Leopard geckos are crepuscular and generally get active during dusk and dawn. Due to a lack of sufficient research on their behavior, they were believed to be nocturnal before. But what does it mean if your leopard gecko is awake during the day? Is it normal?
Yes, it is normal for leopard geckos to be awake during the day sometimes. But if they are awake during the daytime continually day-after-day and for a longer time, there can be underlying issues. The issues can range from improper lighting, heating, disturbance in their environment, and in some cases, a new environment.
Let’s explore why they would be awake during the day and how you can reset their sleep-wake cycle.
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Leopard Geckos Stay Awake In The Daytime Sometimes
While they are observed to be active late in the evening or after midnight (somewhere before dawn and a little after), it is normal to observe them be active in the daytime.
Sometimes they can feel comfortable coming out of their hiding spots during the day and appear for a while. Occasional sightings of shorter duration are normal.
But they shouldn’t be awake in the day continually every day. The longer and more times they show up in the daytime, the probability of something going wrong with their tank or their health increases.
Possible Reasons Why Your Leopard Gecko Peeks Out In The Day
If they are coming out of their hiding continually and for longer periods in the daytime then you should look for the following factors.
1. Your Leopard Gecko Is In A New Environment
Leopard geckos can be quite skittish when they are introduced to a new environment – a new tank, a new tank mate, or even a new handler.
While they prefer to hide when they feel uncomfortable in a new environment, they might want to explore all the areas before they can rest peacefully.
Ideally, this behavior shouldn’t last for long. You might spot them out of their hiding spots for a few days in the daylight but they will eventually make it feel like home soon. If the new environment is not the factor for them peeking out, look for other factors.
2. It’s Too Noisy For Your Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are very sensitive to their environment. A slight change in decibels can soothe or spook your leopard gecko. If your leopard gecko doesn’t get its good night’s sleep, because of noise during its sleeping time, they can be lying awake.
Sound disturbance can spike up their stress level. While not everyone will peak out of their hiding spot but they will be awake wherever they try to rest. Geckos, which are a little more curious, can peek for a quick investigation.
3. Improper Lighting
Too much exposure to light can disturb their sleep-wake cycle. It also interferes with their diet, as they metabolize vitamin D3 by basking under UVB light.
If you increase their basking hours, their skin can start to burn. At the same time, if you feed them vitamin D3 additionally, it can lead to vitamin D3 poisoning.
This causes health issues in your leopard gecko. Make sure you do not overexpose or underexpose your leopard gecko to UVB light. Underexposure might make them come out in the daylight to get their daily dose of “sunshine”.
4. Improper Heating
Too much humidity and rise in temperature can force them to come out of their hiding – doesn’t matter during what time of the day. Sometimes, it is the source of heat that makes them crawl out of their hiding spot.
Heating pads work better for some tanks than heat bulbs. Sometimes, it depends majorly on the type of tank and the type of setup you have put up for your gecko.
The right amount of heating, heat source, humidity, and hiding spot would spell a good habitat for your leopard gecko.
5. Lack Of Hiding Spots
If your leopard gecko doesn’t have enough hiding spot for itself, it can come out in the daytime. You can provide artificial hiding spots or let the gecko dig it on its own.
Lack of hiding spots is often an issue they face when they are put in a new environment with no readily available spots.
6. Other Leopard Geckos Could Disturb Your Leo
If you are housing more than one gecko in a tank, chances are they’ll get territorial. Some will start a fight whenever the other one tries to sleep.
Some geckos might feel so bullied that they can be observed climbing over the glass in an attempt to flee the spot.
In such cases, one or both the leopard geckos can be observed being alert in the daytime. The best solution for this is to keep them both in separate tanks.
7. Mismanaged Timetable
If you feed them or stimulate their environment during the daytime then they can be observed crawling out in the daytime.
This is a result of the mismanaged care schedule for your leopard gecko. Keeping their timetable according to their crepuscular nature will prevent leopard geckos from being awake and out in the daytime.
If these reasons do not factor in when observing why your leopard gecko is awake during the day, then it is best to consult with your veterinarian. Your leopard gecko might be going through a health issue.
How To Make Sure Your Leopard Gecko Stays Comfortable In The Tank?
If your leopard gecko is comfortable in the tank, they will continue being the crepuscular creatures that they are! This is how you can make sure you are doing all the right things.
- Make sure they are not having territorial issues with other reptiles. While they can live in groups, it is ideally a good option to keep them in separate tanks.
- They need to be fed during dusk or dawn. Adults do not need to be fed daily so you can choose when you want to feed them – dusk or dawn. But when you have young geckos, they need to be fed daily. A good indicator of their health is their tail. The fatter their tail, the better their health.
- Heating pads are often a good option for leopard geckos than heating lights. But if your gecko is a dedicated burrower, ceramic heat emitters are a good option.
- They would need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness to regulate their sleep-wake cycle. Make sure you stick to their schedule.
- Regulate their tank’s temperature and humidity to keep them thriving. Humidity should be around 50% and the tank’s temperature should be 75 °F (24 °C) to 95 °F (35 °C) during the day and not lower than 68 °F (18 °C) during the night.
- Make sure you dust your leopard gecko’s feeder insects with calcium to prevent calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease.
- Make sure you do not introduce any loud noise in their environment, as it can cause them undue stress and disturb their sleep-wake cycle.
These tips will help you keep your leopard gecko comfortable in their tank.