Bearded Dragon Brumation – What Should I Do?

Some people say that learning about reptiles is like learning about dinosaurs. Well, most of the traits are explained through many educations, but some are just missing one or two things. Especially if you are pet a Bearded Dragon, which somehow has this specific propensity known as Brumation. This is something acknowledged that Bearded dragon brumation can be scary. Thus to help you settle down the worries, let’s get to know about this habitual.

What Is Brumation in Bearded Dragons?

It can be said that this term is a hibernation-like state that every cold-blooded animal adopts during winter. It is including your Bearded Dragon. So basically, your dragon will limit and slows down all its movement during cold weather and seek shelter to hibernate. Most of the time, the animal will find an insulated spot such as planters, caves, burrows, or natural d├ęcor that can hold heat and they will rest in there for a long time (till the warmth come back again).

At this point, beardie will look sluggish and will be less interested in eating. At some point, they won’t even come to the surface to look at you. Just like hibernate they, will sleep and preserve their body heat under their den.

So, they are going to sleep for a very long time while waiting for the temperature is increasing. Around that time, they will save their energy, warmth, and food inside their body. This is a completely natural process, so you don’t need to be worried.

Hibernation VS Brumation

Both terms are kind of similar in some ways. It is no surprise anymore that people tend to use the two terms interchangeably. Hibernation is for the warm-blooded animal who went for a long sleep during winter.

Brumation is a term that states cold-blooded animals habitual when they enter a dormant state during cold weather. Cold-blooded animal body temperature changes along with the air temperature. This means they will highly need to preserve their body heat in winter.

Is My Bearded Dragon Brumation or Dead?

When they hit this natural stage, it is something normal and natural. There is nothing wrong with your beloved Dragon. They may look sluggish or even not moving at all, but in fact, they just fall into a deep sleep. Very deep sleep indeed. But why? To put it bluntly, they need to bromate to survive by limiting their movement, preserving their body temperature, and reserve their internal nutrition. But if you are worried, you can go ahead and bring it to the vet.

You can find the difference between the two conditions. Just take your Dragon and look at its body. If you find their body simply unresponsive and limp, it could be a sign that it’s brumating.

However, if you feel the body is very stiff, just like a board, and doesn’t move at all, then it’s gone. If your Beardie passed away, most of the time its body will get rigger and lose its color. It will start to get white, have sunken eyes, and a gaping mouth.

The Signs of Bearded Dragon Brumation

Loss of Appetite

Yes, they will eat less and lose their appetite. Bearded Dragon brumation can be alarming for every owner, especially for the new owners. But this is something natural and nothing to worry about. Your dragon will not eat nor drink anything.

A dragon that will start to brumate will actively be refusing any food or water, or maybe just make any eating in minimal states. It means you should not force it either since it can mess up the bromating calendar.

Lethargy And Sleeping More

At some point, they will spend most of their time inside their dens and sleep. Just like its definition, they will sleep more and sleep earlier. Those are the very classic signs you can find out. At the same time, you will find that your dragon will most likely look sickly, lethargic, doesn’t want your attention, and have fewer bowel movements. Yes, they look lazy even for going to relieve themselves (less poop).

Seeking For Dark Places Or Digging For Nest

What do you do if you want to get some beauty sleep? Burying yourself under the blanket? Just like that, your Dragon is preparing for its deep sleep. Thus they will look for a location that is warmer, safer, and secluded to spend their whole plan sleeping. In this case, you can find them hiding in a nest that is in the shade. It can be dark places, caves, under the planters, or even digging their own nest under the soil.

Spending Less Time In Basking Area

Just as they are very lethargic, most of the time your dragon will start to move in a peaceful area. Yes, your pet doesn’t want your attention and ignoring you all the time. Thus, you can expect that they will spend less time in the basking area. Start hiding, look for a peaceful spot with the cool end for their bed even in the daytime. So, you can rest assured and let your pet preparing for its beautiful winter sleep.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Brumate?

Do you miss your Beaded Dragon and wonder why they have to do it? This is a very frequently asked question. You know that a cold-blooded animal is unable to increase its body temperature right? As it said, their body temperature will be the same as the air temperature. If it’s cold they will be very cold and if it’s hot they will be very hot. So, they need a tactic to survive in this body condition.

How to do it? by brumation of course. This habit serves as a survival tactic when the air temperature is getting lower. In the wild, when the cold temperature is starting to appear and the food is getting scarce, reptiles will start to brumate. They will hide away or using up less energy to preserve their internal nutrition and temperature. Of course, the Bearded Dragon will do the same even when they are in captivity.

What Age Does Your Beardie Brumate?

It is not about age, but about the urge and survival instinct. At the same time, the time to brumate also depends on its size and weight, so the answer is “random” or “its depend”. But do baby bearded dragon brumation or all of them brumate? If you think your young Dragon (under one year old) will not brumate, then you are wrong. The brumation process can happen all the time, at any age, and rather sudden for all breaded dragons.

Based on the expert’s statements, the one-year-old sayings are brought by experienced keepers and exotic vets. Thus, the young bearded dragon may not have the nutritional reserve and need to go through this state anyways. The size and weight also held important roles in deciding whether Brumation is needed or not. You should go to the vet to check the nutrition pad, the fat, weigh the dragon, and see if Brumation is appropriate or not.

Preparing For Brumation?

Make Sure Your Dragon Health is Okay

Before your captive dragons start to brumate, there are few things you should do beforehand. Some preparation will make the process easier for your Dragon to get through the long sleep.

