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Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Moving or Lethargic?

Are you worried that your bearded dragon has suddenly stopped moving? Is your bearded dragon acting lazy or lethargic? Are you concerned for the health of your bearded dragon since it’s not in the active mood anymore? 

Why is my bearded dragon not moving or Lethargic?

While a bearded dragon’s sudden halt in the movement can be normal but sometimes, it can also be a sign of bigger health problems. Consequently, low tank temperature and ineffective lighting play an important role for bearded dragons to become lethargic. 

Several reasons may contribute to making your bearded dragon lethargic or can cause your bearded dragon to refrain from moving at all. Therefore, being knowledgeable about the possible reasons can make you adapt accordingly. 


During late fall through winter when it is time for brumation, it is common for your bearded dragon to not move around much and become stiff. In this hibernation phase, your bearded dragon may show symptoms of losing appetite and sleeping excessively. 


Living in a low-temperature environment can cause your bearded dragon to act stiff and lethargic. Using high-quality thermometers in the tank will assure continuous monitoring of the right temperatures for your bearded dragon. 


Proper UVA radiation from lighting is necessary for your bearded dragon to promote high levels of activity. The lack of full-spectrum lighting may cause the bearded dragon to not eat or move all day and act sluggish. 

Internal Parasites: 

Parasites living on your bearded dragon can be another reason for it to become lethargic as parasites suck the energy out of it and can cause serious health issues.

If your bearded dragon stops moving after pooping or has runny stool, chances are that it is because of the parasites. 


If the bearded dragon isn’t eating or moving all day, impaction can be another reason for it to become stiff. Impaction occurs when the bearded dragon ingests particles which creates a solid blockage in the digestive tract. 

Poor Diet: 

An unsupervised and poor diet can be another reason where its food items include larger particles or mealworms. Mealworms’ shells create blockages inside the digestive system which prevents bearded dragon’s movement. 


Lack of fresh and de-chlorinated water causes the bearded dragon to go dry which further prevents its usual movement and causes it to act lethargic. 


Living in high humidity can cause the bearded dragon to become lethargic as they originally come from a dry place of the Australian outback. Therefore, bearded dragons need a very low percentage of humidity to function properly. 


Female bearded dragons reach their sexual maturity by the age of 15 months. Therefore, gravid female bearded dragons are prone to get lethargic more during the end of the pregnancy.

Sleep cycle: 

Because of the long exposure to lighting, if your bearded dragon can’t differentiate between a day or night, it won’t be able to complete its proper sleep cycle. As a result, your bearded dragon will become lethargic. 


If your bearded dragon has injured its legs by falling from any top structure, it may cause the act of not moving. Injury in the legs can also make your bearded dragon to get lethargic. 


Like humans, animals go from stress and anxiety. Likewise, bearded dragons when under stress or feel threatened can stop moving and get stiff until they feel relaxed in the exposed environment. 


Lack of enough moisture in your bearded dragon’s body can also cause it to become lethargic. Your bearded dragon needs proper bathing in order to retain the moisture level in its body. 

How to tell if your bearded dragon is lethargic?

There are several ways to identify whether your pet bearded dragon is acting lethargic or not. Close monitoring of the symptoms can help you to identify and further prevent to cause any serious health issues or damage to your reptile. 

Loss of Appetite: 

If your bearded dragon suddenly stops eating for days, it is a sign that your reptile is becoming lethargic. 

The losing of appetite can happen due to stress for adjusting to a new environment. The stress can come from the arrival of a new pet in your house, be it cats or any other reptile. 

Sunken Eyes: 

You can tell by examining your bearded dragon’s eyes whether it’s becoming lethargic or not. 

If the bearded dragon has sunken eyes, it is a sign that your pet needs hydration in its body. Dehydration causes them to lose appetite and as a result, they stop moving around much at all. 


Diarrhea can be another reason to tell why your bearded dragon is acting lethargic. Diarrhea usually signals the presence of parasites in their body. 

While having parasites isn’t uncommon for bearded dragons, if the count of parasites within their system is too high, the bearded dragon stops moving after pooping and acts lethargic. 

If the color of the poop is red or orange in color, this further confirms the presence of parasites within their system. 

Is it normal for bearded dragons to not move?

Generally, it may be normal for your bearded dragon to not move for some period. However, it may also bear the signs that your bearded dragon may be going from illness or something.

In addition, whether it is about going into hibernation or winter rest, it is very much normal for your bearded dragons to not move which is just their way of adapting to the environment.

Moreover, when there is a lack of heat in the surroundings, bearded dragons may reduce all types of activities as they will have low metabolism which can also result in a lack of appetite. 

These types of symptoms are not anything to worry about but when your bearded dragon starts to bear the signs of weaknesses and if the ‘not moving’ phase prolongs for a long thing, then it may not be normal.

And it can be a reflection of some serious illnesses due to low tank temperature, lack of proper lighting, and poor diet. 

How long can a bearded dragon go without moving?

Usually, there is no definitive way to measure out the days a bearded dragon can go without moving. 

However, during brumation, a bearded dragon can go without moving and can just sleep for one to three months. It usually happens from early June until September.  

Furthermore, bearded dragons are sometimes just lazy when they simply lay around for a day or two. This behavior is absolutely normal as they like to take off days like us humans. 

However, when it acts lethargic, it has a much more serious connotation. It can go for several days without moving in just one location and may act very unresponsive and weak. 

Why is my bearded dragon not moving one or two of its front or back legs?

Not moving one or two of bearded dragons’ front or back legs can be a sign of impaction that your bearded dragon might be facing.

Eating food items that are too large causes a block in the digestive system which as a result causes impaction. 

Additionally, high risked materials used in reptile cages like calci-sand, dried plant-based substrates cause impaction in bearded dragon’s digestive system. 

Another reason for impaction can be the temperature of the surface where a bearded dragon basks after eating. 

The temperature normally should be maintained between 100 to 115 degrees which helps the digestion of food in their system. 

What to do if your bearded dragon is lethargic or not moving?

Although not moving for several days is a common phenomenon for bearded dragons, you still need to be on the lookout for serious health issues that may affect your pet. 

Check the Temperature:

Checking the temperature of the tank where your bearded dragon lives is the first step to do if you see your pet bearded dragon acting lethargic or not moving. 

Generally, a basking area that resonates with a temperature of 95F-110F is considered to be the best temperature for bearded dragons to rest. 

Check the Lighting:

The second step requires you to check the full-spectrum lighting in the habitat of your bearded dragon. 

Ineffective bulbs can cause them not to move. Blub more than 6 months old should be changed since the bulb is no longer effective as a lighting source for your pet. 

Call to Vet:

Due to the stress of poor diet, new environment, or new pets, your bearded dragon can also stop moving and as a result, the bearded dragon can turn black. 

If the problem persists for more than a few days, your next step would be to call a vet to ask for proper guidance. 

Final Thoughts

Having a bearded dragon as a pet definitely requires regular monitoring and supervision of the proper temperature and lighting to prevent it from becoming lethargic. However, it is normal for bearded dragons to not move for a few days if they are living in a healthy habitat.