Wondering why your leopard gecko is awake during the day? This guide is for you!
Leopard geckos’ day starts at twilight. This is when they come out to hunt, play, mate, and carry out their activities.
Such animals are known as crepuscular, and are most active during dusk and dawn. However, they mostly sleep during the day.
So, what happens when your leopard gecko becomes active during the daytime, day after day?
While it is not abnormal for leopard geckos to be awake during the day, this should not be happening continually. A leopard gecko that frequently stays awake during the day points to underlying health or enclosure issues. It could be that this reptile is not feeling well, or is living in an unfriendly environment.
Some of the issues that could make your leo stay awake during the day include being in a new environment, environmental disturbance, poor lighting, and ineffective heating arrangements.
Why Do Leopard Geckos Sleep During the Day?
Leopard geckos originate from the harsh arid regions of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
They are hot desert animals. This means they are exposed to extremely high temperatures during the day.
Animals that live in such harsh climates find it easier to come out at dusk when the land temperatures start falling.
The temperatures at twilight and nighttime are more conducive for hunting and carrying out various nighttime activities.
So, what do these animals do during the day? They hide and sleep, waiting for the sun to go down and the temperatures to fall.
Because of this evolutionary conditioning, captive leopard geckos are genetically wired to sleep during the day.
Why Your Leopard Gecko Stays Awake During the Day
#1 – Lack of Suitable Hiding Spots
Is there competition for hiding spots in the enclosure? If you keep more than one leopard gecko, ensure each has its own hiding spot.
Otherwise, your pet will be disturbed to the extent of losing sleep during the day.
#2 – Too Much Noise in the Environment
Leopard geckos are very sensitive to external stimuli. Therefore, they are quick to respond to a change in the sounds coming from the environment.
A light change of just a few decibels in the noise level is enough to spook your little friend.
If this fellow stays awake during the day, consider lowering the noise level in the room – or relocating him to a quieter place.
#3 – Being in a New Environment
Leopard geckos tend to be jumpy when they find themselves in unfamiliar territory. So your leopard gecko could be losing sleep because he is in a new environment.
Alternatively, he could be wary of the new mate you have introduced into the enclosure.
Leopard geckos have been known to stay awake during the day because they are wary of a new handler.
This little pet dislikes changes, and it would typically take a few days before he goes back to his routine life.
However, if he still doesn’t sleep during the day after a few days, look for other causes of his troublesome behavior.
#4 – Ineffective Heating
Leopard geckos are highly sensitive to temperature changes. So a serious drop in temperature will draw them out of their hiding places – where they are supposed to sleep during the day.
It’s important to ensure that your pet’s enclosure is well-heated. Apart from making him lose sleep, poor temperatures are dangerous to the health and overall wellbeing of your leo.
Equally importantly, ensure that you have a standby heat source in case of a power blackout.
#5 – Poor Lighting
Your leopard gecko needs proper lighting to provide him with a day-night cycle. Without this cycle, your pet becomes disoriented.
A disoriented leo is a poor feeder and sleeper. In fact, he starts behaving erratically in almost every aspect of his routine.
Too much or too little exposure to UVB light can mess up your pet’s metabolism of D3, further destabilizing this little animal.
If the lighting conditions are okay, your leo will unlikely deviate from his normal sleep schedule.
#6 – Improper Feeding Schedule
Being crepuscular, leopard geckos come out at twilight to feed and carry out other activities. Feeding this reptile at any other time means you’ll mess up its schedule.
By feeding him during the day, for example, you over-stimulate the leopard gecko, and he’ll stay awake at this time.
Sticking to a timetable that conforms to your leo’s crepuscular nature is one way to ensure he sleeps during the day.
#7 – Bullying by Other Geckos
If you keep more than one gecko in the tank, you should know that these reptiles tend to be territorial.
Some may start bullying their mates when they are meant to be asleep during the day. You’ll realize leo is being bullied when he starts glass surfing.
In an effort to flee the bullies, this leo may stay awake during the day.
