Parakeets need sleep just like humans do, and if their sleep needs aren’t met, you might end up with a cranky, mouthy pet, and that’s not even the worst of it.
Similarly to humans, parakeets are diurnal, meaning they sleep at night and are awake throughout the day. They typically require 9 to 12 hours of sleep per day, so make sure you’re quiet in the morning if you’re an early riser!
How Long Do Parakeets Sleep?
As you already know, parakeets sleep for 9 to 12 hours per day. This isn’t an exact number, as each bird will differ individually, so it’s more accurate to say that parakeets typically sleep for 9 to 12 hours within a 24-hour period.
Your parakeet will likely sleep through the night, but there’s also the possibility of you finding your parakeet sneaking in a quick nap or two throughout the day.
When Do Parakeets Sleep?
Parakeets are diurnal, so they sleep while the sun is down. This helps make them easy to care for as pets, but in the wild, they sleep when the sun goes down and awaken when it rises, so this pattern is more instinctual than trained.
For many birds, their sleeping patterns change with the seasons, but because parakeets are tropical birds, their sleep patterns typically remain constant even through the winter months.
Can You Sleep with Your Parakeet?
Some parakeet owners have slept with their parakeet in the same bed, but this is irresponsible and dangerous to the safety of the bird.
You’re much larger and heavier than your parakeet, and likely move around during your sleep. That means that you could potentially crush your pet parakeet during the night without realizing it. So, save yourself the heartache you’d almost certainly experience, and leave your parakeet to sleep safely in its cage.
Do Parakeets Dream?
Birds and mammals both go through the same two stages of sleep every night—slow-wave (SW) and paradoxical sleep, or rapid eye movement (PS or REM). In slow-wave sleep, the brain produces high-voltage brain waves, which is indicative of restorative function.
The other stage of sleep birds and mammals experience (PS or REM), shows low-voltage brain waves similar to what we experience in waking life. It’s during REM sleep that we experience dreams, and it’s likely that birds and mammals both experience dreams as well.
If you hear your parakeet making gentle noises during sleep, this is likely a sign that it is having a pleasant dream. There have also been stories of parakeets appearing to experience nightmares (making stress sounds and cries of terror), so the evidence suggests that, yes—parakeets likely do experience dreams.
What Happens If My Parakeet Doesn’t Sleep Enough?
We mentioned already that it’s important for your parakeet to get a proper amount of sleep each night. If its sleep needs are not met, there are several serious consequences your parakeet can experience.
Sleep deprivation in parakeets can turn things in your household sour very quickly. Your parakeet may begin to pluck its own feathers excessively, which is a sign that it is experiencing elevated levels of stress.
Your parakeet will become much more temperamental. You will likely start to hear screaming, bouts of anger and frustration, and it may possibly even begin to exhibit signs of fear toward you and others.
Your parakeet might lose sleep due to fear of other humans or other animals in the house as well. If you have dogs or cats, it’s extremely important to make sure your parakeet’s sleeping area is isolated and safe from potential attack. Your other pets might be harmless in reality, but your parakeet will see them as a predator, which will only make it more difficult for it to feel safe and sleep well.
How to Help Your Parakeet Sleep
If you notice that your parakeet isn’t eating well or is sluggish, it may not be getting enough sleep.
To help your parakeet sleep well, you need to make sure that its cage is in a safe location, far from potential disturbance from other pets and humans.
The temperature of the cage is important as well. It should be kept at a moderate temperature—not too hot and not too cold. They base their sleeping positions on heat preservation, so make it easy for them to sleep comfortably by keeping their cage cozy, but not hot and stuffy.
Parakeets prefer quiet and darkness while sleeping, so make sure you cover their cage at night to maximize darkness for them, and keep the house as quiet as possible during the night.
Parakeets need 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night. As long as they’re warm, safe, and in a dark spot, your parakeet should have no problem getting all the sleep it needs.