Why Does My Tortoise Sleep All Day? (Explained)

Tortoises are thought to be slow-moving and sedentary pets. They sleep for up to 22 hours a day as infants and may only be active for 2-5 hours each day. When your adult tortoise also sleeps all day, it might appear harmless. Adult tortoises should, in fact, get up when the sun shines and have a constant sleep cycle.

When tortoises are brumating, they might sleep for weeks at a time. An adult tortoise should not sleep for more than 12 hours a day outside of this cold-weather repose. 13-14 hours is okay on rare circumstances, such as when they’re catching up on sleep or getting ready to brumate.

why does my tortoise sleep all day

Do baby tortoises sleeping so much?

On tortoise and reptile forums, tortoise owners agree that poor lighting and cold temperatures might cause your turtle to sleep more.

Torts require the proper quantity of light and heat to wake up, become active, and accelerate their metabolism.

A basking temperature of 32 to 35 degrees centigrade is ideal. A T5 D=12 percent UV source should be used. The illumination should be turned on for at least 12 hours every day.

It’s also possible that the size of your tortoise’s enclosure makes a difference. A tortoise table, according to Exoticdirect, is ideal. This lets air circulate freely around your tort. Due to the high humidity levels caused by a lack of air movement and the glass panels that torts may easily walk into, a vivarium can create health and stress concerns in tortoises.

According to users of Reptile Forums UK, a tortoise that is new to the family may take a bit to settle in, which means he spends more time napping. Bathe your tortoise on a regular basis to avoid dehydration. It is more vital to stay hydrated than to eat.

Finally, if you’re concerned about your tort and everything seems to be in order in terms of temperature, lighting, and table, consider obtaining a new one.

Why does my tortoise sleep all day?

Adult tortoises shouldn’t sleep all day, and their sleep cycles shouldn’t be erratic. Tortoises have a consistent sleep cycle of around 12 hours every night when they aren’t brumating. They can’t sleep peacefully with the lights on, therefore if light is provided sooner, they may burrow into the earth.

Furthermore, newborn tortoises may sleep for up to 19 hours and 22 hours. This may appear to take all day, but even tiny tortoises should awaken at least once every 24 hours. As a result, if your adult tortoise sleeps all day, you should be concerned.

Tortoises of the same or similar species will most likely sleep at the same time. Individual tortoises, however, may differ in this regard. In general, it’s fine if your tortoise sleeps a little longer than usual as long as it’s normal for it.

Examine the adult tortoise if it sleeps longer than 13-14 hours or if its sleeping patterns alter unexpectedly. Your tortoise may spend the entire day napping due to:

Humidity and Airflow

High humidity levels and insufficient ventilation in the cage might make your tortoise’s living quarters unhealthy. It may grow in high humidity of approximately 80 percent depending on the species, but much too much (like 100 percent) is still harmful. Similarly, your tortoise may like a humidity level of 40-50 percent, and the lack of circulation in its habitat might be oppressive.

Your tortoise will try to bunker down in its burrow and wait out the ‘bad weather’ in these conditions. It will sleep if it has nothing else to do (or at least appear to be sleeping). This can be solved by:

  • Purchasing a hydrometer
  • Investigating your tortoise’s humidity requirements
  • Purchasing a fan or removing the tank cover to improve airflow
  • Changing the tank’s environment

Incorrect Lighting

To sleep, wake up, get their metabolism going, and stay active during the day, tortoises require a particular quantity of light and heat. It’s possible that your tortoise is sleeping more or less than normal because of poor illumination in the enclosure.

A tortoise’s health and optimal function require UV light. You should examine your tortoise’s unique needs, but a general basking temperature of 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours a day is optimal. This will ensure that your tortoise stays healthy and gets enough sleep each night.


It’s possible that your tortoise isn’t napping but rather attempting to brumate. If your tortoise has never slept all day before, but has begun to do so as the winter months have arrived, it is simply responding to the shift in temperature. Brumation is similar to hibernation in that it permits reptiles to wake up at certain times when necessary.

Avoid disrupting your tortoise if it is attempting to brumate. Brumation is a common occurrence throughout tortoises’ lives (but not all). Allowing it to sleep through the winter might be beneficial or even calming to the animal.