The first thing to do is to make sure the dragons’ health is normal. Get a fecal or parasite test done via vets. If issues are going on, you can get it treated immediately before the brumation process started.

You sure the dragon is fine? Then the second preparation comes from its home or cage. To support the process, you can reduce the temperature, offer less and lesser food or drink, and let them do what they want for a couple of weeks.

This preparation can be done by lowering the watt bulb, removing the heating, reducing basking hours, or turning off the light. At the same time, ensure your dragon has had a poo, then let them sleep peacefully.

When does Bearded Dragon Brumation Start?

Your dragon will start to brumate when winter or colder month in your location is coming. Even in the captive, when your beardie picks up one environmental change, they will cue the process of brumation soon.

This is something cool that every reptile does. They know when the cooler temperature is coming and the daylight is shortening. But at some point, the house temperature and lighting can be confusing, so the brumation period might differ for each Bearded dragon.

How Long Bearded Dragon Brumation?

Do you miss your dragon’s antics? Sorry to say, but the duration of brumation is differing and cannot be defined. There are three possibilities here, the first one depends on the dragon and its conditions.

Brumation doesn’t mean the Dragon will sleep all the time, but there is a time when it will wake up. He may sleep for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

At some point, he may wake up on an occasion to get some little snack, stretch his legs, and back to sleep.

Brumation in bearded dragons also relates to their environmental temps. In the wild, the bearded dragons will brumate for most of the winter and come out for spring once the temperature begins to warm up. But it is a different story if the dragon is in captivity.

Let’s say that the temps are affected by the house and the cage. In this case, the period can last a few weeks or a few months (I’ve read cases where owners have had dragons that brumate nearly 6 months!)

What To Do When Your Bearded Dragons Starts Brumating?

More often than not it is best to just leave your beardie to it and let them rest. Once they fall asleep, they won’t be disturbed at all. One thing is for sure, you should not wake them up and force them to eat.

You can leave some fresh food in the cage, but don’t force them to eat. Just let them decide, let them take their time. Avoid touching them, distract, play, or maybe come close to your dragon, or else you will extend the brumation period.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat/ UV Light During Brumation?

The answer is no, there is no need. The UV light and heat will not harm or affect the Brumation period. They have burrowed themselves to keep their body safe from the cold surface. In this condition, they get the heat, safe, and also a dark place 24/7 all the time. So, it can be said that keeping the place dark, turn off the light, heater, and let them enjoy their time is the best decision for you.

Bearded Dragon Losing Weight?

When brumating bearded dragons shouldn’t drastically lose weight. your beardie may lose a little since they do not eat like normal, however, since they are in dormant states this tends to balance out so that weight isn’t lost. The common statics among keeper states that losing three or four grams is the average.

If your dragon is in great health, then it won’t get any significant weight loss. Weigh them once or twice a week in swift and efficient moves.

Providing Water To Your Beardie While it is Brumating

Bearded Dragon brumation is not a true sleep and the dragon still needs to drink water or to get some bites. A brumating Dragon may have days where it will wake up, show some activity, drink water, eats, and then go back to its dormant state.

So, yeah! You can provide some bits of water in the cage in case the dragons need some water in their system. You can also put some fresh food in the cage, just in case they craving some snacks between their sleep.

Is It Okay To Bathe The Dragon?

Just as said before that you should not disturb your Dragon, however, you can bathe them for a second. In this case, if you do want to bathe your dragon, you should wait when they woke up.

Sometimes bearded dragon will awake to eat or drink then he will sleep again, this is the right time for you to bath time. Otherwise, you should just let them stay in their dormant state. Just make sure to soak them in a nice warm bath and let them back to their sleep again.

How To Wake Up A Bearded Dragon From Brumation

How if you don’t want to let your dragon brumate? In some cases, bromating is not a good option for your dragon. It can be due to the age condition (too young or under a year old), sick, or not in great shape to brumate.

Regardless of the reasons, you can prevent or wake them up but make sure to do it carefully. The first way is to increase handling time by letting them get more active and stimulated, so they can no longer need brumation.

You can also opt for increasing the lamp duration to trick for longer daylight hours. In the wild, one of the reasons the dragons need to brumate is the lesser daylight. Which means they will get lesser warm temperature and light. In this case, try to let the UVB and basking hours for 14 to 15 hours per day. Other than let them feel warmer, the light will trick your dragon that the sunny day is still there and doesn’t need to brumate anymore.

What Should I Do After Brumation?

Adjusting The Routine And Back To The Normal

When your bearded dragon coming out of brumation and start to wondering the cage, you can handle them immediately. At that point, it is better to give them a bath to clean up their body along with giving a drinking simulation. At the same time, turn on the light and the UV B just like usual. Provide some fresh food and let them eat as much as they won’t. Since they just have woken up, it is normal that they do not eat much. It will gradually increase.

Feeding Your Sleeping Beauty Dragon

After the bearded dragon brumation finished, they won’t eat that much but they will later on. Just be sensible, don’t let force them to eat, or don’t let them gouge out too much. Giving them canned food such as hoopers, cricket, etc. can give them some proper nutrition for the first or 2 days. Just make sure they got some proper food over the next few days. After that, your dragon should be back to its normal self again.


All in all, it can be said that brumation is a natural habit that every cold-blooded animal does. In case you are rising Bearded Dragon as a pet, it is recommended to be prepared and know about this habit. Thus, you won’t get panic and can fully help your pet to brumate. At the same time, investing in a den can sort to help your cold-blooded pet safely get through the brumation pace without any problems before, during, or after the process.