Is Your Leopard Gecko Comfortable in the Tank?
Poor tank conditions are one of the main reasons your leopard gecko may deviate from its crepuscular nature.
As such, it is in your pet’s interest that the enclosure conditions are well taken care of. If your leopard gecko is happy in its tank, it will, in turn, make you one happy keeper.
One of the things you need to take care of is to ensure every leo has enough space to carry out its activities.
If these animals are crammed and too confined, they start becoming territorial. This is where you get incidences of bullying and fighting.
Every reptile should have its hiding spot where it can stay and sleep during the day.
At the same time, stick to the dusk or dawn feeding schedule. Remember, while the young ones need to be fed daily (because of their higher metabolism), you can feed the adults 2 or 3 times a week.
Provide adequate lighting for your pet in the enclosure. For example, a leopard gecko needs about 12 hours of light and 12 of darkness.
Of course, this varies depending on the season and time of the year. However, the light you provide should reflect what your leopard gecko would be going through if he was in the wild.
The conditions in the tank should simulate the leo’s natural setting as closely as possible.
Take care of your pet’s heating needs. Low temperatures seriously threaten your pet’s health and overall wellbeing.
Poor heating arrangements and bad humidity could be some causes of your little friend staying awake during the day.
Leopard geckos need a temperature range between 240C and 350C (740F and 950F) during the day. A temperature of 180C (680F) during the night is also not bad.
However, never allow this temperature to dip below 160C (600F).
Why Does My Leopard Gecko Sleep at Night?
Your leopard gecko sleeps at night because his day-night cycle has been interfered with. It could be that the lighting system is poor.
As such, your pet is unable to distinguish between daytime and nighttime. This calls on you to adjust the lighting system appropriately to restore your pet’s sense of balance.
Alternatively, your pet could be sleeping at night because he is unwell. Whenever a leopard gecko behaves in a manner contrary to his nature, don’t disregard poor health as a possible cause.
If you can’t immediately pinpoint the source of the problem, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
Your vet may require that you supply them with a sample of your pet’s urine and fecal matter for further analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does diet affect my leopard gecko’s sleep pattern?
If you want your leopard gecko to lead a normal, well-adjusted life, you should consistently provide him with a well-balanced diet.
The wrong diet can make your pet lethargic and cause him to lose sleep during the day. Also, feeding your leopard gecko with nutrient-deficient meals may make him behave erratically.
How do tank temperatures affect my leopard gecko’s sleep pattern?
Low enclosure temperatures make your pet less active. As such, this reptile will start sleeping longer.
If the temperatures keep lowering unchecked, your pet will eventually enter brumation, compromising his health and overall wellbeing.
Does low humidity affect my leopard gecko’s sleep pattern?
The humidity level in your leopard gecko’s enclosure should be between 30% and 40%. Lower humidity levels will make life challenging for your pet, and alter his sleep pattern.
You can raise humidity levels by placing a water bowl in the enclosure.
Also, high humidity levels are inappropriate for your pet’s wellbeing. To lower the humidity level, keep the tank doors open for some time to let in some fresh air.
How does proper lighting help my leopard gecko?
A sound lighting system should have UVB light, which helps your leopard gecko absorb vitamin D3 and calcium.
These minerals keep metabolic bone disease (MBD) at bay.
The proper lighting should simulate the sun – what the leopard gecko would be exposed to in the wild.
Do diseases affect my leopard gecko’s sleep habits?
Healthy leopard geckos behave normally. They are active from dusk to dawn, and spend the daytime in their hiding spots, sleeping.
However, sick leopard geckos are lethargic. Disease denies them the energy to frolic around at night and rest in the daytime.
In other words, the disease makes your leopard gecko behave erratically. For example, he may sleep during the night and stay awake during the daytime.
Being crepuscular animals, leopard geckos are meant to be most active during dusk and dawn. They should spend about 12 hours of daytime sleeping.
You should be concerned if your leopard gecko stays awake for long periods during the day. It means that something about his health or living conditions is off.