How Do Parrots Sleep? (Find Out Here)

  • Time to read: 10 min.

Parrots have become a common pet in the home, making their daily care a must-know. One of the essential factors in parrots’ lives is their sleep. This guide provides an in-depth look at how parrots sleep and more.

Parrots in the wild are known to roost right before sunset and sleep till dawn. It means they sleep for 12 hours and stay awake for 12 hours. 

Do Parrots Sleep Lying Down?

When birds sleep, this time consists of two distinct phases. First, they will sleep for specific periods with their eyes closed and others with their eyes open. It is all in a night’s sleep. Some studies indicate that during the eye-opening periods, the birds are still asleep.

In the short time the birds open their eyes, they can quickly mobilize in case of a predator threat. In the wild, birds take necessary precautions of being attacked by predators by staying in flocks and perching on high areas. 

Since birds are okay sleeping on branches in the wild, they don’t require beds and nests. They are only in need of these when breeding. It is possible to experience unwanted hormonal behavior and egg-laying on a bed on which they are supposed to sleep.

According to experts, however, bird personalities, just like humans, are different. Therefore, some like snuggling before bedtime. In addition, these birds appreciate soft and flat surfaces that they can lay down on for the night.

You should consult a veterinarian on whether pet birds require a bed to sleep on or not. Factors to be considered when purchasing the hut or bed include manufacturing materials and ease of cleaning.

How Do Parrots Like To Sleep?

Sleep is necessary for mind and body restoration. Therefore, inadequate sleep at night may cause parrots to nap more than usual during the day. Usually, parrots sleep from dusk till dawn. Other sleep deprivation behaviors include excess vocalizations, feather destruction, and biting.

It is common to find birds sleeping while standing up. They have unique ligaments and muscles on their feet that secure into place when the birds are asleep. It ensures stability and keeps them from dropping off the perches. 

Also, parrots tuck their heads into their neck feathers. Feathers play a significant role in keeping birds warm by generating heat and regulating body temperature. By tucking heads into their feathers, birds conserve heat and keep warm.

Puffy feathers are, at times, indicators that a bird is sleepy. Parakeets are good examples of parrots whose feathers puff when they are about to sleep. However, puffy feathers may indicate other issues such as being upset, sick, or cold. Keeping an eye on the bird will help determine this.

Other parakeet activities just before sleep include 15-minute hopping around the cage or repeatedly circling the cage. They do this to find the best spot to sleep on, on the cage. It isn’t uncommon to see them sleeping upside down in their cages.

In the parrot family, there are parrots known as the hanging parrots. They are in the genus Loriculus. They are small parrots of 13 cm and native to Southern Asia. The unique characteristic these parrots possess is the capability to sleep upside down.

Sleeping with parrots is discouraged. It is in case of biting or if one rolls over in the night. There are parrot owners who bring the cages into their rooms. It is in the cases where they don’t have powder-down allergies.

How Do I Know If My Parrot Is Sleepy?

How Do I Know If My Parrot Is Sleepy?
Little green parrot sleeping on the wood

Most birds sleep at night and awake during the day. Scientists refer to them as diurnal birds. It applies to most parrots. In the presence of a window sill or a branch, these birds will perch and call it a night.

There are various signs that a bird is tired and is ready to sleep. For example, they tuck their beaks in their back feathers. It is after turning their head around. Also, they fluff down their feathers and pull one of their legs up to their bellies. 

For those who place their leg up, the aim is to minimize the amount of heat lost. These birds have four toes that ensure they have a great hold of their cage bar, swing, or perch. 

A parrot whose eye is closed is most likely sleeping. However, sometimes this indicates that the birds are cozy enough to shut their eyes and relax. 

There are steps that owners can take to make their birds sleep more comfortably. It includes temperature regulation and cage covering.

Covering the cage provides a dark environment that blocks light and some noise. There are birds prone to night frights due to sudden flashes of light in the night, unsettling them. With cage covers, they feel more comfortable and safer.

The cage that birds sleep in should have the right temperature. An extreme of either hot or cold environment will cause discomfort. Worst-case scenarios may result in illnesses. Owners can incorporate cage covers, cage heaters, or heated perches for cold climates.

Different owners have had different experiences with how their parrots behave before they sleep. There are those whose parrots voluntarily put themselves in their cages and go right to sleep. Other birds would even shut their cage doors.

On the other hand, some would notice the eyelids of their feathery friends getting heavy. Other trained birds would articulate that they needed to go to bed. 

How Deep Do Parrots Sleep?

Mammals and avians share similarities in the way they sleep. It means they both have a slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM). While REM sleep is known to affect memory storage and motor functions, SWS sleep is believed to encourage deep sleep.

Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is exhibited in various bird species. It is the ability to have one side of the brain awake while the other side is asleep (SWS. This trait has also shown up in whales and dolphins. 

