Home Exotic PetsTurtles How long do red eared sliders sleep?

How long do red eared sliders sleep?

by Dean

How long do red eared sliders sleep?

How long do red eared sliders sleep? A healthy red-eared slider will nap for 4 to 7 hours every day. Though sliders usually don’t sleep during the day, their sleeping time can vary. Also, if a red eared slider is ill or tired, he can doze off anytime. A slider turtle can sleep for as long as 7 hours to maintain good health.

How long do red eared sliders sleep

Red eared sliders are amongst the most popular reptile species in the world for some pretty good reasons. They are relatively easy to maintain and have great personalities. Owning such an interesting species requires some research on the sleeping habits of red-eared sliders to keep them healthy and jolly in captivity. Without a proper sleeping environment, your pet’s body functions can collapse. Therefore, knowing how long do red eared sliders sleep is imperative to raise a happy and healthy pet.

Although their sleeping habits are pretty similar to ours, there is much more than meets the ordinary eye. Let’s have a more in-depth look at the red eared slider turtle’s sleeping behavior.

How long do red eared sliders sleep?

Most sliders sleep for 3 to 7 hours every night. This leaves them plenty of time to swim and explore their surrounding during the day. But this is not the case of every slider, as some can even sleep for up to 12 hours a day. 

Season, environment, and water temperatures are the most influential factors affecting your pet slider’s sleep behavior. In the winter, when the water is cold, sliders spend more time on their basking spot. They avoid getting in the water to maintain their body temperature. Since red eared sliders like to sleep in the water, their sleeping hours shrink during this time.

Red-eared sliders prefer snoozing in warm water because it is comforting to them. It also helps them to sleep for a bit longer. That’s the reason why you find your red eared slider turtles taking longer naps during summer times.

Regardless of the season, it is not suitable for your turtle to sleep more than 7 hours a day. Sleeping less than that is also problematic. Such sleeping patterns indicate several health-related problems that need to be addressed by a responsible reptile owner.


Where do red eared sliders sleep

Where do red eared sliders sleep?

Like any other animal or reptile, red-eared sliders prefer a napping spot that offers them protection against their predators.

Usually, sliders look for a napping spot near a pile of rocks. If possible, they will try to sleep under the rocks. If sliders can’t find any holes or rocks, they like to nap in places with dense vegetation. Your pet slider turtles may also consider napping behind the tank decorations. Such places significantly reduce the visibility, thus make a great place to doze off.

In the wild red eared sliders like to sleep near the muddy rivers where they can cover themselves. Some sliders also look for underwater structures to keep them secure during the night.

Do read eared sliders sleep underwater?

It is not uncommon for red-eared sliders to sleep underwater. These amazing reptiles can store oxygen in their blood that helps them to stay underwater for extended periods without breathing.

Sliders are nocturnal sleepers and usually don’t fancy sleeping on the basking spot. Thereby, while sleeping, red eared sliders either float on the water surface or sink at the bottom of the aquarium.

It is important to recall that sliders are semi-aquatic. They can’t stay at the bottom of the tank for too long. These reptiles need to breathe in air. So they keep their head above the water to breathe by inflating their throats to support floating.

Although healthy red-eared sliders either float or sink at the bottom of the tank while sleeping, their favorite sleeping spots may differ from time to time.

Red eared sliders have a human-like sleep pattern. They wake up when their sounding lights up. This species is very responsive to light and will sleep when you turn all the lights off.

Do turtles sleep with their eyes closed?

Do turtles sleep with their eyes closed

Most turtles and tortoises sleep with their eyes closed, and red eared sliders have no exception. Usually, sliders wander around too much, so it’s normal for them to get tired. Closing the eyelids allows them to relax and chill.

However, if your red eared slider keeps his eyes closed for longer durations, you have something to worry about. Observe your turtle’s eyes to see if they are swollen or not. It is a symptom of diseases. 

Plan a vet visit if you notice something unusual.

Do pet and wild red eared sliders have the same resting habits?

While sleeping, wild red eared sliders try to be as cautious as possible. They are not accustomed to any company and tend to wake up and run away at the slightest noise to save their lives.

A red-eared slider that has been born in the great outdoors and later becomes a captive pet is likely to have a really sensitive sleep cycle. Though these sliders are somewhat accustomed to human presence, they may still be cautious due to their past experiences.

Sliders born in captivity have no experience with predators. Such turtles have never encountered any danger, so they don’t have to worry about their safety during sleep. But that doesn’t mean they don’t take any precautions at all. Predator alert is a kind of information that is passed down genetically. So even if captive turtles don’t necessarily have any potential threats to worry about, they naturally take some precautions to sleep peacefully.

How do sliders protect themselves from predators while sleeping
  • How do sliders protect themselves from predators while sleeping?

Red eared sliders have to choose a good sleeping spot to protect them from predator attacks in the wild. Here are some other ways they protect themselves from predators during sleeping.

Red eared sliders camouflage to prevent predator attacks during sleep. Their shells blend perfectly with the color of their surroundings, making a slider hard to detect during sleep. Sliders are also known for throwing sand, dirt, vegetation, or mud on their back to camouflage in the dark.

