearded dragon: Keep track of their weight to ensure they are not losing too much body mass during brumation.

  2. Observe their behavior: Pay attention to any significant changes in their behavior, such as prolonged periods of inactivity or unusual movements.

  3. Check for dehydration: Gently pinch their skin to check for signs of dehydration. If the skin does not quickly return to its original position, they may be dehydrated.

  4. Seek veterinary assistance if necessary: If you notice any concerning symptoms or if your bearded dragon’s health deteriorates, consult a reptile veterinarian for professional advice.


Bearded dragon brumation is a natural and fascinating phenomenon that allows these reptiles to adapt to seasonal changes. While the question of whether they keep their eyes open during brumation does not have a definitive answer, it is important to respect their natural instincts and provide them with a suitable environment for peaceful rest. By understanding the signs of brumation, caring for them appropriately, and monitoring their health, you can ensure the well-being of your bearded dragon during this dormant period. So embrace the curious case of bearded dragon brumation and marvel at the wonders of nature!

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