Of all the scaly pets, bearded dragons are popular because they are not only cute but are low maintenance care, even when it comes to the question: do bearded dragons need heat at night? With bearded dragon care, you must be aware of nocturnal heating for reptiles which is crucial for their health and well-being. While they require heat during the day to regulate their body temperature, they also need this same diligence at night. So let’s learn all the basics about heating and lighting for bearded dragons.
Yes, most of the time. However, there may be situations where this is only sometimes the case. So test the room first, and if it is naturally within the minimum 70-75°F (21-24°C), you don’t need to worry. However, you must ensure it doesn’t get below this range to ensure the bearded dragons can regulate their body temperature. So switching to a heat source with low light emission at night is recommended.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?
Bearded dragons are reptiles originating in Western Australia’s arid and semi-arid deserts. Evolving in these natural environments, their bodies adapted to use the surrounding heat of the sun to regulate their body temperature and maintain their health and well-being. So answer the question, bearded dragons need a heat source both day and, in some situations, night as well.
You don’t always need to heat a tank at night if the tank is at the ideal temperature, but if you are worried about them falling below 75°F (24°C), heat pads or switching on nightlights will help you save on these concerns.
Owners of these fantastic critters need to learn to replicate these same conditions in their bearded dragon’s tank, including using a heat lamp to give the lizard its essential heat source. However, these temperatures vary depending on the age and size of the bearded dragon. So when setting temperatures between day and night, you should also consider these factors.
Baby Bearded Dragon Heat Needs
Baby bearded dragons need exceptionally more heat than adult dragons because they cannot regulate their body temperature. So during the day, you should give them basking spots of 95-110°F (35-43°C) and relaxing areas outside of the heat at 80-90°F (24-35°C). You can drop the heat slightly at night but it shouldn’t get below 75°F (24°C).
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Heat Needs
Juvenile dragons have heating settings that require a basking spot of 95°F-100°F (35-38°C) during the day and a more relaxed side of the enclosure that ranges from 80-90°F (24-35°C). At night, the temperature should remain around 70-75°F (21-24°C) to maintain their overall health.
Adult Bearded Dragon Heat Needs
Adult bearded dragons have similar temperature needs to juveniles at night, requiring a low-light heat source to keep the tank at 70-75°F (21-24°C). During the day, you should offer a basking spot at 90°-93°F (24-34°C) and a relaxed side at 80°F-90°F (24-35°C).
You should heat a bearded dragon’s tank at night with the following equipment.
Nighttime blubs: to create the most heat whilst mimicking night.
Ceramic heat emitters: maximize heat without omitting light.
Thermometer: keep track of tank temperature.
Bearded dragons in the wild
Being native to the land down under, bearded dragons originate from the arid regions of Australia, where they have evolved to adapt to the dry conditions and intense heat. This nature in the wild has led bearded dragons to maintain their body temperature through various means, including basking in the sun during the day to keep warm and burying themselves in burrows at night to stay calm.
Bearded Dragon’s Wild Days
Daytime temperatures in arid Australia, where bearded dragons reside, range from 98-102°F (37-39°C) during Summer. So their days are spent lounging under the Sun as they use the natural heat from the sun to regulate their body temperatures due to their warm-blooded nature. Then when these temperatures get too hot, they burrow under the earth or sand to cool down and keep themselves safe from predators.
Bearded dragons love to climb trees (unlike leopard geckos) and high points to get as close to the sun as possible, plus their climbing abilities will protect them from ground-floor predators. They will also often hunt during this time, favoring insects that make up most of their diet. Moreover, they will breed or fight with other dragons that wander into their patch of dirt.
Bearded Dragons Reclusive Nights
At night in the wild habitat of bearded dragons, temperatures reach as low as 61-77°F (16-24°) during Winter. These ranges are average and will vary across the state, time of year, time of day, and local environment. During these cold snaps, bearded dragons burrow into the ground to keep warm and maintain their body temperature.
Try to regulate a proper day and night cycle for your bearded dragon so they can experience life like their brethren in the wild. For example, giving them time during the day to lounge under a heat source and then dimming the lights for the night and covering the tank is a great way to give them time to rest and take a break from the heat.
What is The Ideal Temperature for Bearded Dragons at Night?
Bearded dragons are ectothermic reptiles that require heat to regulate their body temperature and maintain their metabolic functions. Even if the vast majority of the time you will see your bearded dragon basking under a heat lamp during the day, you will still have to provide adequate heating at night to ensure these systems remain operational. To do this, knowing the ideal temperatures for bearded dragons at night is essential.
Having discussed the exact temperatures earlier, it was established that most agree that the best temperature for a bearded dragon at night is around 70-75°F (21-24°C). If you fail to keep the tank at this range, the bearded dragon will start to have health issues as their vital organs will shut down, leading to infections, digestive problems, lethargy, and death.
