Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat At Night? Heating Facts You May Be Missing!

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The temperature outside the enclosure is mostly the biggest factor for controlling your bearded dragon’s tank temperature. It’s almost easy to go over or under the top to adjust the heat correctly for your beardie. Even if you set the temperature accurately using efficient heat emitters, your climate can negatively regulate this temperature at night. So, the big question will be centered around whether or not your beardie requires supplemental heat at night and how to implement it to ensure your pet’s tank remains warm all through.

Bearded dragons need nighttime heat, or supplemental heat if the climate around the tank is too cold. If you live in warm areas where the temperature at night is nothing below 70° Fahrenheit, then your beardie does not need heat at night.

If you’ve been pondering on whether your beardie goes cold at night, this article will help you navigate through nighttime heating so that you provide your pet with the best care possible.

Does My Bearded Dragon Get Cold At Night?

Bearded dragons use most of their day soaking in heat because they are ectothermic animals. From time to time, your bearded dragon will lay directly under the heat source, which is the basking lamp, to get some heat to fuel its metabolism. Since bearded dragons are diurnal animals, their metabolism slows down at night and the energy retained from the heat during the day is enough to sustain them while they sleep.

Overall, wild bearded dragons do not get cold at night. For pet beardies like your dragon, it will depend on the climate around its enclosure.

Inside the tank, the temperature should not exceed 104° to 107° Fahrenheit in hot areas and 71° to 73° Fahrenheit in shaded areas. On average, the temperature in the tank should be around 90° Fahrenheit during the day and drop towards 80° to 70° (at least) Fahrenheit at night.

signs that bearded dragon is cold

5 Simple Ways To Know If Your Bearded Dragon Is Too Cold

Your beardie’s enclosure can drop below the required temperature without your notice. The thermometer could be faulty providing you with the wrong measurements, or the heat lamp could get worn out. While you can easily decipher a faulty thermometer or heat lamp, here are a few ways your bearded dragon tells you that it’s cold:

1. Lethargy

Lethargy is a general symptom of various health problems but it’s also a good sign that your bearded dragon is cold. Without heat, your beardie suffers a shortage of proper metabolism which in turn affects its energy level. Lethargy slows down the movement and function of your bearded dragon, so much so that it gets weak and droopy.

2. Loss Of Appetite

Beardies will refuse to eat if they feel uncomfortable. If your dragon is uneasy with the temperature in its enclosure, it will have little motivation to eat. Coupled with the fact that heat is essential for digestion, digestive problems may also arise which will surely affect your pet’s appetite.

3. Stress Marks

Stress in bearded dragons displays markings that run underneath from neck to tail. While it’s normal for beardies to darken their beards frequently when they feel displeased, predominant and constant darkening of the beard is not normal and it’s a sign that your pet is stressed. So also streaky dark belly marks and darkening of the tail; these signs tell that your pet is highly uncomfortable and requires an immediate check-up.

4. Strange Hiding Habit

If you find your pet hiding in dark corners or about to leave its shaded area, it’s a good sign that your beardie feels too cold. Bearded dragons find hiding spots at the start of brumation, which is triggered by a drop in climate temperature. So, it is quite common for beardies to hide away in response to feeling cold.

5. Impaction Or Slow Digestion

Without heat, digestion takes ages to complete for bearded dragons. Thus, the chances of getting impacted by undigested food are pretty high. Although impaction is a regular symptom that does not necessarily mean your beardie is cold, there’s every chance that your pet is not getting the required heat needed for it to digest and metabolize food easily causing the blockage.

If you notice your pet eating and pooping less frequently, on top of that, carrying around a stuffed belly, your pet may be too cold for comfort.

Easy Steps To Keep Your Bearded Dragon Warm At Night

If you notice your bearded dragon’s enclosure is too cold during the night, you may need to implement supplementary heat to maintain the temperature. Here’s what to do:

Get A Thermostat

A thermostat is the best way to regulate the temperature in your beardie’s enclosure (view on Amazon). It’s impossible to keep track of the temperature yourself all through the high. That would require you to stay up all night or to pay repetitive visits to the enclosure! A thermostat will handle the problem by regulating the heat lamp to fit the desired temperature. This will help your pet stay warm through the night if you live in cold regions.

Use A Ceramic Heat Lamp

Ceramic heat lamps are appropriate for raising the temperature of the enclosure (view on Amazon). All you have to do is put it on at night and you can be best assured that your pet is warm all through. Ensure that you replace the lamp when due because, with time, it deteriorates and emits less and less heat. No matter how long-lasting the bulb boasts to be, the greater implication is the health of your dragon and it should be duly taken attention to.

Insulate The Enclosure

If you live in extremely cold areas, you can help the chilly situation by insulating the enclosure. Padding three sides and the bottom of the tank with boards or insulating panels helps to retain heat during the night

The Dangers Of Cold Temperatures For Bearded Dragons

It’s more than just uncomfortable for bearded dragons to be placed in temperatures that don’t favor them. If your pet is too cold over time, it may come down with the following:

Respiratory Disease

Bearded dragons can develop respiratory disease if the temperature is too cold for them. They are ectothermic, and they require a good and constant level of heat to prevent the nasal and respiratory tract from drying out. Once this happens, responsively, fluid gets accumulated in the tract and inflammation occurs to rectify the situation leading to difficulty breathing and pressure in the lungs.

Stunted Growth

Growth deformities due to improper temperatures can occur especially in young bearded dragons. When the temperature is too cold, digestion and metabolism slow down which if persistent, leads to malnutrition. Since young bearded dragons experience fast metabolism and rapid growth, they’re much more susceptible to the dangers of malnutrition and a weakened immune system.


Bearded dragons are not wired to survive the cold, and when they are put in such a situation, could fall ill and easily die. Mostly, baby and senior beardies are more susceptible to dying from cold temperatures. Their immune systems are not strong enough to fight the health problems that are associated with the cold. Oftentimes, the death is sudden and difficult to assess beforehand.

Is Infrared Night Lamp Any Good For Bearded Dragons?

The infrared light has been in the market for a while now and has been getting good reviews from everyone but the bearded dragons themselves. The lamp emits visible red light that can disturb your bearded dragon’s sleep and lead to fatigue and other health problems.

It’s important to ensure that your beardie is getting a proper and healthy sleep routine to prevent it from falling ill. Instead of using infrared light, a ceramic or black lamp (view on Amazon) is much safer and less annoying for your bearded dragon.

Can I Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm With A Blanket?

A blanket warms up a person by retaining the heat that the body produces, and since beardies cannot generate their body heat, blankets are of no use to them. Asides from this, your beardie will not appreciate the feeling of getting wrapped in a cloth all night even if it looks cute and cozy. Still, you can get your beardie a blanket for the fun of it. Beardies can get bored and a little cute blanket (view on Amazon) can help them enjoy new textures and colors!

Photo of author


EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Reptiles, renowned for his dedication to bearded dragons. As a passionate reptile enthusiast, Medi has developed a solid background in caring for these lovely creatures. He gained extensive knowledge about their diet, behavior, and how to create environments that mimic their natural habitat