Do Turtles Snore?

Like all reptilians, turtles need to have a moment of rest. This allows them to recover their shell and muscles. Through this guide, we’ll go in-depth on how turtles snore and how you can create a tank that’s safe for them to rest. Further, we’ll explain how turtles. Let’s get started!

Do Turtles Snore? 

While turtles can fall asleep, they experience it differently than humans. Unlike humans, turtles hiss instead of snoring. 

Turtles treat sleep as a resting state and sleep during a daily cycle. Most species will pick a spot with an acceptable temperature. When asleep, the turtles stop moving, pick a posture, and withdraw their shell to protect it during “nap time.” 

Why Is My Turtle Snoring?

Snoring is a natural part of their sleeping process. But the temperature of the tank is inversely correlated to their sleep frequency. For instance, turtles rest a lot when they’re awake. However, they tend to sleep longer at lower temperatures. 

In nature, turtles are more likely to sleep during the winter or when the temperature drops. If this is the case in your aquarium, you can slightly increase the temperature to keep them awake. 

What Temperature Is Right For My Turtle?

Keep the water temperature at 70s Fahrenheit. For adult turtles, make sure the water temperature is 70 F to 75 F. If there are baby turtles in your tank, keep the temperature at 75 F, and 80 F. Make sure you monitor the water temperature to preserve the tank quality. 

Even at the right temperatures, expect your turtle to snore more during the winter. The water needs to be regulated with a thermostat to prevent overheating your turtle. Speak to your vet if you’re worried.  

Older turtles are less active than adolescents. When your turtle ages, expect it to become slower and inactive.

What To Do If Your Turtle is Snoring?

Snoring turtles could be the first sign of an underlying problem. Here are some techniques you can use to manage your tank and keep them safe. 

  • Raise the Temperature

Increase the temperature of the tank to help the turtle’s immune response. Raise the water temperature to approximately  83 – 85 degrees F. (28.3 – 29.4 degrees C.). This is a safe range for most turtles when they’re ill. 

  • Improve the Basking Area

Chances are, the basking area is too cold for your turtle. Increase the basking area to  93 – 95 degrees F. (33.9 – 35 degrees C.). Give your turtle some room to move to a colder area if the basking platform is too hot.

  • Infrared Lights

If your turtle tends to bask near the surface (i.e., younger turtles bask near the top of the floating plants), put an infrared light over that area. Check the temperature with a thermometer to ensure that the turtle basks properly. 

  • Create a Hospital Tank

Create a “hospital tank” if there are multiple turtles present. Place the “sick” turtle inside the hospital tank to protect the other one. Look for other forms of infection, and treat them. By doing this, you’ll be able to nurse your turtles back to good health. 

How Do Turtles Sleep?

  • Temperate Tortoises

Box turtles tend to hibernate during the winter. Hibernation is a process where animals go to sleep, and they can’t awaken easily. The body process slows down; it needs less warmth and eats when no food is available. 

This allows them to survive the spring, as long as predators do not surprise and eat them when they’re immobilized. In the wild, turtles look for protected space underneath trees or soft ground. Weak turtles that emerge from hibernation too quickly will not survive.

  • Marine Turtles

Sea turtles sleep under coral croppings or rocks. They need a few seconds on the surface to fix their lungs. After taking the breath, they’ll stay under the surface. When marine turtles sleep, they’ll have a reduced metabolic rate. This enables them to use oxygen efficiently, staying submerged underwater for several hours until they need to reach for air. 

  • Desert Tortoises

Desert Tortoises are active in areas between 65-105 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer seasons, these turtles leave the burrow and stay underground during the hottest part of the day. Turtles from the Seychelle and Galapagos Islands don’t tend to hibernate. But they do sleep to around 18 hours a day, moving until they are warm. 

  • Freshwater Turtles

Freshwater turtles (ie, painted turtles) sleep underneath mud or sand. While sleep, they convert the water to oxygen. The composition of their shell and their slow metabolic rate helps the turtle remain underwater for multiple months at a time. They’ll stay in muskrat tunnels, shallow water, under submerged logs, and mud. 

How Long Do Turtles Sleep?

Turtles sleep less than humans. The turtle’s sleep is like a long rest where they must wake up for air in certain parts of the night. On average, aquatic turtles sleep for 4-7 hours, only placing their head above water to breathe. 

Turtles stay submerged underwater at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures reduce the turtle’s metabolic rate, reducing the amount of oxygen they need. Tortoises can sleep longer. Land turtles such as Galapagos turtles sleep for around 16-18 hours a day. They tend to sleep more when they’re awake.  

Can My Sleeping Turtle Drown Underwater?

Your turtle can stay submerged underwater for hours, so don’t worry about it drowning! If your turtle needs air, it will naturally make its way to the surface. The only scenario in which a turtle will drown is if it is trapped underwater. Clean your tank to prevent any obstacles from harming your turtle. 

For baby turtles, keep the water at a reasonable level. As a rule of thumb, keep the water level 2.5x the baby turtle’s height. That way, they’ll have no difficulty resurfacing for air. Keep any obstacles or traps away from the tank to ensure they’re safe. 


To conclude, turtles snore during colder temperatures. Still, you have to keep your aquarium tank regulated so it can grow properly. Once you get the temperature to the right setting, you’ll notice more active turtles within your aquarium. As a turtle pet owner, you have to take time and observe your turtle’s behavior. That way, you can ensure your turtle can sleep and snore without any hassle. 

Also read

What Sounds Does a Turtle Make?

Do Turtles Sleep? (Do they sleep in water?)

Do Turtles Pee?


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