If brumation and bad tank conditions have been ruled out, your tortoise may be sleeping all day for health reasons. A dehydrated tortoise, in instance, will lack the energy to remain active. Its muscles, tissue, and eyes can all be impacted in extreme instances, making it difficult to do anything but sleep.

The tortoise will then sleep either because it has no option or to preserve as much drink as possible. You can remedy this by ensuring that clean drinking water is available at all times.


Your tortoise may be suffering from an ailment or condition that is wearing it down, similar to dehydration. It will be physically impossible to keep active due to a lack of energy. As a result, it sleeps to save energy or because it has nothing else to do.

Even if the disease is minor, the tortoise will want to hide away from prying eyes. Illness can put prey animals like tortoises in jeopardy. It intends to stay apart from other people until it has fully healed. If you feel this is the case, contact your veterinarian.

How Much Sleep Does a Tortoise Need?

When there are no UV lights on, or when the sun has set (if he is kept outside), a tortoise will sleep. This, however, varies from tortoise to tortoise. Check out the information above if your tortoise sleeps a lot during the day. UV lights for your tortoise should be turned on for 12 hours every day.

According to the proprietors of two young tortoises – an Iberian and a Dalmation Hermanns – who commented on the Tortoise Forum, a baby tortoise can sleep for 19 to 22 hours each day.

It’s assumed that because they’re so little in the wild, they need to conceal to avoid becoming prey. Additionally, sleep is an important aspect of any baby’s biological make-up while they are so young.

Should I Wake My Tortoise?

It’s fine to wake up your tortoise in the morning because it has no harmful impact on their health. However, waking your tortoise in the morning isn’t always essential.

As long as the tortoise’s habitat has a constant lighting schedule, it should wake up on its own. If the UV lights are turned on and off at the same time every day, your tortoise’s resting and waking rhythms will ultimately synchronize.

If possible, let your tortoise wake up naturally. This ensures that it awakens refreshed rather than drowsy or disturbed. In some situations, your tortoise may require a wake-up call. For example, if the tortoise slept all day yesterday and all night, it’s a good idea to wake him up.

When brumates, a tortoise may sleep for weeks, and if it’s sick or doesn’t receive enough light, it can sleep for days. By making minor adjustments and assuring the tortoise’s health, it should be able to resume its regular sleeping pattern of 12 hours every night.

Tortoise Sleeping or Hibernation

Tortoises don’t go into hibernation. Instead, brumate, because they are reptiles who may wake up from their extended slumber.

Even yet, brumation might appear to be one extended slumber. If the tortoise is sleeping all day, you should interfere; but, if it is brumating, you should let it alone. So, how can you tell the difference between the two?

What is the difference between sleeping and hibernation of a tortoise. Here are some simple tips for you to distinguish. 

Sleeping Length

If your tortoise sleeps all day on a regular basis, it is most likely brumating. An extra-sleepy tortoise will not commit to a multi-week slumber, preferring instead to sleep on an inconsistent timetable.

How Quickly The Tortoise Wakes Up

According to Karger’s Polygraphic study of the Tortoise, the amount of sleep a tortoise can get is directly proportional to the ambient temperature. As a result, waking up a brumating tortoise will be more difficult than waking up a typical sleeping tortoise. This alone might explain why your tortoise is sleeping so much, but it isn’t the best option.

Temperature Or Time Of Year

Tortoises only brumate in the winter or when the inside temperature drops below freezing. It’s likely that your tortoise is brumating if it’s sleeping more than usual this time of year. It’s also brumating, not sleeping, if the room temperature has dropped to or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your tortoise is sleeping in unusual areas or wakes up frequently, make an exception. This might indicate that the tank’s light and heat exposure are not well controlled. This will keep your tortoise half-awake and half-drowsy.

Where The Tortoise Is Sleeping

Tortoises that are rummaging will frequently burrow down to a safe area where they may rest quietly. This type of tortoise can be found partially buried in mud, substrate, or a true burrow. The tortoise is just sleeping if it sleeps under its lamp, outside in the open, or in a different location every day.

Leave a Comment