How Long Does a Turtle Sleep

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on December 24th, 2022

Do you ever wonder how much sleep your pet turtle needs each day? Or if turtles even sleep at all? In this blog post, we’ll explore sleeping habits and answer the question: how long does a turtle sleep? 

This post will also provide tips on creating a cozy spot for your pet to get some shut-eye. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and talk about turtles!

orange and black tortoise on ground

How Long Do Turtles Sleep?

Turtles are generally considered diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. Most species of turtles require four to seven hours of sleep per night. 

Larger land-dwelling turtles will require significantly more sleep than their aquatic cousins. In the wild, turtles also hibernate for weeks or months when the weather is cold. 

Pet turtles may also take short naps, one hour long during the day. However, a turtle’s sleep is more of a long rest within one sleep cycle, usually around 90 minutes. 

Different species of turtles may require different amounts of sleep depending on age, health conditions, and environmental factors. Pet owners need to ensure their turtles get enough rest by providing a comfortable and safe environment for them to sleep in.

What Does a Turtle’s Sleeping Pattern Look Like?

Turtles don’t necessarily go into a deep sleep like humans; instead, they experience a long rest with a few shorter wakefulness periods throughout the night. For pet turtles, providing them with a dark, quiet, and comfortable environment is ideal for helping them get enough rest.

For example, aquatic turtles sleep more during the day, while land-dwelling turtles may be more active at night. Additionally, some species of turtles may need longer periods of rest than others, so it is important to research the needs of your pet turtle before deciding on an appropriate sleeping schedule.

How Long Do Different Species of Turtles Sleep?

Turtles have different sleep patterns, ranging from four to seven hours per night. 

Aquatic turtles typically need four to seven hours of sleep per night, while larger land-dwelling turtles require significantly more sleep. 

Pet turtles have also been observed to take short naps, one hour long during the day. 

In the wild, turtles sleep for 5 to 6 hours at night and then hibernate for weeks or even months at a time when the weather gets colder. The snoozing period may extend depending on the weather, the turtle’s age, and health condition. Turtles don’t necessarily go into a deep sleep like us humans. Most of the time, it’s a long rest with a more shallow breathing pattern. 

Pet turtles usually sleep in short spurts throughout the day but may also sleep for several hours at a time. It is important to note that different species of turtles can have different sleeping patterns.

Where Do Turtles Sleep?

Turtles can sleep in various places, including on the ground, in water, or in trees. Aquatic turtles usually sleep underwater, while land-dwelling turtles prefer to sleep on dry land or trees. Pet turtles often sleep in their tanks or cages if they can access one. 

Turtles also use sunny spots or dark places such as caves, logs, or crevices for sleeping. It is important to provide your pet turtle with a comfortable sleeping environment that is free from disturbances and offers safety from predators.

What Kind of Environment is Ideal for a Turtle to Sleep In?

The ideal environment for a turtle to sleep in is dark, quiet, and comfortable. Turtles need a place free from disturbance from other animals or people. They should also be warm enough to feel comfortable and secure as they rest. 

Aquatic turtles need to have water access so they can submerge themselves if they choose. 

Land-dwelling turtles should have plenty of hiding places, such as branches or rocks, where they can sleep undisturbed. 

It is important to ensure that the sleeping environment meets the needs of the particular turtle species. For example, some aquatic turtles may prefer a higher temperature than their land-dwelling counterparts. In addition, providing a soft substrate such as moss or grass can help make the sleeping environment more comfortable and inviting for your turtle.

Are There Any Other Factors That Might Affect a Turtle’s Sleeping Habits?

Yes, other factors affect a turtle’s sleeping habits. Turtles are diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. However, their activity level can change depending on the season. During the winter, they may be less active and sleep longer. In addition, turtles may also sleep more or less depending on how much food they have eaten and how much exercise they have gotten. Finally, pet turtles may also be affected by the environment they are kept in. It is important to make sure that their tank is temperature-controlled and has plenty of hiding places and plants for them to feel secure and comfortable.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Turtles Not Getting Enough Rest?

A lack of sleep can have several negative effects on turtles, both physical and mental. If a turtle is deprived of the necessary rest, it can suffer from a weakened immune system, slower metabolism, and increased vulnerability to diseases and infections. Additionally, insufficient sleep can lead to decreased alertness and concentration, making it difficult to respond quickly to potential danger or threats. 

Furthermore, a lack of sleep can lead to behavioral issues such as irritability and aggression. In extreme cases, it might even lead to depression. It is, therefore, important that turtles are provided with the right environment and given the right amount of sleep to stay healthy and happy.

What Happens if a Turtle Is Kept Awake Too Long or Woken Up Too Often?  

If a turtle is kept awake too long or woken up too often, it can lead to several issues. First and foremost, turtles need their rest to stay healthy and active. They are more prone to diseases, infections, and other health problems without the right rest. In addition, without enough sleep, a turtle’s physical performance and cognitive abilities can suffer. 

Furthermore, a lack of sleep can also lead to an increased risk of injury due to the weakened state of the turtle’s body and mind. Finally, if a turtle is consistently woken up too often or kept awake too long, it can lead to an overall decrease in quality of life as the turtle will become more irritable and stressed out. These issues can be avoided by ensuring your turtle gets the right rest every night.

Can You Train Your Pet Turtle to Have Better Sleeping Habits?  

When it comes to pet turtles, it is possible to train them to have better sleeping habits. To do this, you must create a consistent environment for your turtle.

Tips for Helping Your Pet Turtle Get the Right Amount of Rest   

Having a pet turtle comes with the responsibility of ensuring they get the rest they need. To help your pet turtle get the right amount of sleep, here are some tips you can follow:

  1. Make sure their environment is comfortable and safe. As turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they need a place that is neither too hot nor too cold. Keep their enclosure away from direct sunlight or drafts, and ensure enough water and humidity to keep them hydrated.
  2. Provide them with a sheltered area, such as a cave or box they can hide in if they need to sleep during the day.
  3. Make sure you have set times for feeding and playtime during the day, so your turtle will know when it’s time to sleep.
  4. Avoid handling your turtle too often at night as it may disrupt their sleep.
  5. Keep the noise level in your home low to encourage peaceful sleep.
  6. If your pet turtle is active during the day, try setting up a night light that is dim enough not to disturb their sleep but bright enough to allow them to move around if needed.

Following these tips will help your pet turtle get the rest they need and ensure they live a long and healthy life.


In conclusion, turtles require at least five hours of sleep in 24 hours. The amount of sleep and their environment can vary between species, but all turtles need a safe and comfortable space to rest to stay healthy and active.

Paying attention to your pet turtle’s sleeping habits is essential for keeping them happy and healthy, as they can be affected by various factors such as age, health condition, and environment. By providing the right sleeping conditions and following the tips mentioned above, you can help ensure that your pet turtle gets all the rest it needs.


Editorial Staff

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