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Top 2 Reasons Why Is Your Uromastyx Sleeping So Much?

Many times I’ve had to answer this question, ‘why is my uromastyx sleeping so much? This question without doubts often comes from new uromastyx keepers who get worried when their animals tend to sleep so often than usual.

This unusual sleeping patterns often occur during brumation period. Other factors which this article will cover can also be the reasons why your pet uromastyx is sleeping so much.

The essence of this article is to let you know which reason(s) is/are normal and which is not normal, such that you’ll know exactly what to do when your uromastyx sleeps so much.

Uromastyx lizards are also known as spiny-tailed lizards due to the unique 10-30 rings of spiked scales covering their tails. They are getting more popular as a pet because they are docile, friendly, easy to care for, and even interesting to watch.

Although uromastyx lizards are moderately active lizards, they may start sleeping a lot and become inactive. As a responsible reptile owner, you may be wondering why your uromastyx lizards are sleeping so much.

In this article, we will highlight why your uromastyx lizards may sleep a lot and become inactive and how you can solve this problem.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Gospel. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

What Are Normal Uromastyx Sleeping Habits?

Uromastyx lizards usually have a designated burrow in the wild. Uros are diurnal in nature as they leave their burrow and bask in the sunlight on rocky structures during the day (around 11-11:30am). However, at night they usually retreat to the burrow to avoid predators.

Uromastyx lizards are also known to hibernate for 2-5 months in the winter months. They can also hibernate in the summer months if resources are scarce to help conserve their energy until resources become available.

Why Do Your Uros Sleep So Much (More Than Above “Normal”)?

Uromastyx lizards are known to be moderately active lizards but may start sleeping a lot due to several reasons.

Some of the reasons cause uromastyx sleep and not active are brumation, low temperature, your uros being scared, or it is sick. If your pet is a new uromastyx or that is a wild-caught one, it can be scared and won’t active until they get familiar with your appearance.

why is my uromastyx sleeping so much
A sleeping uromastyx

You Got A New Uros

Every reptile is usually scared when they are introduced to a new environment, and they need time to acclimatize. This is why your uromastyx lizards may hide more if it is new or stressed. They may not necessarily be sleeping but spending time hiding, laying, and being inactive.

You can give your uros around two weeks to acclimatize if it is still new. Then, all you have to do is ensure the temperatures are right, provide them with enough fresh greens daily, and the tank is bright enough for them.

Your uromastyx lizard may hide a lot because of stress. All you have to do is remove any stress factors in their enclosure. For example, your uros may be stressed out because of too much handling, a small tank, or you keep it with other pets, and so on.

Enclosure Temperature

Controlling the temperature in your uromastyx lizard enclosure is a must when keeping them in captivity. This is because lizards or uros are usually less active when it is too cold.

Uromastyx lizards are cold-blooded lizards. This means that they cannot sustain their body temperature on their own without external heat. As a result, Uromastyx does not have any energy to get up and move around when their tank is cold.

You should ensure you have a digital thermometer and an infrared handheld thermometer in place to measure the temperatures in the various parts of their enclosure.

The ideal basking temperature for the uromastyx lizard tank should be 131-140F. Furthermore, they need a background temperature around 95-110F, and the cool side temperature should be around 80-85F.

Although you don’t need to heat their tank at night, the nighttime temperature in their tank should not drop below 70F and should not be higher than 75F.

Note: high temperatures may cause your uros to hide and burrow to help cool down. Having insufficient lighting can also make your uros less active.

The two most common reasons your uromastyx sleeps so much is because of low cage temperatures and brumation. Note that brumation usually sets in at the beginning of winter where temperatures is often extremely low. This is to imply that if you maintain a low temperature in the cage, you’re likely to induce your lizard to sleep (brumate).


Your uromastyx lizard may be bromating if it has been moderately active, but the activity recently slowed down. Brumation in uromastyx lizards is usually common during the winter period. 

During brumation, your uros will come out for a few hours in a day to roam and bask and may eat on some days.

During this period, you should try to weigh your uros every two weeks to monitor their weight. This is because your uros should not lose any weight during this period. Brumation in uros may last for around 1-4 months during the wintertime.

Note: Avoid inducing brumation in uros by lowering temperatures if you do not plan on breeding your uros or you are an advanced keeper.

pet uromastyx sleeping
The two most common reasons your uromastyx sleeps so much is because of low cage temperatures and brumation.

Health Issues

Uromastyx lizards can hide, sleep a lot, and even remain inactive if they are sick or in pain. However, there are lots of health issues that can affect your uromastyx, and you should be on the lookout for symptoms.

Some of the health issues that can make your uros inactive are vitamin deficiencies, parasites, injuries, infections, etc. Once you notice that your uromastyx is sick, please take it to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Should You Pick Your Uromastyx When They Are Sleeping?

You should avoid picking your uros when sleeping or even taking out the hides. This is because there is a chance that it is running around at night. Once your uros are hungry, it will start to eat again.

However, you can provide your uros with some natural heat and sunlight to help perk it up a little bit.

Note: you can remove the hides from their tank and keep your uros under the basking spot to perk it if you want to acclimatize a wild imported uros. However, this is quite extreme and should be done by experts only as a last resort.

This kind of sleeping pattern is a thing of consern. This can be a sign of an illness. [source: Andreashuchen]

What Can You Do When Your Uromastyx Sleep So Much?

Some of the things that you can do if your uromastyx sleeps so much as stated below:

  • If your uros is new, you should try to leave it for some days to get familiar with its environment.
  • Ensure that you check the temperature of the uromastyx habitat to ensure it is at an optimal level and adjust accordingly.
  • If everything in the habitat is okay, call the vet for help.
  • If your uros is new and wild-caught, check its poop for parasites and blood-borne infections. You can do this by taking a fresh sample of the poop and taking it to the vet within a few hours.
  • Take your uromastyx lizard to the vet if you suspect any sickness.
  • Ensure the humidity in their tank is not higher than 30-35%.
  • If this occurs in the summer, take your uros out to get some natural unfiltered sunlight.

How Long Uromastyx Can Go Without Food?

Uromastyx can skip meals for up to a week, and they will still be fine. Some of the reasons why uromastyx lizards can skin food are food preferences, stress, illness, changes of season, and low temperature.

However, during the winter season (brumation period), uromastyx can go days to weeks without eating. This is a different scenario than how they normally behave throughout the rest of the year, and you don’t have to worry when this happens.

Wrapping Up

Uromastyx is popularly known as a moderately active lizard. However, you should note that uros have different sleeping patterns as some are more active than others.

Furthermore, uros may start sleeping a lot if it is bromating, there is a low temperature in its tank, it is sick, scared, etc.

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