Where Do Iguanas Sleep?

Iguanas are very active when awake extremely fast and agile on land with strong jaws and razor-sharp teeth for eating things like leaves, fruits, and flowers. They are 100% vegetarian and generally prefer to live near water in the wild, however, with all this work, where do Iguanas sleep?

Because Iguanas are at high risk of being attacked by predators in the wild they will generally look for an enclosed area to sleep. This area will be large enough to cover their entire body and can be anywhere from high up in a tree, sleeping under a rock, a hole in the ground, or even under some leaves wherever the Iguana feels safe and most comfortable to sleep.

However, Iguanas that have been raised in captivity behave in a completely different manner, and because they don’t have the constant threat of predators as they do in the wild these Iguanas can sleep in a number of places.

Where Do Iguanas Sleep In Captivity?

So being that Iguanas are very much relaxed most of the time in captivity the question remains where do Iguanas sleep in captivity?

Well, believe it or not, but in captivity, Iguanas will sleep almost anywhere some are even known to fall asleep on a tree branch. However, this is mainly due to the reptile’s temperature dropping.

When Iguanas sleep in the shade their temperature can drop and to get warm they will need to take full advantage of any sunlight, in this case, “the lights” and climb to the highest point for some warmth. 

“But” with that said, all Iguanas have the same instincts even those in captivity, and will still seek out some cover to sleep under if startled or if the lights are too bright.

However, where an Iguana in the wild would be more cautious and completely shield themselves, in captivity, they won’t and just simply look for some light cover on a tree branch that’s heavily shaded.

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Where Do Iguanas Sleep In The Wild?

So as disgusted Iguanas will be much more cautious about where to sleep in the wild and will be very careful when choosing a place to rest.

For wild Iguanas, the hardest part they face is finding a safe place to sleep. Although there is plenty of places to hide the problem is it may be occupied and this can be very dangerous. 

You see! reptiles are very territorial and being that they live in the rain forest they are under constant threat of predators wandering into their territory.

These predators may be looking for a place to nest or something to eat and this is where a fight can break out.

“But” unfortunately this is the risk Iguanas have to take to get a goodnight sleep”

Most Common places Iguanas Sleep:

  • An Open Caven
  • Hole In The Ground
  • High In The Trees
  • Under Rocks & Leaves

Do Iguanas Sleep Day Or Night?

Iguanas typically sleep at night between 20:00 pm and 8:00 am in the wild, however, when Iguanas sleep their heartbeat slows putting them into a deep sleep but at the same time, they are still aware of their surrounding conditions.

“But” with that said, Iguanas in captivity that are much more relaxed than in the wild are known to sleep during the day or at night.

Unlike the wild iguanas that have to hunt in the day for food, look for a mate, and are basically always be on alert. Yet, in captivity, this is not necessary and because of this these Iguanas may have different sleep patterns to those in the wild.

There are even reports that Iguanas in captivity are very deep sleepers and can even sleep for a staggering 9 to 12 hours and most do this high off the ground on a tree branch or canopy.

How Often Do Iguanas Sleep?

Iguanas in the wild usually sleep for one cycle at night, but this really depends on the size and how old it is. when they are very young iguanas can have multiple sleep cycles.

But in captivity even in large Iguanas, this can vary, and again as mentioned above this can be mainly due to their routine.

By keeping the Iguana active throughout the day not only will stop them from sleeping in the day “but” will also result in a better sleep cycle for the reptile.

Do Iguanas Sleep In Trees?

Iguanas in the wild spend most of their life in trees or on a tree branch resting or catching some sun. They use their powerful limbs, to leap from one branch to another at extreme heights.

But do Iguanas sleep in trees?

Absolutely, Iguanas are known for climbing to the top of trees to catch some sun and taking a nap at the same time. In fact, they use their sharp claws to keep them still and secure while they sleep in the tree.

For Iguanas in captivity, they are well known for sleeping on a tree branch. However, they are unable to leap from one branch to the other unless they live in a big enough terrarium.

Even with a small household terrarium, the Iguana can still enjoy a nap on a tree branch just as long as the tree is big enough for the reptile and can hold its weight.

Do Iguanas Sleep In Water?

When Iguanas pick their territory (place to live) they will generally pick somewhere near water. Although Iguanas are based on land they are excellent swimmers.

