Do Turtles Sleep A Lot?

Do Turtles Sleep A Lot?

The sleeping patterns of turtles are different from humans. It’s more like a resting state for them. Many turtles are seen sleeping during a daily cycle. They pick a spot with a constant and acceptable temperature and then stop moving around and be in a particular posture, withdrawing into their shell for protection during downtime.

Turtles sleep because if they do not get the appropriate amount of sleep every day, it can cause them health problems. Most turtles retract their shells when they are sleeping, except for sea turtles, as they have soft shells. Many pet turtles sleep inside their shells even if there are no predators because it is their survival instinct.

Sleeping of turtles is very normal unless it is sleeping too much or all the time. You must be wondering whether the turtles sleep too much? And on what basis do we consider them as sleeping too much? Read the full article to know more.

Related Article: Do Turtles Sleep?

Do turtles sleep a lot?

The answer to this question is No! Usually, turtles do not sleep a lot. Turtles sleep for 3-5 hours, but this entirely depends on the species. If you find your turtle sleeping all the time, then it is a matter of concern, and you need to analyze the fact that is making it sleep so much.

Below are a few factors that may cause your turtle to sleep a lot.

1. Age of the turtle

Age is an important factor that can affect your turtle’s sleeping pattern. Their activity level reduces as they grow older, so they rest more when they get old. The younger and juvenile turtles are more active than the older turtles. So, if you see your old turtle sleeping too much, it perhaps is just because of its age, but if you see your juvenile turtle is sleeping too much, you need to consult a veterinarian, as there can be some health issues in your turtle.

2. Species of the turtle

Sleep duration can vary based on the species of turtle. So, if some turtles sleep for 3 hours and some sleep for 11 hours, it is not a concern because it depends entirely on the species. However, if your turtle suddenly changes their sleeping pattern and starts sleeping all the time, that can be an alarming situation for you. By this, you can make out that something is wrong with your beloved turtle.

3. Water temperature for your turtle

Turtles are very sensitive reptiles, and any change in the environment and their habitat can affect them adversely. In the wild, turtles gauge the change in the season by water temperature. Hence, turtles adapt to hibernation during winter seasons because they cannot withstand the cold.

In captivity, the turtles do the same, but as you set the water temperature in the tank, so if they find the temperature too cold, the turtle can sleep more than usual. That is why you must check the water temperature regularly and adjust it in such a way that your turtle remains safe and comfortable.

Related Article: Do Turtles Need A Water Heater?

4. Air temperature for your turtle

Like water temperature, air temperature also plays a crucial role in deciding turtles sleeping patter. Turtles hibernate during the winter season to conserve energy and survive the cold weather in the wild. 

Hence you need to maintain proper air temperature for your pet turtles when kept in an enclosure. The temperature in the tank is supposed to be 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

You need to ensure that the air temperature is optimum so that the tank does not become too cold and uncomfortable for your turtle. If the air temperature is too cold, the turtle will sleep longer than usual.

Why does my Baby turtle sleep so much?

The main factor for baby turtles sleeping too much is the water and air temperature in the tank. When the temperature in the tank is too cold, the baby turtle starts to sleep too much to store heat in its body. The other reason can be health issues in the baby turtle.

Baby turtles like to rest for some time during their daily routine, but if it is too much, you need to check for the cause. It is normal for baby turtles to sleep for longer during the winter season.

Baby turtles are diurnal and are active during the day. The turtle can sense the temperature change quickly. Being cold-blooded animal turtles require some heat to maintain their body temperature. If the temperature falls drastically and there is no heater in the tank to maintain the temperature, then that is the major reason your baby turtle is always sleeping. 

Baby turtles also require UVB lights to process calcium which keeps their shells stronger, and heats lamps to regulate their body temperature. If the basking area temperature falls, it can cause your turtle to sleep too much.

Another reason your baby turtle sleeps too much is that it might be sick. If the baby turtle remains inactive, it is perhaps because it is not well and prefers to rest as it cannot move. The possible illness your baby turtle must be going through could be shell rot, respiratory infections, or vitamin A deficiency. If you find any other symptoms related to this illness and oversleeping, you need to consult a veterinarian and explain to him in detail about the turtle’s behavior.

Why is my red-eared slider turtle sleeping so much?

Red-eared slider turtle can sleep up to 7 hours to maintain good health. If your red-eared slider turtle is sleeping too much, it indicates health issues. However, there can be external factors involved as well for it to sleep too much.

There is a possibility that the turtle must be facing some physical disability due to which it cannot move. Hence it can sleep for a longer time than usual. If you notice your turtle has any injury or any such health issues due to which it cannot move and oversleeping, you need to consult a veterinarian.

A respiratory infection can also cause too much sleeping in red-eared slider turtles. If your turtle sleeps a lot, has bubbles in its mouth, or keeps the mouth open while sleeping, it is possibly oversleeping because of respiratory illness. 


Turtles usually do not sleep a lot, but if the turtle is oversleeping, the probable reasons are water temperature, air temperature, health issues, species, or age. If the water or air temperature is too low, the turtle tries to conserve heat by sleeping. The older turtles sleep more than the baby turtles because their activity level reduces as they grow older, and hence it is normal for them to sleep more. However, if you see your baby or juvenile turtle sleeping too much, it can be a cause of concern and needs to be consulted by a veterinarian.