Do Turtles Sleep? | Where, When, And How Long Do They Sleep?

Sleep is vital for all living creatures. It allows the body to recharge and boost. Many types of research have been conducted about the sleeping patterns and behavior of different animals and species. To know it “Do Turtles Sleep.” A recent study by the University of Strasbourg revealed many aspects of turtles’ lives and their sleeping patterns.

Just like other living creatures, Turtles do sleep. They need sleep to get themselves fresh and active. They sleep daily just like humans do. Turtles prefer sleeping at night time or in dark places. They even prefer going down to the water where sunlight is dim so that they can enjoy uninterrupted sleep. It has been observed that few species of turtles sleep at night and others in the daytime. Some turtles keep their face inside the shell while sleeping to avoid nearby predators.

How Do Turtles Sleep?

Turtles keep their eyes closed while sleeping. They hide their head and legs inside the shell to save themselves from the nearby ganders, especially predators. This is a very good technique to protect and rest at the same time.
Some turtles choose different strategies while sleeping. They throw mud on their body so that predators won’t be able to recognize them. Painted turtles, for example, prefer sleeping in the mud of the pond where they extract oxygen from the water. Others, find a separate place for sleeping. Pet turtles especially sleep with their eyes open. This is because they don’t have any fear of the enemies. They are so friendly to their cage mates and their owners that they don’t consider them any threat to their lives.

How Long Do Turtles Sleep?

How Long Do Turtles Sleep
Turtles can sleep 4 to 6 hours

How many hours do turtles need to rest? who long do they sleep? If you are a pet owner and want to know when to set alarms for your turtles, then you are at the right place. It is incredibly important to note the following factors such as age, weight, environment, and species of your pet turtle.

The more the above factors are, the greater the number of hours required for healthy sleep. Adult turtles require 4-6 hours of sleep daily. Old turtles may require up to 10 or even more hours of sleep each day. It also depends on the weather. During winters, they even sleep for 7-8 hours a day. In summers, the average sleeping hours are 4-5.  Baby turtles don’t sleep that much. They only sleep for 1-2 hours and keep busy swimming. 

Where Do Turtles Sleep?

Turtles sleep in many postures in different places. It varies depending upon the species type, body size, and habitat adapted by the turtle.

Sometimes they are found sleeping in the mud. Mostly aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles sleep in the mud. Few prefer dense bushes and tree stumps. Others enjoy sleeping in leaf litter and mud. 

Different turtles sleeping places are as follows:

  • Mud
  • Underwater
  • Basking spots
  • Dense bushes
  • Tree stumps
  • Leaf litter
  • Sand
  • Water surface
  • Coral reef

When Do Turtles Sleep?

When Do Turtles Sleep
Turtles enjoy the sleep time

It is another amazing fact that researchers had found out when do they sleep? It depends on the species. Few are diurnal and others are nocturnal. Few species prefer swimming and finding their prey at night time while others enjoy sleeping at that time. Most turtles sleep at night and awake during the daylight. Red-eared sliders sleep at night time. Those living in the wild, sleep in the daytime. For example, aquatic basking species and bottom dwellers are found active in the daylight. 

What Do Turtles Do At Night?

Turtles are quite interesting species. They belong to the most ancient ancestor of reptiles. People ask what they do during the day and night. Well, some turtles enjoy sleeping at night time while others are wandering for food.  While some turtles prefer to hatch during the night hours, others are found floating on the cold water bodies. They are fascinating species and they do their most loved task during night and daytime as per their habitat. 

Where Do Sea Turtles Sleep?

Sea turtles have many places to sleep. Depending on their ventilation periods, sea turtles often prefer to sleep above the water surface at night, while others who have good respiration underwater often sleep deep in the oceans. Some are found sleeping between rocks. 

Do Aquatic Turtles Sleep?

Yes, Aquatic turtles do sleep. They are fond of sleeping in the water. They spend 5-7 hours in the water. In this time, they come to the surface, stay bottom of the water, and even float sometimes. Few are found sleeping on the land. They also rest in the basking area and sleep normally at night. They are found resting at the bottom of the sea. Sometimes, even floating on the surface. 

Can Turtles Sleep In Water?

Can Turtles Sleep In Water
Turtles can sleep in the water

Have you found turtles sleeping in water? If yes then you are not the only one to see this. Yes, many turtles sleep in water for long hours during the day and night. They do live in the water so there is no harm for them to sleep underwater. Just like other living creatures, turtles need rest to remain healthy and active. They do sleep in the water. Turtles can stay in the water for at least 6-7 hours.  There they spend their time resting, sleeping, and finding food for a living.  

Can Sleeping Turtles Drown?

If you have turtles you need not worry about their drowning. They live in the water so they won’t get drowned. If they need the air they will get to the surface. If they want to sleep they will even go deep down in the water. Turtle owners are advised to keep their baby turtles at a low water level. The water in the tank should be three times less than their height.

Can Turtles Sleep In the Dark?

We, humans, prefer sleeping in the dark. We immediately get annoyed and disturbed when someone switches on the light while we are sleeping. The same goes for turtles. They love to sleep in the dark. Turtles are adapted to sleep in the dark; they feel comfortable and relax when lights are dimmed. 

Some turtles even go deep down in the water to sleep where sunlight won’t touch them. Turtles close their eyelids while sleeping.  Make sure lights are on for 12 hours and switched off for the next 12 hours so that your pets can rest without any interruption.

Why Do Turtles Sleep Too Much?

Turtles cannot maintain their body temperature. They are cold-blooded animals. Their metabolism is linked with the outside environment. That’s the reason why they sleep more in winter and less in summer. Pet owners need to maintain water temperature so that turtles can have the required hours of sleep. When the temperature falls they start sleeping more. Turtles sense water temperature, humidity, and air pressure and start to begin bromating when winter is coming. 


Turtles do sleep. They don’t compromise on sleep. Just like humans, they spare time for a vital part of the day. Sleep keeps them fresh, active, and agile. Turtles live with and close to the predators therefore they do their best efforts to keep them protected from dangers even while sleeping. They keep their head and legs inside the shell. Turtles sleep in mud, dense bushing, leaf litter, tree stumps, sand, and inside the water. Some turtles sleep at night and others enjoy resting in the daytime. Pet owners can arrange special arrangements for their sleep. They sleep less in the heat and more when the temperature falls.

As a pet owner, you can maintain a balanced water temperature so that pet turtles can enjoy their required hours of sleep daily.

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