Like most animals turtles should sleep, however unlike many other animals turtles have a an extremely interesting way of sleeping.

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During the night many turtles sleep underwater. If a tortoise can’t get underwater to sleep it will certainly usually shot to uncover a safe spot favor a feet in the ground, a heap of dirt or leaves, or a pile of rocks. Pet turtles will likewise sleep in their basking area.

But there are a lot of factors that affect the method a turtle will certainly sleep. And also not every turtles space able to stay underwater for long periods that time. For this reason let’s take it a more in depth look in ~ the means turtles sleep.

Do turtles Sleep Underwater?

Most turtles will certainly sleep underwater, however not all turtles room able to do so. The turtle family members splits in three distinctive groups.

Aquatic turtle which room able to sleep underwater, right here are a few members that this group:

Red Eared SlidersPainted TurtlesPond TurtlesMap TurtlesWood Turtles

Land turtles, i m sorry are also known as tortoises, those turtles are unable to sleep or breath underwater, here are a couple of members of this group:

Box TurtleRussian TortoiseHermann TortoiseGreek TortoiseIndian Star Tortoise

The 3rd group is the sea tortoise group, i m sorry live and sleep underwater, but similar to the remainder of the turtles they need oxygen in order to survive. So also if they invest so lot time underwater, lock still need to obtain out for air from time to time.

Do turtle Sleep Inside their Shell?

The following thing that you should know is that no all turtles room able come retract to your shells and also some turtles, like sea turtles, have soft shells. So because that some varieties it will perform them no donate to retract to their shells.

But many turtles carry out retract in their shells once they space sleeping. Castle usually perform this to hide and protect themselves from any type of predators the could assault them.

A many pet turtles will certainly sleep inside your shells even if there space no predators. This is largely their survive instinct than anything else. For this reason don’t worry if your turtle sleeps inside your shell, it’s perfect normal.

When perform Turtles Sleep?

Most turtles are active during the day and they sleep during the night. But they likewise tend to take naps once they space basking.

If you own a pet tortoise you’ve probably noticed that once basking your turtle tends to extend their legs, close your eyes and stay unmoved for lengthy periods of time. As soon as they perform this they space most more than likely sleeping.

Very seldom some wild turtles will sleep throughout the day, yet they just do this prior to or ~ laying eggs.

Where execute Turtles Sleep?

When selecting a place to sleep one of the many important factors for turtles is protection. Lock will try to find a resting spot that uses them good protection versus predators. This uses for both pets and also wild turtles.

Usually lock will try to find a great place close to piles the rocks, and also if possible they will try to stay under them. These type of spots offer good protection native predators that assault from above.


Turtle resting under a pile of leaves

Other locations they like to sleep space tree stumps as well as holes in the ground. Those spots generally offer an excellent protection from all kinds that predators.


Tortoise sleeping in a small cave

If they can find no rocks or feet to hide castle can additionally go in areas with thick vegetation. These kinds of places significantly reduce visibility for this reason making lock a great place to sleep.

Turtles likewise tend come sleep close to rivers through sandy and also muddy shores wherein they have the right to dig a hole.

Sea turtles usually look because that underwater structures that will store them safe throughout the night.


Sea turtle resting under some coral

How lengthy Do turtles Sleep?

Turtles generally sleep between 4 and 6 hours throughout the night. Pet turtles also tend to quick naps during the day once they space basking, which deserve to last up to one hour.

But of course the specific amount that time will differ from types to species, as well as other factors like period of the turtle, size of the turtle, predators etc.

Difference between the method Pet Turtles and Wild turtles Sleep

Depending on the setting the sleeping behavior of a turtle deserve to change.

A turtle the is born in bondage will no have any kind of experience with predators so they will certainly feel a lot of safer and they will not issue too much about safety during their sleep. However that doesn’t mean that they will not take any precaution at all. Even if they haven’t encountered any predators a lot of its ancestors did, and this type of details is passed down genetically. For this reason instinctively they will certainly take some sort of precaution also if there is no risk present, yet not as lot as a wild turtle will.

A turtle that has actually been born in the wild and later ended up being a pet will certainly most likely be as cautious as it commonly was. Even if there will be no predators about they will still be very careful as result of their experiences.

A wild tortoise will usually be as cautious as possible. For this reason they will try and discover the safest spot feasible to sleep in, and they will seldom be checked out napping during the day. There deserve to be some exemption to this, as some turtles that live in parks obtain to it is in accustomed come humans.

Protecting from Predators during Sleep

As i said one of the most important things turtles deserve to do to protect from predators throughout sleep is to select a an excellent sleeping spot. But they likewise have other methods of protecting them during sleep.

One method they can protect themselves during sleep is by camouflaging. Some species have shells that blend perfectly with the shade of the atmosphere so they will not be conveniently detected throughout sleep.

They can also throw sand, mud, dirt or vegetation on their backs to camouflage themselves.

Turtles additionally have a really alert sleep, therefore if there is any kind of sudden activity in their vicinity castle will most likely an alert will be all set to run or fight if needed.

Some turtles like to sleep in ~ night top top brush piles or tree four that ar them the end of with of aquatic predators and also far sufficient from the shore to protect against terrestrial predators. The tree limbs also work as an alarm system. If any kind of predator will pertained to close and will touch castle they will certainly vibrate and also will alarm the turtle.

And among the ideal defences the a turtle deserve to be the size. Some turtles prefer the Galapagos turtle can flourish so huge that there will be no predator huge enough approximately them to pose any type of threat. At this suggest these turtles can sleep without any worry whenever and also wherever lock want.

The Sleeping behavior of baby Turtles

Baby tortoise have comparable sleeping behavior to adult turtles. Ns can’t say that there are any far-reaching differences, besides little differences in the expression of the sleep, together baby turtles have tendency to sleep one extra hour.


The sleeping actions of turtles room greatly impacted by their species and the environment. Yet as a basic idea you can say that turtles sleep for around 4 to 6 hrs a night and they will try to discover a place as safe as possible.

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If girlfriend have any type of questions around the sleeping habits of turtles leave them in the comment section and I will answer them as soon as possible.