These aquatic animals and birds are known to keep one eye open during this time. It protects them from predation. They are, therefore, capable of acting swiftly in case of danger.  

This trait is believed to have evolved and continues to be an interest for researchers. Also, because of the need to get on the surface to get oxygen, aquatic animals are believed to have developed this trait. 

The significant difference between normal sleep and unihemispheric slow-wave sleep is that both sides of the brain exhibit total unconsciousness in normal sleep, while in USWS, one side of the brain is awake, while the other is asleep. Also, both eyes are closed in one, while one eye is closed in the other.

USWS may be the first behavior in animals that utilizes different parts of the brain to control 

However, even with the reduced quantity of sleep, species that exhibit USWS haven’t presented limitations on a health or behavioral level. You can see this evolutionary adaptation in parrots.

They sleep with one eye open which allows them to stay vigilant while resting. 

Some parrots use USWS while flying. These birds can migrate for long periods while staying relaxed. It keeps them from falling from the sky due to fatigue. It is also how parrots can sleep while standing up without falling.

However, REM sleep is still deeper compared to USWS. Parrots that feel safe and comfortable confidently shut both eyes and get this type of sleep. Younger parrots also require deep sleep.

Do Parrots Sleep with Noise?

Noise seems to have a noticeable effect on sleep. Basic research on how noise affects sleep continues to grow with more literature coming up. Studies have consistently indicated that noise equals disturbed sleep.

The reason why animals require sleep hasn’t been fully established. However, scientists believe it is to maintain and repair the central nervous system, regulate nerve cell connections, and energy conservation. 

Scientists conducted the research to determine how sleep behavior in wild birds was affected by human activity. Researchers found that the birds adjusted how much they ‘peeked,’ and duration also increased depending on what the humans were doing close by.

When humans passed about 150 meters of the birds’ roost, they would keep their eyes open longer. They would also do this when boat traffic passed by them. 

For your pet bird to enjoy a healthy and comfortable life, you must meet its needs. One of these needs is adequate and undisturbed sleep. Parrots tend to sleep once the sun sets. Favorable environments for resting should be comfortable and well-ventilated. 

While parrots are known for being a bit noisy, peace is necessary to be well-rested. If in a noisy room, the pet birds will have difficulty going to sleep. Noisy environments will cause birds to chirp and squawk throughout the night. The solution would be to move them to a quieter space. 

Can Parrots Sleep With Lights On?

Wild parrots are awake from dusk till dawn. Once the sun sets, they roost and then sleep till the following day. Most parrots are from tropical regions. They typically sleep for 10 to 12 hours. It is after staying up for 12 to 14 hours during the day. 

Some parrots live farther from the equator. These parrots go through shorter or longer daytime hours, depending on which season. Sleeping patterns for these birds also change. Winter means longer sleeping hours, while summer means shorter sleeping hours. 

Light is a threat to adequate sleep for avian species staying in anthropogenic environments (artificial light pollution at night). Anthropogenic environments are generally environments created by humans. ALAN disrupts darkness which is necessary for rest.

Therefore, sleep patterns are affected when a bird’s dark and light cycles become disrupted. Thomas Raap (a biologist) conducted a study that suggested sleep behavior of birds is affected when exposed to ALAN. 

ALAN factors caused birds to wake up earlier than usual in the research. Since light is an indicator of dawn for birds, the exposure to ALAN disrupted their ability to tell the time of day. It is an indication that light plays a prominent role in parrots’ ability to sleep. It would be best if you didn’t ignore their instinct to wait for lights to go off before they sleep. 

Owners should turn off the lights in their rooms or cover their cages. Some parrots will hop around for about 15 minutes before going to sleep.

Parrots do take naps during the day. Light does not affect them much because the naps they take are shorter compared to their night sleep. While they may nap for 30 minutes or an hour during the day, they will sleep for about 12 hours in the evening.

How Do Parrots Sleep Standing Up?

It is common to have parrots sleeping while they stand up. They tuck the other foot into their body feathers. The tendon in the leg that’s standing up locks around the perch, branch, or cage to keep them from falling. 

Distinct features of parrots include an upright stance, curved bill, zygodactyl feet, and strong legs. Their zygodactyl feet keep them stable and safe from falling.

Zygodactyl feet mean the parrots have two toes that face forward and two that face backward. It is together with elongated claws for swinging, climbing, and grasping.   

Can My Parrot Sleep With Me?

Some owners let their parrots sleep with them. However, this is strongly discouraged as it has negative repercussions for both owners and birds. It is why some owners prefer to move the bird’s cage into their room, provided they don’t have powder-down allergies.

One of the things that could happen is that owners could suffocate their birds. It’s natural for people to move around while they sleep. While turning, one could accidentally lay their leg, head, body, or arm on the bird.

Birds also require uninterrupted sleep. By tossing and turning, pet birds could have disturbed sleep which may have them sleeping a lot during the day.