Red-eared sliders are very alert sleepers. They are most likely to notice any movement in their vicinity and will be prepared to dash out.

Some sliders like to sleep on tree limbs to avoid aquatic predators. These limbs and bushes work as an alarm system. When a predator comes closer, the limbs vibrate and alert the slider.

Why my red eared slider is not sleeping?

When it comes to sleeping, red eared sliders have some very particular requirements. They are really responsive to sound and light. Even the dimmest light and the slightest noise are enough to wake them up. Your presence can also affect their nap. Therefore, it can be hard to judge whether your pet slider is just woken up or has difficulty sleeping. You may need to observe your slider for quite some time to determine if it has any problem.

Remember, sleep is essential for any turtle to sustain good health. It helps your pet to regain its strength and digest the food properly. Thereby if you notice your slider is not sleeping, consult a veterinarian and seek their advice on time.

The following are some of the reasons why your slider may not be able to sleep:

  • Inadequate water temperature

The ideal water temperature for a red eared slider to thrive lies around 28 degrees Celsius. If the water temperature is above or below this range, the slider won’t be comfortable and will be forced to reside on the basking spot.

  • PH level

Another reason why your slider might not be able to sleep could be the PH level of water. The PH level of a slider turtle tank must lie between 6.0 to 8.0. Any change in the PH level can cause irritation, thus making it hard for the slider to sleep.

  • Grubby sounding

Red-eared sliders can’t sleep in a filthy environment. So if you don’t clean the enclosure frequently or change the water regularly, your slider won’t hit the hay.

Sliders spend most of their time sleeping underwater. Thereby they must rest in a clean environment. The condition of your tank water sustains different habits of your shelled pet, and sleeping behavior is one of these habits. So clean your tank water frequently and try to maintain its temperature and PH level to provide your red ear slider with a perfect environment to sleep.

Why is my red eared slider sleeping so much?

It is, no doubt, problematic when a red eared slider doesn’t sleep. But what about when the reptile sleeps all the time? Is it normal to see your slider sulking at the bottom of its enclosure or resting with its eyes closed on the basking spot all day long?

No. Probably not!

Whether you have a hatchling or an adult slider, it is not healthy for your pet to spend the whole day while sleeping. Not only it is harmful it can also indicate multiple health concerns. Below we have some of the reasons why your slider may be oversleeping.

  • Water temperature

In the wild, red eared sliders tend to brumate during the freezing weather. Brumation is pretty similar to hibernation, but it’s not a state of total inactiveness. During brumation, sliders become less active and tend to sleep a lot. Lower water temperatures can trick the sliders into thinking that it is winter, so they must brumate. Thus, your pet will stay inactive and sleep for longer durations.

  • Sickness

Oversleeping can be a symptom of respiratory diseases. Sick sliders don’t eat much and like to spend their days while sleeping. If your slider sleeps a lot, has some bubbles near his mouth, and keeps his mouth open while sleeping, there is a possibility he might be sick.

  • Physical Disability

Severe physical disabilities can cause the slider to sleep more than usual. Or it will give you an impression that your pet is sleeping, but in reality, the fellow might be suffering.

Physical Disability

If your slider has hurt its legs or any other body part, it will barely move. Such sliders have a hard time getting access to food which makes them weak and sleepy.

Oversleeping can be caused by numerous health concerns. For that reason, if you notice any signs of excessive dozing, take immediate steps. Ensure the water temperature is just right. Look for the symptoms of respiratory issues. If you notice your slider to be gasping and struggling to breathe, consult your veterinarian immediately. Also, if your slider is reluctant to move, look out for any physical damage.

How to help a red eared slider sleep better?

Lack of sleep can cause severe damage to the health of your beloved pet. It can make your pet sick. Your slider can even die out of it. That being the case, it is vital to ensure your slider is sleeping properly.

Here is what you can do to help your sliders sleep better:

  • Ensure that your pet is fed accurately. Good quality food is critical for healthy sleep. These reptiles are omnivorous, so don’t forget to give them both green and meaty foods. Maintain the frequency and regularity of your feeding pattern. If you plan on feeding your slider every day, reduce the quantity of food. However, if you feed once in two or three days, make sure the food is enough to satiate their appetite. Your slider won’t be able to sleep with an empty stomach.
  • Keep the enclosure water clean. Dirty water can irritate your turtle’s skin, making it difficult for him to fall asleep.
  • Clean the basking spot and make sure it isn’t too hot to disturb the slider’s natural sleeping pattern.
  • These cold-blooded pets are susceptible to light and noise. Place your slider’s aquarium in a calm and dark place. You can even use paper or cloth to prevent the light from reaching the aquarium.
susceptible to light

Final Words

The sleeping behavior of red eared sliders can differ based on numerous factors. As a general idea, you can say that sliders nap for around 4 hours every night at a place as quiet and safe as possible.

We hope this article answers your questions about red eared slider sleeping habits. If you have any other questions, feel free to connect with us through the comment section below.

You may also like