How Do Toads Sleep? Learn Their Sleeping Habits Today!!

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My friend recently got a pet toad but he was so amused with at as he wasn’t sure whether it was sleeping or having a hibernation time. He asked me about it and I thought- That is interesting. I took out my phone and got to researching all about it. This is what I found out.

So, How Do Toads Sleep?


How Do Toads Sleep

Toads sleep by curling up in a ball. They use their short arms to hold their bodies together, and they tuck their short legs up against the underside of the upper part of their body. They have also been observed lying on their backs with their limbs extended.


An example of a toad sleeping near a cactus

Another toad taking some rest but with limbs extended

They briefly unknot themselves so they can take a breath. Then, the toads curl back up again and go back to sleep. Toads are not completely diurnal. [1]

It is thought that this pose draws in pests that are more likely to be found closer to a source of moisture.

They need only sleep in the morning and afternoon, as long as cool and dark. In the evenings, toads become more active and move about to capture their prey.

They can also be seen sitting on tree stumps with their eyes open, doing nothing at all. The length of time that they sleep varies with the species.

But, But, But, Where do they find the spaces to sleep? :O

Where Do Toads Sleep At Night?

sleeping under a rock

A favorite napping spot for toads is beneath logs or other objects on the ground that provides shade from the sun and may offer shelter from various predators that would otherwise disturb them.

Because of their unique lifestyle, toads are rarely found outside the water. Instead, they spend their lives in damp, dark places such as leaf litter in the wild.

Toads also like to shelter beneath rocks or tree roots. Toads will sometimes sleep on bark and bark crevices of trees but usually prefer to live under logs or rocks if possible.

They may also be found on beds of moss or leaf litter along streams and rivers, even though they are not true aquatic animals.

However, some manage to complete their life cycle within the water and even hatch out of their eggs.

A toad’s sleep period is extended by heat, humidity, and environmental factors such as temperature and the presence of predators.

Inhabitants like these will relax their muscles, and the animals will gradually fall into a trance-like state. They can even fall asleep while standing on end.

How Can You Tell If A Toad Is Sleeping?

A sleeping toad will have closed eyelids, slow, rhythmic movements, and some level of paralysis.

The way a toad sleeps is very different from an animal’s usual way of sleeping.

They close their eyes and stop moving, so it looks like they are dead or asleep, but in fact, they are just resting to save energy.

There may be cases where a toad may sleep upside down to save their energy because their feet are the only part of them touching the ground.

A toad may also make a small noise while they sleep. The sound they make is a deep low noise, so it is hard to hear it.

Sometimes they can make the same noises while they are awake, so you can’t tell if they’re asleep or awake until you see them on their backs or in water with their eyes closed.

So, In short, How do you know if a frog/toad is sleeping?

It’s easy to tell if you watch it carefully. If its eyes are closed, then it is most likely sleeping. You will be able to tell if it is sleeping because of how it looks. When a frog sleeps, their eyes close, and they stop moving.

Do Toads Sleep With Eyes Open?

Toads do not sleep with their eyes open. Toads have three eyelids[4], and the third eyelid is called the nictitating membrane; it is closed when they sleep.

They do tend to rest with their eyes partly open at times. This is a habit seen in animals that rely on camouflage, such as the chameleon.

It’s also a common trait among desert-dwelling animals like snakes and lizards. Toads use this strategy to help regulate their body temperature. To stay cool or warm, they need to shade or sunlight accordingly without moving around too much.

How Many Hours Do Toads Sleep?

Like most other amphibian animals,  toads sleep for about 10 – 12 hours per day. This is also the time it takes them to grow and metamorphose.

Toads are mostly nocturnal animals[2] and wake up in the evening to eat, but they return to sleep soon after eating their meal.

Sleep patterns vary based on the species of frog or toad you’re dealing with; some can sleep during the day while others will only do so at night.

Toads will hibernate during dormancy periods such as winter or dry seasons when food isn’t readily available, but they’ll occasionally wake up if their body temperature drops too much.

If they wake up after this, they usually mate or lay eggs. Although most toads have nocturnal habits, some are also active in the daytime. This suggests that they need more sleep than others who only sleep for a few hours during the day.

As far as their overall sleep duration goes, toads will spend about half of their life asleep.

However, some species spend less time sleeping than others.

For example, the common cane toad, which sleeps for about 6-8 hours in total, will only live for about 12 years because it is so inactive and eats very little compared to other animals that can chew through wood with ease and reach a maximum age of at least 50 years.

Do Toads Need Sleep?

