Some bearded dragon owners may wonder if it is okay to let their sleep with bearded dragon sleep with them. It’s a common desire for most pet owners, but you should really give this some thought. And luckily, you’re here, so you have.
So, can bearded dragons sleep with you? The short answer is no. Your bearded dragon cannot sleep with you; there are far too many dangers involved. But there are other things you can do together.
Why You Shouldn’t Sleep With Your Bearded Dragon
There are a few major reasons why you shouldn’t even attempt to sleep with your bearded dragon, mainly:
- You may accidentally roll or move over in your sleep and crush or suffocate them.
- They can fall or jump off and get injured.
- The temperature may be too cold or too hot for them.
- They can wake up before you and wander off.
- Bonus reason: they might poop in your bed!
These issues can be dangerous or even fatal. Although bearded dragons are generally hardy, being crushed or taking a nasty fall can cause internal bleeding, bone fractures, and many other issues.
Your dragon getting too cold is perhaps even more scary and problematic, as their bodies may begin to shut down. If that happens, your dragon will not digest the food in its stomach, and instead, it will begin to rot.
And even though you would likely find a wandering beardie before too long had passed, it wouldn’t be risk-free to let them wander about unattended.
What About Your Bearded Dragon Sleeping On You
Although it can be tempting to have your friend cuddled up with you at night, your beardie’s health and safety are the top priority. The potential consequences of letting your dragon sleep with you definitely outweigh the potential enjoyment.
So, sleeping at the same time as your bearded dragon is a no-no, but they can definitely fall asleep on you while you’re awake! And it’s actually quite meaningful.
What does it mean when your bearded dragon falls asleep on you?
If your beardie falls asleep on you, congratulations! This means that you two have successfully bonded, meaning they feel comfortable and safe to be with you. Your dragon may fall asleep on your for any of these reasons (usually a combination):
Falling asleep on you requires an immense amount of trust since sleeping is the most vulnerable state they can be in in the wild. Being relaxed enough to fall asleep on you means that they trust you to keep them safe.
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals, meaning their temperature is generated from outside their bodies. This is why they need a heat source in their enclosure, to keep their body temperature from getting too low.
In contrast, humans are warm-blooded, so our temperature is generated from inside our bodies. This makes lying on us very appealing to beardies, as they can comfortably soak up our body heat.
As you bond with your bearded dragon and develop a good relationship with them, they will recognize your scent. Your scent will most likely become associated with your beardie feeling safe, content, and well cared for.
In time, your scent will relax them and possibly even lull them to sleep.
Other Ways Bearded Dragons Show Affection
As with any pet, developing a strong bond will take time and energy. It is super rewarding, though, when that bond is created, and you can see how much your pet cares for you and enjoys your company.
Reptiles, who lack the facial muscles necessary for expressions, can be challenging to decipher, as there are not many ‘tells’ for how they are feeling. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to tell if your dragon enjoys your company.
Their Eyes Are Closed
A natural instinct for prey animals is to keep their eyes open and be alert in the presence of predators. So if your beardie feels comfortable closing their eyes in your presence, it means they do not see you as a threat or danger.
This is especially impressive if your beardie keeps its eyes closed while you pet it.
They Press Close To You
It should be obvious that a bearded dragon will not be interested in cuddling a threat or something they dislike. Whether they are cuddling for heat, comfort, or out of habit, it is a sure sign they like you are and comfortable with you.
Very affectionate dragons may even climb up onto you to snuggle.
This licking is completely different than what we are used to with dogs. Beardies usually lick to smell better. And assuming you have a strong bond, this may show that your beardie recognizes you by your scent.
Coming To You
A bearded dragon that moves towards you knows that you are its friend and caretaker. It may be seeking food, a good snuggle, or wanting to be pet, all of which show significant levels of trust and affection.
Some dragons might even move toward your hand to be pet or held.
Relaxing when picked up
Another prey instinct is to tense up when picked up. In the wild, anytime a bearded dragon is picked up can be dangerous, painful, or even fatal.
But, as your dragon becomes comfortable and calm as you develop a good relationship, they will understand you mean them no harm and will relax in your hand.
How To Bond With Your Beardie So They Sleep On You
So you can’t sleep with you bearded dragon, but you can let them sleep on you. But what if they don’t? Then perhaps they’re not the most cuddly beardie, or perhaps you haven’t earned their trust. These are great things to do to strengthen your bond.
Dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Hand feeding them small chunks of fruit, or insects, can fortify the feeling that you are their caretaker, which will effectively strengthen your bond.
Most bearded dragons love a warm bath and giving them one is wholesome bonding time for both of you. Between 24-28°C (75-82°F) is the best temperature, and just up to their limb joints is the perfect height. Read our full guide about bathing bearded dragons.
Like most pets, once your bearded dragon is comfortable with your home, they will be more interested in exploring. Many dragon owners take their beardies on little adventures and outings once they are big enough.
Although it is understandably tempting, the answer to can you sleep with your bearded dragon is unfortunately no. However, allowing them to cuddle and nap on you during the day is fun and safe for everyone!
And developing a strong bond with your dragon is the best (and only) way to enjoy all the perks of their company, and the affection they can have for you.