As any expert will tell you, your leopard gecko’s sleeping habits are related to the state of its health. So if your gecko is sleeping a lot, it can actually be a bad thing. But what makes your leopard gecko do this?
Lethargy and oversleeping in leopard geckos are often a sign of overfeeding, stress, sickness or improper tank conditions. Make sure that your leopard geckos environment and diet are healthy and follow recommended guidelines. Consult with a vet if the lethargy persists.
Why Your Leopard Gecko is Sleeping So Much
The 7 top reasons for your leopard gecko to sleep longer than usual and be lethargic are:
Like humans, leopard geckos get lethargic and sleepy when they are overfed. As such, it’s important not to feed your leopard gecko more than once a day.
It’s also important not to offer too many worms in one sitting. Keep in mind, though – underfeeding also makes leopard geckos lethargic.
2. Improper diet
If your leopard gecko’s diet isn’t balanced and nutritious, it can give them fatigue and lethargy, eventually making them sleep more.
So ensure that you offer them a diverse diet with mealworms, crickets, and other feeder insects with higher calcium to phosphorus ratios.
Also, remember to gut load the insects and dust them with calcium powder before serving them. This will make them more nutritious and help your leopard gecko fight malnutrition-related illnesses such as Metabolic Bone Disease.
3. Improper tank temperatures
When your leopard gecko’s tank is too hot or cold, they sleep more to cope. Geckos are ectothermic and rely on external heat to function.
That’s why tank temperatures can affect your leopard gecko’s health and mood. Low temperatures are particularly known to affect the digestive systems of leopard geckos and their mobility. They can easily make your gecko dormant and enter brumation.
Improper tank temperatures can also lead to your leopard gecko splooting for long periods. They do this to absorb as much heat as possible from the sun.
4. Improper lighting hours
Like many animals, leopard geckos depend on light patterns to tell them when it’s time to sleep or wake up.
In the wild, they use the light from the sun as a signal. They find a place to hide and fall asleep when the sun comes out. When it sets, they come out and walk around.
So if you leave the lights on 24/7 in your leopard gecko’s tank, they will sleep all the time, thinking it’s still daytime.
That’s why ensuring that your leopard gecko gets 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness is important. Changing this pattern will cause erratic sleep patterns and other issues.
Just like in humans, stress can cause sleeping problems in leopard geckos. It can particularly make them lethargic and prone to sleeping a lot.
Fortunately, your leopard geckos will usually return to normal when you remove what is stressing them. Some of the most common stressors for leopard geckos are:
- Sudden and loud noises
- The presence of other animals in the tank
- Lack of food
When a leopard gecko has parasites, it can suffer from loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, Dysecdysis, and lethargy.
They may even sleep more than usual. However, how long these symptoms persist depends on how many parasites your leopard gecko has in them.
The bigger the parasite load, the longer the symptoms will linger. Smaller loads may not even cause any symptoms – your gecko’s immunity system can easily wipe them out.
However, deadlier parasites like Crypto can take longer to clear even when in low quantities. This particular parasite is known to make your leopard gecko refuse to eat, eventually making its tail stick-like.
Various diseases can cause lethargy in your leopard gecko. Since diseases attack your leopard gecko’s immunity, your reptile may need to sleep a lot to fight them and heal. Common diseases that can affect leopard geckos in this way include:
Metabolic Bone Disease
This disease is caused by calcium and vitamin D3 deficiency in leopard geckos. It usually attacks your gecko’s bones, making them weak and sometimes flexible.
As such, some of its most common symptoms are a flexible jaw, trouble walking, and lethargy.
Ultimately, this makes it hard for affected leopard geckos to eat, especially when the disease progresses. It’s therefore not surprising that Metabolic Bone Disease has a 95% mortality rate.
Like humans, leopard geckos can get gout. In leopard geckos, this disease occurs when uric acid accumulates and starts forming crystals.
These crystals usually form in your gecko’s limbs and joints, causing pain. Ultimately, this pain can hinder your leopard gecko from moving around, making them lethargic and prone to sleeping for long periods.
In severe cases, your vet may recommend euthanizing your leopard gecko.
That’s why it’s important to prevent gout and immediately take your leopard gecko to the vet if you suspect it has the disease.
This disease is usually caused by inappropriate temperatures, inappropriate humidity levels, kidney issues, and protein-heavy diets.
Why is your leopard gecko sleeping too little?
Interestingly, a lot of the above-mentioned issues can also make your leopard gecko sleep too little.
For instance, some diseases and parasites can make your reptile restless and unable to sleep well.
On the other hand, keeping your leopard gecko’s lights off for 12 hours can keep them awake longer than usual.
Also, some stressors can make your leopard gecko sleep for a shorter time than usual.
For instance, placing your reptile’s tank in a room where children and/or pets play can make them too skittish to comfortably fall asleep.
Other things that can make your leopard gecko sleep too little are improper humidity levels and an unsuitable tank setup. Remember, tank humidity levels should be maintained at 30% to 40%, and there should be enough hiding spots for your gecko to sleep well.
Ultimately, keeping your leopard gecko’s sleeping pattern healthy requires that you keep them well fed and housed. The smoother and more stress-free your leopard gecko’s life is, the better it will sleep.