How Long Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Have you ever wondered how long a betta fish sleeps? How can you make sure they’re getting enough sleep for a healthy, happy life? If you have a betta fish in your home, chances are you love it to pieces. But many people wonder just how much sleep these little fish actually get.

Luckily for people with betta fish pets, their sleeping patterns are strikingly similar to those of humans. They usually get somewhere between 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, so don’t worry too much if you catch them snoozing—it’s normal, but any more than this can be a sign of health problems. 

So, if you’re ready to learn more about how long betta fish sleep and why continue reading. 

How Long Do Betta Fish Sleep?

You just learned that betta fish sleep 12 to 14 hours a day, but they don’t get it all at once. It’s easy to imagine that betta fish sleep similarly to humans since you’re usually not awake to witness their sleeping behavior, but fish sleep quite differently from people.

When you see “12 to 14” hours of sleep, you might imagine your little betta buddy nestled up between the leaves of plants inside its aquarium, and floating motionless for 12 to 14 hours, but that’s not actually what happens.

Fish sleep is actually very different from a human’s sleep. Instead of entering a deep state of unconsciousness, betta fish are able to lower their metabolism and general rate of bodily activity into a state of wakeful rest. We refer to this state as sleep, but it’s not exactly the same. Since they’re in a state of restful alertness, they may sleep for a few hours at a time, and awaken to either feed or just swim around before returning to sleep. 

When Do Betta Fish Sleep?

It’s a common misconception to think that betta fish are nocturnal, as most other fish are also nocturnal. In reality, betta fish are actually diurnal. So, instead of being active throughout most of the night, betta fish feed, swim around, and socialize during the daytime, while sleeping when the sun goes down. 

Most fish are pretty light sleepers too, as they need to remain alert to avoid getting eaten, and betta fish are no exception. As you now know, it’s common for betta fish to sleep more than your average human—around 12 to 14 hours every day, but they don’t get it all during the night. 

While they catch most of their shuteye (or lack thereof, because they don’t have eyelids) around the same time you do, betta fish also take the liberty to nap several times during the day. 

You might say they’re pretty lazy fish, and you’d be right!

Where Do Betta Fish Sleep?

If you have a betta fish in your home or are planning to bring one home, you might be wondering if you need to get some sort of bed for your aquarium. Some fish bury themselves in the sand, hide inside caves, or rest on top of a log, but betta fish aren’t usually so picky. Either way, the place they choose to sleep is unlikely to affect the amount of sleep they get each day. But if you want to learn more about Where Betta Fish sleep then click this link

Do Betta Fish Need Darkness to Sleep?

Betta fish do tend to take several small naps throughout the day, so they don’t necessarily need darkness to sleep, but they do need it for optimal rest at night. They’re like humans in this way—betta fish do prefer to sleep in darkness. 

Unlike most fish that are active at night, the sun going down tells the betta fish that it’s time to go to sleep. So they need at least 12 hours of darkness for them to get settled and doze off for the night. 

How to Tell When Your Betta Fish Is Sleeping

Most fish (including betta fish) don’t have eyelids, so it can be difficult to tell whether or not they’re sleeping. It’s very common for fish owners to think their betta fish has died when it’s actually just asleep. If you find your betta fish floating motionless in its tank, don’t automatically assume that its time has come—it could just be asleep. 

So to help you avoid wrongfully flushing your betta down the toilet, keep in mind that if it’s been stationary and inactive for a while, it’s probably just sleeping—not dead. 

Can Betta Fish Sleep Too Much?

The short answer to this question is, yes. Betta fish can sleep too much, and there are a number of reasons why this may be occurring. 

If the lighting in your fish tank is too dim, your betta might be taking it the wrong way. Betta fish rely on light to tell them when to sleep, so if it’s dark in the tank too often, they’re probably going to sleep more. 

Another cause of oversleeping could be temperature shock. Betta fish are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. They need constant warmth, otherwise they’ll go into shock and sleep until the water temperature stabilizes. So be careful when changing out their water and cleaning the tank. 

The last thing you want to happen is for your betta to get sick, but oversleeping could also indicate an infection of some kind. Get a good look at your betta fish’s appearance. If there are no visual indications of infection or disease, there’s probably another cause for its oversleeping.


In this article, you’ve learned that betta fish sleep for 12 to 14 hours per day, and they are most active during the daytime, as the light in their environment dictates when they sleep. They like to take naps too and will sleep just about anywhere they want as long as they feel safe from predators or competing fish.