Dozing during the day?


New Member
Hi, I'm the new owner of a Senegal (I made an introduction post here) and I've got a few things I'm curious about.

One is if it is in any way normal for them to close their eyes during the day, seeming to rest them? I've noticed occasionally, he will settle in and shut one eye, resting it for about 15 or 30 seconds. Then maybe the other eye, and so on. Sometimes he will close both as if he has dozed off, but it doesn't last long.

I wouldn't think this is completely strange behavior, but I recall reading that sleeping during the day is a sign of poor health. I wasn't sure if this qualified as something to be concerned over, or if it was typical of a relaxed chameleon.


On a possibly related note: I do have a reptisun 5.0 compact UVB bulb. I was unaware of the possible hazards that might be associated with these. When I happened to notice this today, he was under the bulb, but he was also under the fan of leaves from the money tree he likes so much.
Sleeping or dozing during the day is not a good sign. You should probably complete the "how to ask for help" form that is stickied at the top of this forum. Just copy it, paste it into a "reply" and type your answers to the questions/topics.

Be as specific as you can, don't worry about boring us. When it come to the questions on poop be as graphic as you can, don't worry about grossing us out. Post a picture of the poop if you can. We've all seen it, we won't freak out.

Post as many pictures of as much as you can...that can be unbelievably helpful.
excessive sleeping jmo

hello, i dont have any experience with senegals, but, imo, as a general rule, excessive sleeping (over 10 min at a time) during the day is usually a sign of some thing amiss, more info or the help form would be helpful. a little nap after a period of long activity, or while basking (or after too much handling) is one thing, but generally speaking, most chams would be awake, alert and at least intermittently active during the day. daytime sleeping could indicate any # of issues, but, imo, most issues of excessive daytime sleeping are brought on by either lighting or supplemental issues. cfls in a particularly bright reflector, and not properly spaced above the cage or any imbalance of uva/uvb could cause enough stress to be an issue. new cfls should be given a min 24hr break-in before exposing your chams to them. used uvb whether cfl or linear begin a substantial decline in uvb output after 6mth-yr depending. most recommend, replacing yearly if not sooner. some excessively old or off brand bulbs could even emit uvc (not good). too much daytime sleeping is often one of the first signs of poorly balanced or oversupplemented routines. a common mistake by beginners, almost a mandatory learning experience. i know i made it when i was new to chams and probably most new keepers have, beginners often give too much supps thinking that more calcium, or more vitamins will lead to a healthier cham, usually just the opposite is true. even slight oversupplementation can cause severe issues, but i will leave any specific evaluation or recommendations of your supp routine, to those who have direct exp with senegals. i assume youve been supplementing, but doing so without actually studying the issues, or following a a plan recommended by an exp keeper, could be dangerous. any #of heath diet or blood chemistry issues, could be displayed as over-sleeping. i would ask yourself the following questions; has it changed its behaviour or appearance, in the time that you have had it ? does it look well hydrated and drink properly?, what does it urates look like (healthy urates should be creme white and not have any sort of rancid smell) does it have a healthy well balanced diet of a variety of insects? crickets are high in phosphorus and petstore cricks are usually kept under unsanitary conditions, so feeding entirely petstore cricks often leads to problems. i would re-evaluate your supplemental routine and slow your supps down until you are more confident of what you are doing, and gotten some feedback on it . make note of how much he sleeps during the day, think of what adjustments you might be able to improve, and if its condition seems to be getting worse instead of better, then a visit to a qualified herp vet is probably in order. jmo
IMHO the easiest way to see if its the compact light you are using, is to remove it for a couple of days and see if it makes a difference.

I know you said you got the chameleon for your birthday...but when was that?
My birthday was the 9th, last wednesday, so it hasn't even been a week.

I'm not super concerned, because it's not like he sleeps like he does all night during the day. It was around 4:30-5 pm and he was sitting in what seems to be one of his favorite spots. He really just seemed relaxed, but I want to be sure I wasn't getting the wrong impression.

He's definitely still in an adjustment period, I'm sure.. but he seems to be doing really well for it. I have not given any supplements at this point, but I have come across quite a few points of how it can be over-done, so I hope I won't over do it! He has also only had pet store crickets at this point.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Senegal, actually believe it to be female, even though I keep saying "He" :eek:
Handling - I have not since he was introduced
Feeding - I've been adding around 3 crickets/ day, but I've just been releasing them into the enclosure, though I've seen him eat a few and they seem to disappear. They are eating the powdery cricket food from the pet store at the moment.
Supplements - I have not given any supplements myself
Watering - I saw him drink the very first night, and probably every day after that. I only have a dripper ATM but he seems to know what to do.
Fecal Description - He has not been tested that I know of, and to be honest, I haven't noticed droppings.
History - Came from a private pet store

