Are Veiled Chameleons Nocturnal? 3 Interesting Sleeping Habits Decoded!

We’re all aware of chameleons changing colors. Isn’t it amazing how a little creature changes its colors from time to time? It’s like a wonderful superpower! 

Have you ever stopped and wondered whether veiled chameleons sleep or not? 

Are they nocturnal? 

All curled up in a corner, it can be a pretty sight to see your little veiled chameleon sleep. That’s right! Chameleons have become pets in many parts of the world. 

People who can’t get enough of reptiles but are petrified of snakes keep veiled chameleons as their perfect buddies!

As a veiled chameleon parent, you might be wondering about their sleeping pattern. Here’s something you should know:

Veiled Chameleons DO sleep. In fact, all of the species of chameleons sleep at night. So, they are not nocturnal. 

Are Veiled Chameleons Nocturnal

Daytime is supposed to be their most active time because they wait for food and get super active too. 

Did you know that most chameleon species (veiled chameleons specifically) sleep for more than 12 hours each night?

Do you want to know more about veiled chameleons and their sleeping pattern? Well, we have an interesting read right here! Dive in right away and find out all the details. 

Veiled Chameleons: Nocturnal or Not? 

Veiled chameleons are not nocturnal. They like to sleep at night and be active throughout the day. 

It is a myth that veiled chameleons stay up all night. Since they are most active during the day, the veiled chameleons – when comfortable in their tanks – can easily sleep like dead for about 12 hours at night. That’s more than what we human beings require each day. 

So, now that you got a gist of their sleeping pattern, don’t stop as we have more information to share. 

Jump to the next section to find out what affects their sleeping pattern. Isn’t it your duty to fulfill your promise of giving them the best life as your pet?

Sleeping Hours of Veiled Chameleons: How Long Can They Sleep? 

What’s your veiled chameleon’s daily routine like? Their sleep pattern will depend on the day-to-day activities such as the amount of food they ate and the part of the year. Find the details in the upcoming sections!

1.) The Season

Veiled chameleons can sleep about 12 hours each night. What part of the year is it? If it’s summer time, day time would be longer. When day time is long, sleep hours will be less. 

In winter months, daytime becomes shorter so the veiled chameleons will sleep much longer. 

You have to ensure that the cage should have lights that are similar to the veiled chameleon’s natural habitat, that is, UVB lights. 

Maintaining optimum moisture levels of about 30-50% during the day and 80-100% during the night are yet other factors that’ll affect their sleeping pattern and health.

2.) Food 

Veiled chameleons’ sleep patterns will also depend on the food they eat. If they are fed too much during the day, they won’t really sleep a lot. 

When their belly is full of food, they don’t get a good night’s rest. It is best to give them one large meal a day. 

Don’t feed too much food at night as the veiled chameleons won’t be able to sleep peacefully. 

This could put a lot of stress on your veiled chameleon, and they would get disturbed sleep and a lot of anxiety. 

3.) Activity level 

Veiled chameleons move a lot during the day, so they will sleep longer at night. That’s because they expend all their energy during the daytime. 

Make sure you play with your veiled chameleon often so that they get to expend all their energy during the day and sleep longer during the night. Sounds fair, right? 

Veiled Chameleons: Do they sleep with their eyes closed or open? 

One of the most intriguing questions veiled chameleon parents have is whether these creatures sleep with their eyes open or closed. 

Most of the veiled chameleons sleep with one eye closed and one eye open. This is intriguing for most chameleon parents. Don’t worry – there are some veiled chameleons that sleep with both eyes closed, but they won’t be fully closed. 

veiled chameleons sleep

You can’t really tell if a veiled chameleon is sleeping because its eyes are barely closed. 

Now, chameleons are very sharp and they stay alert. One eye is open because they watch out for dangers and predators around them. 

Another interesting thing about their eyes is when they’re sleeping, the left eye will open and the right eye will close for an hour. After an hour, the right eye will open and the left one will close for the next hour. They’re really smart! 

Too bad chameleons can’t protect the home from burglars! 

Hold that thought! Maybe your chameleon can, but a suitable situation has to arise for them to act responsibly. 

Does a veiled chameleon sleep in the dark? 

Yes, veiled chameleons DO sleep in the dark. In fact, it should be dark in the room for them to sleep at all. 

When veiled chameleons are in the wild, they don’t have artificial lights. Sometimes the moon isn’t set, so it turns pitch dark. 

Veiled chameleons are NOT nocturnal creatures, so they can’t really see in the dark. They would like to spend their night sleeping peacefully. 

When you set up a cage for your veiled chameleon, choose a location in the home that stays dark during nighttime. Some people would leave the night lights on, but ideally, it should not shine bright on the chameleon’s cage. 

In the case of an apartment amidst the city, you might want to keep your veiled chameleon in a dark and quiet corner. 

