Why Crested Geckos Fire Up While Sleeping: Is It Normal?

Crested geckos can change their color and pattern depending on their mood, environment, and activity.

This ability we call “firing up” or “firing down,” and it can make your crestie look like a completely different creature.

But is it normal for cresties to “fire up” while asleep?

In this article, I will explore the reasons behind cresties “firing up” while they are sleeping and break down whether it’s okay or if you should worry about it!

Let’s move on…

Quick Heads-up: Yes, it is normal for Crested Geckos to be fired up while asleep. Maybe your gecko is having excited gecko dreams 😚😚, or he just started napping or was woken up. Whatever the reason, it’s normal and it will not harm his health.

Reasons Why Crested Geckos “Fire Up” During Sleep

As I mentioned above, there is no definitive answer to why crested geckos might be fired up while asleep, as different factors might influence their coloration.

However, here are some of the possible reasons:

1) Sunlight exposure

IMG Credit: Mohua Islam/ Crestedgeko.com

Crested geckos usually sleep during the day and become active at night.

However, occasionally, they can get sunlight in their enclosure or through a window, even when they’re sleeping.

This can cause them to alter their color, making it either darker or brighter while they’re asleep.

Alternatively, the sunlight might make them feel warmer, which also often leads to firing up during sleep.

2) Temperature and humidity

Crested geckos come from a warm place called New Caledonia, which is a tropical island in the South Pacific.

They like it when it’s around 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C), and they prefer the humidity to be between 50% and 80%.

If their home gets too hot or too humid, it can make them change color. High temperatures or humidity can make them turn brighter, while cold temperatures or low humidity can make them dull.

This happens because temperature and humidity affect their blood flow, how their body works, and how much water they have!

3) Mood and stress

IMG Credit: Mohua Islam/ Crestedgeko.com

Just like us, crested geckos can have interesting dreams.

They are quite sensitive and react to what’s happening around them. Their mood, stress levels, and activities can make them “fire up.”

For example, your gecko might dream of hunting insects, exploring its enclosure, or meeting other geckos.

These dreams make its brain and nerves get active and cause it to get all excited.

On the other hand, some crested geckos change color when they sleep because they aren’t happy with their living conditions or they’re not getting along with other geckos.

This could be due to rough handling, not getting the right food, or being kept in the wrong type of cage like with a day gecko!

Note: If your gecko gets fired up too often or for too long during sleep, it’s a sign that he is stressed or in pain. Normally, a crested gecko fired up for about 15 minutes to an hour. If it’s longer, it could mean he is trying to deal with something unpleasant.


Q: How can I tell if my crested gecko is asleep or awake?

Crested geckos don’t always close their eyes when they sleep because their eyelids are stuck together.

Instead, they sleep with their eyes open a bit, which can make it tricky to tell if they’re awake or snoozing.

To figure it out, you can check their pupils.

When a crested gecko is asleep, its pupils will look big and round, but when it’s awake, it’ll appear narrow and slit-like.

Another way to tell if your crested gecko is awake or asleep is by looking at its body language.

When it’s sleeping, it’ll be either curled up or stretched out in a relaxed way, while when it’s awake, it’ll be alert and ready to move.

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