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leopard gecko sleeping outside hide

Is your leopard gecko sleeping outside its hide?

As a reptile keeper, it’s pivotal that you keep up with the behavioral patterns of your pet.

Sometimes certain reptiles, particularly leopard geckos, may show signs that indicate illness. Sometimes, these signs are subtle and can easily be overlooked!

Hence, why it’s so important to look for anything out of the ordinary!

So, this begs the question – if your leopard gecko is sleeping outside its hide – should you be concerned? Or, is this behavior completely normal?

Leopard geckos may sleep outside their hides for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include improper temperatures, illness, or humidity issues. However, some leopard geckos may simply prefer to sleep outside their hides for no particular reason.

Consequently, we’re going to dive a little deeper into why leopard geckos sleep outside their hides and what you should do if it’s due to illness or improper care.

Jump to..

Heating/Temperature Issues

Like all reptiles, leopard geckos are cold-blooded. This means they rely on the environment to control and regulate their temperature.

Consequently, it’s crucial that you have a proper heating system installed in your leopard geckos enclosure.

This means owning a heating mat with a digital thermostat. However, some thermostats are inaccurate and have been known to injure or burn reptiles.

Hence, this may be the reason why your leopard gecko is sleeping outside its hide; simply because the temperature isn’t right.

Therefore, it’s critical that you have a reliable thermostat for your leopard gecko.

Solution: Purchase a Reliable Thermostat

Lucky for you, we have an article on some of the most reliable thermostats on the market. Within this article, we tested several different thermostats and found the Jump Start Heat Mat Thermostat to be the most accurate with a nearly 99.8% level of accuracy – according to our tests.

By having a reliable thermostat, you’ll be able to control the exact temperature of your leopard geckos heat mat without having to worry about burning them or keeping them too cold.

In terms of the temperature of your heat mat, you should set your thermostat somewhere between 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Research has shown that right around 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature for a leopard geckos basking spot.

If your leopard is specifically avoiding its heating hide, you probably have a cheap/faulty thermostat. You may want to consider upgrading your thermostat to ensure you’re getting an accurate reading.

Believe me, there’s a lot of cheaply made thermostats that read a certain temperature but end up producing a completely different temperature – putting your leopard gecko at risk of serious complications.

We also recommend you purchase a Temperature Gun to test the accuracy of your thermostat. Simply point the temperature gun to your heat mat and compare it to the temperature you’ve set your thermostat to.

Your Leopard Gecko is Sleeping Outside Its Hide Due to Humidity Issues

Keeping proper levels of humidity can be tricky when it comes to leopard geckos.

According to RSPCA, the recommended level of humidity on the cool side of your leopard geckos enclosure is between 30% and 40%.

Improper humidity levels can lead to respiratory infection, pneumonia, and shedding issues in leopard geckos.

As a result, your leopard gecko may sleep outside its hide to avoid the high levels of humidity within its humid hide.

Furthermore, if your leo has developed a respiratory illness, it may also have trouble breathing and resort to being out in the open in an attempt to acquire more oxygen.

Solution: Monitor You Leopard Geckos Humidity Levels

Needless to say, it’s imperative that you stay on track of your enclosures’ humidity levels.

In order to do this, you should purchase a digital hygrometer.

I personally recommend the Capetsma Digital Thermometer Hygrometer because it provides both the humidity level and temperature of your leopard geckos enclosure. It’s also very inexpensive compared to other, more-complex hygrometers.

In order to maintain proper humidity, you must keep a humid hide in your leopard geckos enclosure. This can be achieved by dampening a paper towel and putting it under a hide on the cool side of your leopard geckos enclosure.

The humid hide will not only provide the required level of humidity that your leopard gecko needs – but will also assist with shedding.

Additionally, you should make sure that you’re placing a freshly dampened paper towel under your leopard geckos’ humid hide on a daily basis.

Your Leopard Gecko is Sick

Another reason your leopard gecko is sleeping outside its hide may be due to illness.

Although this is rather rare, it has been reported by a number of leopard gecko owners.

Typically, when a leopard gecko is sick, it will exhibit odd behaviors. Some of these behaviors include behavioral changes such as sleeping outside its hide, irregular eating, runny poop, lethargy, and more.

If your leopard gecko is exhibiting a combination of any two of the symptoms above, you should start treating them immediately.

Solution: Provide an Immune Support Supplement

The product I personally to treat my leopard gecko (along with all my other reptiles) is REPTAID Immune Support.

This natural herbal blend contains a powerful combination of ingredients that can target and kill parasites, eliminate respiratory illnesses, improve digestion and pooping, and eliminate foreign contaminates.

Last year, my leopard gecko suffered from intestinal impaction and REPTAID completely eliminated it within a week. Needless to say, I’ve been using it ever since.

Whether your leopard gecko is sick or not, I highly recommend this product for its numerous health benefits!

On the other hand, if you suspect your leopard gecko is suffering from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), it is advised that you find a calcium supplement that can strengthen the bones and digestive system of your leopard gecko.

MBD usually affects the development of your leopard geckos’ bones. Certain deformities may develop, and your leopard gecko may move slowly (or be unable to move at all).

Therefore, they may be sleeping outside their hide simply because it’s too difficult for them to make it to their hide.

MBD is a very serious disease and can lead to severe pain or even death if left untreated. You should contact a veterinarian if you suspect your leopard gecko has Metabolic Bone Disease.

Your Leopard Gecko is Sleeping Outside Their Hide Due to Personal Preference

Like people, we all have our preferences when it comes to sleeping.

For instance, some of us like to sleep under three layers of covers while others don’t like covers at all.

Needless to say, leopard geckos exhibit similar behavior when it comes to certain preferences.

Some leopard geckos will prefer to sleep in their cool hide, some will prefer their warm hide, and others don’t want to sleep in a hide at all.

Therefore, you shouldn’t automatically assume your leopard gecko is sick or your providing poor husbandry practices.

Sometimes, you just have a weird leopard gecko!

Final Thoughts - Why Do Leopard Geckos Sleep Outside Their Hide?

As we discussed, leopard geckos sleep outside their hide for an array of different reasons.

Sometimes it’s due to illness while other times it’s simply due to preference.

However, you should keep an eye on the humidity levels and temperatures in your leopard geckos enclosure.

As long as you’re doing everything right and your leopard gecko isn’t exhibiting any signs of illness, you should be just fine!

We hope you found value in this piece!

As always – Happy Herping!