Marine Iguanas can actually hold their breath underwater for almost an hour, but, typically they spend only 5 to 10 minutes underwater.

Now, there have been some cases where Iguanas in captivity have fallen asleep in their water bowl this is usually due to the Iguana being too hot.

But, there have been no reports of any Iguana in the wild that’s been completely submerged in water while sleeping.

Do Iguanas Sleep In The Same Spot?

When Iguanas pick a spot to sleep it’s not always the same exact spot as before. However, with that said, Iguanas are territorial so they will most likely stay and sleep within the same surrounding area.

Iguanas in captivity, on the other hand, will prefer to sleep in the same spot, and this is mainly due to having limited space with suitable spots to sleep.

“But” with a female Iguana that’s just laid her eggs, they may sleep in the same spot (the nest) to protect her eggs from any predators that may be lurking about.

What Are The Iguanas Sleeping Habits?

So as you know, when Iguanas sleep they look for a safe enclosed place that’s well shielded and can usually keep them out of sight from other predators.

“But” of course Iguanas in captivity will still prefer to sleep in the shade just in a more open area as they trust their environment more than those in the wild.

When Iguanas sleep especially in captivity they do have some sleeping habits, now these habits can vary depending on the size and what type of Iguana you have.

Eyes will become twice the size

For example, some have reported when their Iguana is sleeping their eyes can become twice the size, slightly bulging out under the eyelids, which typically happens when they go into a deep sleep.

Will sleep with one eye open

With Iguanas in the wild, there have been some reports where they can sleep with one eye open and this again is down to the environment they live in.

Will sleep with their tongue out

Another example, again these are reports of Iguanas kept in captivity will actually sleep with their tongue out, this could be a way for the Iguana to keep cool or it could simply be something the reptile feels comfortable doing.

Where Do Iguanas Live?

The Green Iguana is native to areas such as South and Central America, but the vast majority of them are in much hotter counties like the Caribbean and islands of the west indies.

Iguanas, preferred surroundings are places like the rainforest where they have an ample supply of food and nesting grounds, and as mentioned before they will always nest close to a water supply.

Iguanas have also been seen roaming in other counties such as Brazil, Mexico, and Paraguay and are very social species that will spend most of the time together in groups.

They are also one of the most common reptiles to be kept as pets in households and are usually placed in a large suitable terrarium with artificial grass and trees and lights.

However, the sad truth is most captive iguanas die within the first year because they have either been wrongly fed or miss-handled.

Many Iguanas are even turned loose and freed by their owners or given to rescue groups because they have grown too big to handle. The average Iguanas can grow up to 6.5 feet long and weigh in at around 11 pounds.

Iguanas Daily Routine

So what does an Iguana get up to throughout the day? Well, for one if they are not sleeping on a tree branch somewhere they will most likely be looking for food.

Iguanas spend most of their lives in the canopy, descending only to find a mate or looking for food, mainly eating leaves, weeds, flowers, and fruits

When the day is hot enough Iguanas will also bathe in water as well as drinking to keep their temperature down. “But” when the temperature of the Iguana starts to drop they take full advantage of that sunlight.

When it starts to get dark and the heat and light are reduced this is usually where Iguanas start sleeping.

Of course, the same goes for those Iguanas in captivity and by turning off the lights at night the iguana will start their sleep cycle.


So there you have it! we hope you have found the answer to the question Where Do Iguanas Sleep? and as you can see, there is a variety of ways Iguanas like to sleep whether they are in the wild or in captivity.

The bottom line is Iguanas will naturally sleep anywhere they feel safe and most comfortable. Most like to spend their time high in the trees where they can catch some sun.

“But at the same time always staying within their territory”

Yet, others will prefer to take a nap in the shade, it really comes down to the type of Iguana and what they prefer, as each one behaves differently.

If you own an Iguana it’s always best to replicate the conditions of the wild as best as you can to make them feel more at home, making sure they have an artificial tree to climb on and sleep as this is second nature in the wild.

Also making sure you have a small bath for your pet Iguana so anytime they get too hot they can take a bath to help lower their temperature.

It’s very important you use UV lights as Iguanas need these lights to make vitamin D in their skin, which enables them to absorb calcium from their food. Just make sure you change these lights every six months.

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