Do Betta Fish Sleep?

In this article, we will understand how and why betta fish sleep. Additionally, we will learn more about how you can tell if the betta fish is sleeping.

Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Yes. To maintain good health, betta fish, like other creatures, must sleep. Bettas can sleep either on the bottom of the tank or at the water surface. Alternatively, they may rest on a leaf of a plant or anywhere else in the tank.

The sleep of bettas, on the other hand, is distinct from that of humans. Even when they are dozing, fish are still hyper-vigilant and ready to strike if threatened. It’s more like a light slumber compared to the profound slumber that land animals endure.

Some betta caretakers feel concerned when they find their bettas resting constantly. Their fish is not asleep at all to the eye of the beholder. Individual bettas may exhibit a wide range of behaviors. Some people like to sleep during the day, while others prefer to sleep at night.

In other words, don’t worry if you sometimes see your betta fish laying on the bottom of the tank. If he appeared to be in good health, he was most likely simply taking a power sleep.

How do fish sleep?

Fish do not sleep in the same manner that humans and other animals do, although most species of fish do take a break from their feeding schedules. The metabolism and activity levels of many fish species can be slowed down while they remain on high alert for potential dangers. Others prefer to bury themselves in the ground or a rock crevice, while still others construct an appropriate nest in which to take a nap.

These “suspended animations” let the fish heal and relax, exactly as sleep does in humans, according to research.

What is the Betta Fish’s Sleeping Pattern?

Some fish are nocturnal, and only come out to eat at night after spending the day hiding and sleeping. Betta fish spend the majority of their time sleeping at night and are most active during the day.

Bettas, on the other hand, are well-known for their penchant for daytime “catnaps.”

So, do Betta fish sleep with their eyes open?

Most fish species, except freshwater pufferfish, lack eyelids, making it impossible for them to shut their eyes when sleeping. Fish do not have eyelids because they cannot blink. Fish, it turns out, were the first to have eyes.

Because the eye’s surface has to be constantly wet, an aquatic environment is ideal for the eye. As a result, you should keep your tank light on for no more than a few hours each day and ensure that the tank is completely dark at night.

In other words, your betta will be able to tell the difference between day and night so that he can go to bed at the appropriate time.

How can you tell if a Betta fish is sleeping?

There are no eyelids on betta fish, and they never go into REM sleep. It’s difficult to say for sure. There are, however, a few telltale signs that a betta is sleeping.

Bettas may sleep while doing:

  • laying on the sand or grit.
  • Trying to blend in with the décor.
  • Perched precariously on a leafy shrub.
  • Between two other items of ornamentation.
  • Floating on top of the water.

Bettas may sleep in a variety of settings, but you want to make sure that they have a comfortable area to do so when they need it.

With no other place to go when the current becomes too strong, your Betta may find itself hiding behind an ornament or in an obscure part of the tank.

Do betta fish hibernate?

Betta fish do not hibernate, therefore if you notice your betta has become much more passive during the winter months, check your heater.

If the temperature in your tank drops below 76°F, your betta is experiencing temperature shock. Because of the frigid weather, his metabolism slows down here.

Temperature shock is quite harmful, and if you detect it, you must do everything possible to warm up your tank.

How much darkness is necessary for Betta Fish to sleep?

Bettas have a lot in common with humans when it comes to their sleeping habits. We both need a specific amount of darkness and light each day to know when to go to bed. They prefer sleeping in the dark, although they’ll doze off during the day as well.

How much time do Betta fish sleep?

It’s difficult to say how long your betta should sleep for a precise amount of time. Each betta is an individual. In general, if your fish is resting at night and active throughout the day (apart from a few short naps), that is a healthy amount of time.

A lot of inactivities, particularly during the day, might be a clue that something is wrong with your pet betta.

What if the Betta fish is always sleeping?

If the betta seems to be resting most of the time, you should get him checked out to make sure nothing is amiss. Remember that taking asleep throughout the day is ok, but if you do it all the time, you should be on the lookout for the following issues:

The tank is too cold

Your betta may seem to be asleep if his tank temperature is too low. It will become much less active if he experiences temperature shock or if his metabolism slows.

He won’t have as much energy and will need to sleep more as a result of his metabolism slowing down so much. The tank warmer is essential if you don’t already have one.

Too much light

Depending on the amount of light in your betta’s tank, he or she will decide when to sleep and when to remain up. The betta will assume that it needs more sleep if you leave the lights out for long periods.

The betta can be sick

The betta may be unwell if he is experiencing additional signs, such as excessive snoozing. Any changes you see on your bettas, like spots, swelling, lesions, or ulcers should be examined.

The betta is getting old

The betta may be dozing more than swimming because of old age. Bettas usually live for 3 to 5 years. Bettas are known to slow down and sleep more as they become older. It’s unavoidable, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The tank is too boring

Boredom is another reason for excessive sleep. If your tank is too tiny for your betta, there isn’t much else to do except sleep. Choosing a properly sized aquarium for your betta will help to alleviate boredom.

To keep betta fish entertained and to liven up their betta’s routine, some betta fish owners utilize toys such as a betta mirror. Others alter the décor regularly, providing their betta with a new habitat to explore.


In this article, we learned how and why betta fish sleep. Additionally, we understood more about how you can tell if the betta fish is sleeping.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Is it safe to keep betta fish in the dark?

Yes, Betta fish do need darkness to sleep, as stated in the original question. A good night’s sleep for your Betta fish requires a good deal of darkness. To be healthy, they need anything from 12 to 16 hours of darkness in 24 hours.

Do bettas need a period of sleep?

Betta fish has a day/night cycle. You should attempt to provide your betta with 8-12 hours of light and 12-16 hours of darkness each day, respectively.

How long can betta fish sleep?

Betta fish often rest, so unless you see any symptoms of disease or discomfort, you shouldn’t be concerned about his well-being. Bettas like resting on gravel or even on the undersides of plants. The number of people who do this varies greatly, and other people may never do it at all

Are betta fish sluggish?

Certainly, yes.  

Do bettas rest on the bottom?

Betta fish often like to sleep on their sides. It’s comfortable for them, even if it appears to most aquarium keepers to be very strange behavior.

A betta that has a healthy appetite, plenty of activity, and hasn’t been spotted gasping for breath but is on the bottom of the tank is usually simply sleeping.

Do bettas sleep close to the water’s surface?

Some bettas like to sleep close to the surface and sit motionlessly. Others will discover seclusion in decorations or just by resting on the floor in an L-shape. Some may seem dead when resting on their side. You may alleviate tension by providing lots of hiding places for your betta to relax and feel secure.

Do bettas sleep with the light on?

Betta fish require a timetable with consistent light and dark phases so that they may establish a proper sleeping cycle.

Bettas need light to determine when to wake up and prefer a gloomy place to sleep in.


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