Are Crested Geckos Nocturnal or Diurnal? Their Sleep Behavior Explained

crested gecko
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Written by Niccoy Walker

Updated: April 24, 2023

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Crested geckos are known for their relatively docile temperaments and fancy eyelashes. And they are a favorite for first-time pet owners or for those who don’t have time for high-maintenance animals. And while crested geckos may be undemanding, there are still some things you should know about these little creatures. For one, are crested geckos nocturnal or diurnal? Discover the answer, including the answers to your most common questions about their sleep behavior.

What Time of Day are Crested Geckos Active?

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The crested gecko is nocturnal and crepuscular, meaning they are active at night and during twilight hours at dawn and dusk.

Crested geckos are nocturnal and crepuscular, meaning they are active at night and during twilight hours at dawn and dusk. You can expect your crested gecko to eat and explore its tank at night and sleep during the day. However, they may also wake up and do limited activities during the day, including the early mornings and evenings.

If you notice that your crested gecko rests most of the day, becomes active in the early evenings, and stays alert throughout the night and morning, then this is very normal behavior. 

Do Crested Geckos Like Light or Dark?

Because crested geckos are nocturnal and crepuscular, they need both light and dark on a consistent schedule. It should be dark at night and light during the day. These lizards don’t need lights at night; they can get along just fine without them. It should be light in their tanks during the day. They don’t often need direct sunlight exposure. However, some feel they do best with low-level UV light. For them to keep a healthy internal clock, they need balanced light and dark periods.

Why Isn’t My Crested Gecko Coming Out at Night?

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Your gecko should have a dark environment for at least 12 hours at night and a light environment for 12 hours during the day.

There are many reasons why a crested gecko may not come out at night. But one of the most common reasons is that their internal clock is thrown off. You may be surprised to know that a simple bright light in the house near its tank is enough to keep your gecko in its hiding spot. If are a night owl that leaves lights, TVs, and computers on, try moving your gecko to an area of the house that can be dark. You can also place cardboard around the sides of the tank if moving is not possible.

Should I Leave My Crested Geckos Light on at Night?

Leaving a light on for your crested gecko at night is not needed. In fact, it can mess up their internal clock and negatively affect their health. Your gecko should have a dark environment for at least 12 hours at night and a light environment for 12 hours during the day.

How Often Do You Mist a Crested Gecko?

A crested gecko’s tank should have a humidity between 50 and 70%. Geckos can only go a few days without water, and they readily drink dew drops from misting. To maintain your gecko’s optimal health, you should provide a light mist twice a day for around 30 seconds each time. The humidity should drop below 50% before misting again, as over-misting can cause mildew growth and make your gecko sick.

Should I Handle My Crested Gecko During the Day?

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The best time to hold your crested gecko is during the day. They will be sleepy and less likely to get scared.

While crested geckos are known for being docile, they are also skittish and jumpy, especially during their active hours. The best time to hold your crested gecko is during the day. They will be sleepy and less likely to get scared.

Can I Hold My Crested Gecko Every Day?

If you are the new owner of a crested gecko you may be wondering how often you can hold them. It’s best to give them time to get acclimated to their new environment before you begin holding them. Start by holding them for a few minutes every other day, gradually increasing the frequency to once a day. But you should not force your gecko to be held if it is too uncomfortable. Eventually, you may get to the point where you can hold it for up to 20 minutes per day.

Do Crested Geckos Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Crested geckos don’t actually have eyelids. So yes, they sleep with their eyes open! You may be curious as to how they do that when they sleep during the day. But these creatures have constricting pupils that form small slits while they’re asleep. Don’t worry; the light doesn’t bother them.


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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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