Cage Info:
Cage Type - reptibreeze enclosure, have to see the box, but seems like 1' x 1' x 2' tall or so
Lighting - zoomed reptisun compact 5.0 UVB in a horizontal fixture of the same brand, and a dual lamp 75w day basking and 75 night red. I've been turning the uvb on when I leave around 6:30 and girlfriend turns off the red and on the basking light around 8. Then in the evening around 7 or 8 or so I turn the lights off and the red on. I realize now that it's said the red isn't necessary.
Temperature - It's always at 70 on the cage floor. House thermometer is set on 70, and he has the red heat lamp, so I'm sure it's warmer closer to it. I have not measured the basking area, but it's about a foot from the light. There is a thermometer stuck below the door about 4" from the bottom of the cage
Humidity - Humidity is around 40-45%. I've seen 50. I need to get a mist bottle! There is a humidity gauge next to the thermometer. The dripper is always going, but I guess it can only do so much. Alot of it has to do with having a heat pump and being winter.
Plants - I have three live plants; a palm, an arboricola and a money tree.
Placement - The cage sits on the counter at the far end of the kitchen. We have an open floor plan condo, so it's also the edge of the living room. The top of the cage is probably 5' 8" with the bottom around waist height. On the money tree, the chameleon is right about eye level.
Location - Located in Hagerstown, Maryland on the east coast. about an hr NW of Washington, DC. I wonder if it could be the season, though, because it's dark from around 5:30 till 7am. It's like he gets sleepy around actual sunset.

I took a few pics, and when I walked out there with the camera, he was in the same spot (he hangs out there alot) and his eye towards me was close.. but not completely tight close. When I went to take the picture he perked up and started looking all around and at the camera. He's never fast asleep like at night.



Looks nice mate but where does all the dripper water end up? permanently soggy material at the bottom may end up mouldy, that cant be good.

Folk here tend to either advise caution (vet check) because sleeping during the daylight hours Might indicate the animal is unwell. These are those who would rather a new keeper be 'better safe than sorry'.
Then there are those who jump to parrot the above warning as soon as they read it,
without any real consideration, just because 'lots of folk say it'. :)

While the choice to do so or not is always up to the owners judgement ultimately,
careful consideration of the animals environment, health history, and the advice of more experienced keepers in making your decision, is common sense.
I think folk tend not to consider that captivity and nature are very different environments.
Like any other living creature, including cham keepers, our world is full of stimuli.
Take that away and life gets very dull. In nature chams are subject to almost constant stimuli in their surroundings, things move, make noise, wind blows and brings interesting odours, they are surrounded by color and ofcourse, they move around encounter other creatures, not just food. Temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, it rains, sometimes lightly, sometimes a get the idea.
Life in our homes, even freerange, offers by comparison, virtually no stimuli at all,
nothing to cause them alarm for the most part either, no varying breeze, light levels etc
Its not surprising then that they might simply be much less active over the course of their 'day' than a wild one and they stop a doze a while out of sheer boredom. :)
What else is there to do once the food we offer is gone, but walk around and around in their few feet of space aimlessly?
Locked in a small windowless room, you will eventually just lay down and rest for sheer lack of point in moving.
Point being, sleeping during the day would be unusual in the wild since the lizard is vulnerable so only a sick or injured one will do so, but this is not necessarily the case in captivity.
Every facet of care is discussed on this board, excepting environmental stimulation.
A brief handling, even freeranging does not amount to much difference.
While various climates may not always be conducive to outdoor sunning, I think its important to make the effort as often as possible unless the weather is extreme.

Other methods of providing the animal environmental stimuli, could be devised with a little imagination. :)
I did just vacuum last evening!

I said to my girlfriend "I bet the chameleon just thought 'what the hell was that?!'" :p

Yea, I thought about the moss getting soggy (and also providing a place for the crickets to hide too well). It definitely had a 'damp' smell, though not unpleasant, the other day, but it did make me think of mold. The water is dripping onto the arboricola plant, which has lots of small leaves the water collects on well. Hopefully most of it sinks into the pot.. at least that's the plan.

The thing is, wouldn't keeping stuff wet would be the only way to raise humidity :confused:
Your live plants will do a great job of raising humidity, but you can mist during the day,
either by hand, or with an automatic type.
50% humidity is fine in my opinion, this will jump after misting, but the cage should dry
before you pump more water in.
How readily, or how much difficulty your lizard appears to have shedding, will give you an idea how much your climate/home heating etc, dries the air, and thus how much adjustment might be needed.
That dripper water will sink into the pot, for a while, but eventually the soil will be saturated and you might have a problem.
Raising the cage by placing something under the four corners, enough to accommodate a tray
to collect water, might be a better idea. :)
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