Do Bearded Dragons Brumate With Eyes Open?

Brumation is a natural phenomenon observed in many reptiles, including bearded dragons. It is a period of dormancy similar to hibernation, where reptiles slow down their metabolism and conserve energy during colder months. If you have a bearded dragon, you may wonder whether they brumate with their eyes open. In this article, we will delve into the brumation behavior of bearded dragons and shed light on the status of their eyes during this period.

Understanding Brumation in Bearded Dragons

Brumation typically occurs in the fall and winter months when temperatures drop. During this time, bearded dragons experience a decreased appetite, reduced activity, and slower metabolic processes. The purpose of brumation is to conserve energy and survive through unfavorable environmental conditions.

Bearded Dragons and Eye Closure During Brumation

Bearded dragons may exhibit various behaviors and physical changes during brumation, including eye closure. While each dragon is unique in its brumation patterns, it is common for bearded dragons to partially or fully close their eyes during this dormant phase. The extent of eye closure can vary from dragon to dragon.

Factors Influencing Eye Closure

Several factors can influence the degree of eye closure in bearded dragons during brumation:

Comfort and Safety: Bearded dragons instinctively close their eyes to protect them from potential threats and ensure a sense of safety during brumation.

Light Levels: Bearded dragons are diurnal creatures that rely on natural light cycles. During brumation, they may adjust their eye closure based on the available light levels in their sleeping area.

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Environmental Conditions: The ambient temperature and humidity in the brumation environment can affect eye closure. Bearded dragons may adjust their eye position and degree of closure to regulate their body temperature and conserve energy.

Individual Variation: Each bearded dragon has its own unique brumation behavior. Some individuals may exhibit more eye closure, while others may keep their eyes partially open.

Monitoring Your Bearded Dragon During Brumation

It is essential to closely monitor your bearded dragon during the brumation period to ensure their well-being. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

Maintain Appropriate Temperature: Provide a cool and quiet area for your bearded dragon to brumate, ensuring that the ambient temperature remains within the appropriate range. Avoid exposing them to extreme cold or heat.

Hydration: While bearded dragons reduce their water intake during brumation, it is crucial to ensure they remain adequately hydrated. Offer a shallow dish of fresh water in their enclosure, monitoring its cleanliness and availability.

Minimal Disturbance: Avoid unnecessary disturbances during brumation. Limit handling and interaction, allowing your bearded dragon to rest undisturbed.

Regular Health Checks: Despite the slowed metabolism, bearded dragons should be periodically checked for signs of illness or weight loss during brumation. If you notice any concerning changes, consult a reptile veterinarian.

FAQs about Bearded Dragons and Brumation

1. How long does brumation typically last for bearded dragons?

The duration of brumation can vary among bearded dragons. It may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on factors such as age, health, and environmental conditions.

2. Should I wake up my bearded dragon if it’s in brumation?

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It is generally recommended to let your bearded dragon naturally complete its brumation cycle without disturbance. Waking them up prematurely can disrupt their natural biological rhythms and potentially cause stress.

3. Can I check on my bearded dragon during brumation?

While it’s important to minimize disturbances during brumation, you can periodically check on your bearded dragon to ensure they are maintaining a healthy appearance and weight. However, avoid excessive handling or disturbing their sleep unnecessarily.

4. What are the signs that my bearded dragon is ready to come out of brumation?

Signs that your bearded dragon is ready to come out of brumation include increased activity, resumed appetite, and more alert behavior. These signs indicate that they have naturally emerged from their dormant state.

5. Is it normal for bearded dragons to lose weight during brumation?

It is normal for bearded dragons to experience some weight loss during brumation due to reduced food intake and slower metabolic processes. However, excessive or significant weight loss may indicate an underlying health issue and should be addressed by a reptile veterinarian.

6. Can I provide any additional heat or lighting during my bearded dragon’s brumation?

It is generally not necessary to provide additional heat or lighting during brumation. Bearded dragons naturally seek out cooler areas and lower light levels during this period. Excessive heat or light can disrupt their brumation cycle and may cause stress.


During brumation, bearded dragons may partially or fully close their eyes as part of their dormant state. This behavior serves to protect their eyes and conserve energy. While individual dragons may exhibit variations in eye closure, monitoring their overall health and providing a suitable brumation environment are crucial. By understanding the brumation behavior of bearded dragons, you can ensure their well-being during this natural hibernation-like phase.

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