You can minimize these potential issues by always maintaining the correct tank temperature. This can be managed by a thermometer specifically designed to track the internal heat of a tank. We recommend for this task the REPTI ZOO Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Hygrometer.
If your tank at room temperature is at the recommended range already, you could set up ceramic heat emitters and heat mats without worrying about switching on a lowlight night blub. These extras will ensure the tank stays at a constant temperature in case outside ones drop, so you can control the conditions even when asleep.
You will find that exact numbers for temperatures will vary between sources for the correct temperature you should heat your bearded dragon tank at night. However, most agree that a range of 70-75°F (21-24°C) that doesn’t fall below 70°F is ideal for the well-being of our scaly friends at night.
Heating a part of the tank is one thing, but at night you should keep this temperature range coincident throughout the enclosure. You can do this by spreading out heat sources and having more than one if you switch off the lights at night.
Keep your bearded dragon warm if your temperature falls below the ideal temperature.
We have touched upon a small selection of the ‘what ifs’ for when the temperature of your bearded dragon’s tank gets cold at night. We will explore this further and offer great products to bring your dragon ownership to the next level, highlighting what makes them great. Remember these as a cold tank can lead to an unhappy and sick lizard.
The most important tool at your disposal is your tank thermometer, and it will help you keep track of the tank temperature and plan out the night before you go to sleep to ensure you have all the right tools set up to keep it well managed. REPTI ZOO Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Hygrometer is an excellent product because it is digital, attaches to the tank with a suction cup, and gives you the temperature at a moment’s notice.
When the night is chilly but not cold enough for light, you can’t go wrong with a ceramic heat emitter, providing heat without any light. A great example is the Simple Deluxe 150W 2-Pack Ceramic Heat Emitter, which provides warmth for your little lizard sleeping.
If you want something a little simpler, the perfect heat source at night is the specifically designed no-light heat source blubs for lizards. Zilla Reptile Terrarium Incandescent Heat Bulb is 75 watts of power, creating an optional cozy night for any bearded dragon.
Many also swear by heating mats for bearded dragons; even if these heat sources only cover one section of the tank, they are great optional extras to give your lizard a wide range of places to relax throughout the day and at night. We recommend the Aiicioo Reptile Heating Pad for this very purpose.
Essentially, fighting the forces to keep the temperature of your bearded dragon’s tank is super easy, as long as you maintain these steps and use the right equipment to prepare for the unexpected cold snaps.
Risks and Potential Threats if the Ideal Temperature is not Maintained at Night in the Bearded Dragon’s Tank
If you don’t keep the tank’s temperature and your bearded dragon in check at night, this negligence can lead to serious health problems for your pet.
Bearded dragons need a warm environment to digest their food correctly, and cold temperatures cause their digestive system to slow down, leading to constipation and other issues.
Cold bearded dragons have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to respiratory infections and other illnesses.
A cold tank will cause a bearded dragon to go into an early state of brumation that is normal in the colder months, so even if it is Summer, if they are chilly, their body clock will be tangled. Furthermore, with this disrupted brumation cycle, they could acquire a range of other potential health side effects, including being unable to hibernate during Winter.
If bearded dragons feel the temperature of their tank is too cold, they will become stressed as they feel the weakening of their immune system and drastic changes in their seasonal clock. This will lead to a loss of appetite and other issues.
If the temperature in the tank falls too low and is not corrected, it can lead to hypothermia and potentially death. The same is said for the other health impacts on this list because they all feed into a domino effect that, if not corrected, will lead to the end of your pet.
To avoid the potential sickness or death of your bearded dragon due to the cold, you should prioritize the temperature of its tank each day. Regardless of what you are doing, you need to ensure they are getting the correct heat both day and night and if you are busy, find ways to regulate it for those longer periods you might be away or sleeping.
Can I Turn Off The Heat Lamp At Night?
If you can confidently say that the tank and your room will not fall into the dangerous ranges below 70°F, you can safely switch off any heating devices for your bearded dragon at night. However, it is better to leave it on to maintain the ideal temperature if unsure.
Can I Use A Regular Light Bulb To Heat My Bearded Dragon’s Tank At Night?
No, if you use a light bulb as a night heat source, you should find a light designed explicitly for lizard tanks when the lights go out. However, you don’t want to disrupt their sleep cycle with bright lights, so opt for a non-light heating source.
Heat is one of the most important parts of ensuring the health and well-being of bearded dragons, and you should consider it even if it is night. You can do this with ease with the appropriate heating and monitoring equipment, and by making small efforts to get your scaly friend ready for bed each night, they will be happy, healthy camper.