Parrot owners risk contracting psittacosis disease, also known as parrot fever. Parrots will poop on the bed, leaving it looking unpleasant and could result in illnesses. Psittacosis is brought about by diarrhea that is spread through parrot dropping.

Summary

Parrots are a great company to have around. Part of their dynamic and social nature during the day is influenced by the rest they get. Parrots require 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. This amount of sleep changes depending on how far the parrot is from the equator. Owners should ensure they provide a favorable environment for birds to get adequate rest.

  • Can Parakeets Eat Blueberries?

    There’s no denying that parakeets are curious about everything. They are quickly intrigued and fascinated with anything new, especially regarding things they can consume or not. It’s in their nature to be curious about their surroundings. Besides, their wonder and curiosity took them into our hearts in the first place.  Indeed, sometimes you get a…

    Read More

  • The Costs Of Owning A Sun Conure Parrot

    Sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis) are parrot birds known for their beauty and intelligence. Jandaya parakeets (Aratinga jandaya) and Golden-capped parakeets (Aratinga auricapillus) are taxonomically included in the group. They are bright-orange plumage on the forehead and abdomen. (source)  These birds originated in northern and central-eastern South America. Naturally, they inhabited dry areas, settled in either…

    Read More

  • 7 Reasons Why Conures Bite

    Generally, Conures aren’t aggressive creatures; they’re very friendly birds that love spending time with their human family members. Unfortunately, these parrots can start biting everyone who comes near their cages or tries to touch them, which you can expect in some cases, especially during the mating season. But, there are times when they can start…

    Read More

  • Are Budgies Love Birds? (We Find Out)

    Are budgies love birds? There is an inevitable confusion between the two as both are parrot species, and many people use them interchangeably, especially those without enough information regarding avians. However, how similar are they, and what are their main differences?  The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), also commonly referred to as the budgie, and love birds…

    Read More

  • Can Conures Eat Pineapple? (We Find Out)

    Conure is a generic term for small and medium-sized South and Central American parrots with long tails. These birds are known for their shrill calls, intelligence, and beauty. However, they also tend to be noisy, territorial, and jealous. Nevertheless, they can also be excellent pets provided when trained consistently. Conures in the wild eat high…

    Read More

  1. Dorothy Schwarz, Exotic Direct, https://www.exoticdirect.co.uk/news/parrots-and-sleeping#:~:text=A%20wild%20parrots’%20sleep%20pattern,even%20fewer%20in%20temperate%20areas., 27th February 2022
  2. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_sleep, 27th February 2022
  3. Lafeber Company, https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/questions/bed-for-parrot/, 27th February 2022
  4. Vet Explains Pets, https://vetexplainspets.com/parakeet-sleeping-huts/, 27th February 2022
  5. Diane Burroughs, Bird Supplies, https://birdsupplies.com/blogs/news/144558343-how-much-sleep-does-my-pet-bird-need, 27th February 2022
  6. Dorothy Schwarz, Exotic Direct, https://www.exoticdirect.co.uk/news/parrots-and-sleeping, 27th February 2022
  7. Sumit, Bird Sphere, https://birdsphere.com/parakeets-puff-up/#Your_Parakeet_Is_Sleepy, 27th February 2022
  8. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanging_parrot, 27th February 2022
  9. Cornell Lab, https://www.birds.cornell.edu/k12/do-birds-sleep/, 27th February 2022
  10. For Birds Only Pet Lovers USA, https://www.forbirdsonlyny.com/blog/2017/7/21/how-do-parakeets-sleep#:~:text=Your%20parakeet%20is%20resting%20on,perch%2C%20swing%20or%20cage%20bars., 27th February 2022
  11. Quora, https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-know-when-a-parrot-wants-to-sleep#:~:text=The%20feathers%20will%20relax%20giving,the%20wing%20and%20the%20body., 28th February 2022
  12. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_sleep, 28th February 2022
  13. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unihemispheric_slow-wave_sleep#Birds, 28th February 2022
  14. Carrie Stephens, All About Parrots, https://www.allaboutparrots.com/how-much-sleep-do-parrots-need/, 28th February 2022
  15. Thomas Roth and Timothy Roehrs, Research Gate, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Timothy-Roehrs/publication/12596593_Sleep_organization_and_regulation/links/57712b3908ae6219474a37c2/Sleep-organization-and-regulation.pdf, 28th February 2022
  16. Graeme Shannon, Prifysgol Bangor University, https://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/noisy-humans-make-birds-sleep-with-one-eye-open-%E2%80%93-but-lockdown-offered-a-reprieve, 28th February 2022
  17. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_sleep#Light_pollution, 28th February 2022
  18. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrot#Morphology, 28th February 2022
  19. Emily, Bird News, https://birdsnews.com/can-i-sleep-with-my-parrot/, 28th February 2022