When chameleons are in a loud and lit-up place at night, they get too stressed out. Don’t try to move their cage too much as it can be mentally traumatizing for the Lil creature. 

How about putting a blanket around the veiled chameleon’s cage? This could work too as the creature would be able to sleep peacefully. 

Pitch darkness is crucial for veiled chameleons, otherwise, there won’t be any sleep. 

Veiled Chameleons & The Ideal Temperature for Sleeping 

Chameleons need the ideal temperature to sleep peacefully. During the nighttime, the temperature drops a few degrees. Now, the good news is that veiled chameleons are cold-blooded creatures so they are fine with drop in temperatures. 

Their body is designed to cope up with the varying temperature at night. 

In fact, this drop in temperature is needed for veiled chameleons. It helps in slowing down the metabolism and providing better sleep. 

You have to ensure that your veiled chameleon is getting a good night’s rest because the next day will be hard on them otherwise. 

As for the temperature, ten degrees difference from day to night is plausible, but anything more than that can cause major stress to the veiled chameleon. 

In case your veiled chameleon is not able to take the temperature, you can purchase heating lights. 

They’re red in color and produce heat. A little bit of frost might be okay for your veiled chameleon, but don’t make them uncomfortable if the temperature drop gets too low. 

Amazing Facts Related to Veiled Chameleon’s Sleep 

There are some amazing facts related to veiled chameleon’s sleep. Do you want to know these facts? Well, let’s take a quick look! 

#1 Veiled chameleons turn light green during the wee hours of the night. The credit goes to their superpower of changing colors. 

#2 Some veiled chameleons will turn bright red while sleeping. It depends on your chameleon’s mood as well. Funny, isn’t it?

#3 Veiled chameleons need dark light to refresh and revitalize. Don’t keep them in a bright light room at night. 

#4 Veiled chameleons sleep with one eye open and one eye closed. This is to keep an eye on predators and any possible danger. Though there isn’t danger lurking in your house, it’s their genetic instinct that imbibes this habit. You just can’t change it, that’s that!

Veiled chameleons are super smart, and they’re alert too. Daytime tends to be their most active part of the day, and that’s why they need good sleep at night. 

Since you are aware they’re not nocturnal, try to keep them in a dark room at night. 

3 Intriguing facts that’ll help you keep your veiled chameleon safe

You know that veiled chameleons sleep, they shouldn’t be overfed, they require perfect humidity and darkness, and they sleep with weird colors! 

But, this bonus section is for pet parents that would go an extra mile for the safety of their precious veiled chameleons. 

1. You have to fog or mist their tank

Veiled chameleons will give a scare if you don’t mist or fog their cage regularly and thoroughly. 

Bear in mind, these exotic reptiles can easily get dehydrated. So, make sure you do your best, spray and fog their tank, use moss and beddings that can absorb and retain moisture, and use humidifiers.

2. Don’t keep more than one veiled chameleon in a tank

As long as you don’t want bloodshed or wake up to find one of the two chameleons dead, just don’t put them in one tank. 

These creatures will fight for dominance. So, in order to keep them safe, give them different tanks in case you buy more than one.

3. Look for signs of dehydration

As we said, dehydration can kill all types of chameleons. Hence, you need to know the signs of dehydration. Here’s a small list.

A dehydrated veiled chameleon will:

      • Not poop for a week.
      • Have dry poop.
      • Have folded skin and sunken eyes.
      • Have orange or yellow-colored pee.

With this, you know almost everything about how to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Despite it, still, have queries in your head? Feel free to check out the FAQs section! 


1. What is a veiled chameleon?

Veiled chameleons are also known as Yemen chameleons. They are a species of the chameleon family. You can find them in trees, large plants, and valleys. 

2. Can veiled chameleons sleep in the dark?

Veiled chameleons like a pitch dark environment for sleeping purposes. Don’t switch on bright lights during nighttime as it would disturb your little friend’s sleep. 

3. Do veiled chameleons sleep at night?

Yes. Veiled chameleons are not nocturnal creatures. They like to refresh and recharge at night by sleeping for 12 hours. 

4. Are veiled chameleons’ good pets? 

Veiled chameleons are good to watch and they don’t demand a lot of attention. They do not cause a lot of mess and are very quiet. 

Thus, they are good for those pet parents who do not have a lot of time to indulge in petting and grooming. 

Concluding Thoughts 

Veiled chameleons are NOT nocturnal. Just like human beings sleep at night and don’t need bright lights, the veiled chameleon is no different. 

Let them sleep at night and keep these creatures active during day time. Daytime is the perfect time for them to hunt, play, and eat. 

If you want them to have a happy life, make the tank as close to their wild living conditions as possible. Add live plants and perches since veiled chameleons like to stay on trees and plants, not the ground.

As long as you follow this in-depth guide, chances are that you’ll be the best parent to your pet veiled chameleon despite having long work hours and less time to play with them!

Susan R Elliston
I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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