How Do Toads Sleep? Learn Their Sleeping Habits Today!!


Toads do need sleep. Toads are vertebrate and therefore, they typically shut down in a state of torpor for long[3] periods during which they slowly heal and digest their food.

One of the most popular myths about toads is that they don’t sleep. They need some rest from time to time, or their brains won’t function as well as they should.

It’s been shown that toads will spend half their time sleeping and half their time on a hunt for food. Going without sleep can have some effects on their brain. If a toad were always awake and active, their brains might not function as well, making them even more vulnerable.

But as it turns out, sleeping is only one part of what it takes to stay healthy. Toads also have to eat something regularly, since even a small amount of starvation can cause big problems for your body, such as making you lose weight or get weaker in general.

Do Toads Sleep Underwater?

Toads do sleep underwater; actually, being able to sleep underwater totally depends upon the toad species. There are some fully aquatic species, and some are partial aquatic toads.

Some examples of aquatic frog/toads are the African dwarf frog, the leopard frog, and these can sleep underwater.

Toads have moist skin and can breathe and regulate their metabolic activity in water through their skin. The breathing time of frogs varies according to their species.

Some may hibernate underwater for months, and some may last up to 7-8 hours.

Most toads spend much of the night hunting on the surface of ponds, slow-moving streams, or protected marshes.

Like other active animals at night, frogs/toads have a reduced need for sleep. Even during daylight hours, when they are inactive, their minds are still vigilant for possible prey arriving near their perches above water.

They will respond to prey by jumping out onto rocks at the side of a pond to snap it up with their long-legged sticky tongue.

Some frogs/toads will spend most of their lives submerged and rely on their excellent eyesight to find small, fast-moving prey.

Many of the pond-dwelling species can shoot their tongues out almost as far as their eyes are capable of reaching, tracking prey from a safe distance until an opportunity has presented itself.

But, some toads sleep at the bottom of ponds or streams, waiting for nightfall before beginning their hunt; these species also need to find a way to evade predators as well as wrestle with the cold and darkness during hibernation periods.

Is My Toad Dead Or Hibernating?

Thanks to Reddit user u/meme_meanie

To find out if you’re toad is dead or just hibernating, make sure the eyes are completely sunken in, and the skin has a dull, leathery quality. You can also look towards their throats for breathing movements. All these indicate that they’re just hibernating.

You can also make a guess by looking at their abdomen and whether it has shrunken a lot. There should be no movements even on touchign and they shouldn’t be breathing. Take a look at this skin and notice if it is turning gray or yellow in patches? Those are the signs of a dead toad.

Hibernation is not a bad thing because will eventually wake up on their own when the weather gets warmer. However, if you’re concerned your toad is dead, there are a few sure-fire ways of checking if it’s still alive.

  1. First, make sure that its underbelly is not liquid or slimy.
  2. If it’s not liquid, gently press the back legs and rear of the body down to see if it moves. Don’t do anything that might harm it. If the toad moves or even twitches, it’s still alive.
  3. Remove any obstacles from its habitat and keep moist for about two months until the weather gets warm. It won’t eat for about this period, but you should keep feeding it once a day by misting its enclosure or giving it soaked treats like slices of cucumber or carrot.
  4. You can also keep misting its enclosure throughout the day since toads love humidity.

One of the most interesting aspects of toad hibernation is staying in this state all year round. That’s right, and they’re always sleeping and waking up. They all touch base, meet simultaneously and lay their eggs at the same time.

Isn’t it amazing and interesting? While most species of toads will hibernate, some are active during this season.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do frogs/toads breathe while hibernating?

Frogs/toads do breathe while hibernating; the frog can breathe through their skin. So they can breathe from everywhere from under the mud or water etc.

  • Do toads sleep a lot?

Toads are nocturnal, which means they mostly sleep during the daytime. However, they take 10 -14 hours of sleep during the day.

  • Can frogs/toads hibernate underwater?

frogs/toads can hibernate underwater. Frogs such as green frogs, pickerel frogs, and leopard frogs hibernate underwater. They just swim, sit or float during the process of hibernating underwater.

  • Why do frogs/toads hibernate in winter?

When the temperature is very low in winters, the frogs/toads cannot find food and shelter. The best way to keep surviving is to hibernate. Thus they live off the shore in underground places. They reduce all the metabolism activities to save energy until hibernation.

  • What frogs/toads can live and sleep underwater?

All the aquatic and semi-aquatic frogs can sleep and live underwater. Example of aquatic frogs is African clawed frog, green frog, American bullfrogs, etc.


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