Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Carrie Stephens
Never sleep next to a parrot, as it can cause asphyxiation, broken bones, and punctured organs. If you drift off while handling a parrot, put it back in its cage to avoid accidents.
Keeping a parrot’s cage in your bedroom should also be avoided. Owners can be affected by Bird Fancier’s Lung (BFL) and asthma due to airborne particles released from the parrot’s food and waste.
If the parrot wakes up before you, it’ll awaken you with loud, persistent vocalizations.
Parrot Sleeping Next To You
While the parrot may enjoy sleeping with you, it could have consequences:
Suffocation And Injury Risk
Allowing a parrot to sleep next to you means you could roll onto it. Humans are much bigger and heavier than the largest parrot species, meaning they could suffocate.
It could also cause injuries, like broken bones and damaged organs. If the injuries are extensive, you may have to euthanize the parrot to prevent further suffering.
Parrots have strong, pliable bones that don’t easily break, but their respiratory systems are more vulnerable. They draw in air by expanding their chests, generating sufficient room for air sac expansion.
They can’t inhale enough air to stay alive if they don’t have enough room to expand their chests and take in sufficient oxygen because they’re pinned underneath you.
We can’t control how much or how often we move around when we sleep.
Parrots with powder-based feathers, like African grays and Amazons, produce lots of dust. This layer of fine keratin called barbules protects birds from rainwater and external damage.
It naturally sheds off, especially during the molting season. Most parrots molt once or twice annually.
According to Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology, 40% of people are sensitive to foreign proteins, like parrot dust.
Owners with parrot dust sensitivity risk developing or triggering allergies if they fall asleep in the same room as their birds. Over time, the symptoms could significantly worsen.
The common signs of a parrot dust allergy include:
- Watery eyes.
- Chest pain.
Allergies to parrots include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. Sufferers are sensitive to parrot dust particles; even short-term exposure can trigger them.
Bird Fancier’s Lung (BFL)
Bird Fancier’s Lung is caused by exposure to dust particles from droppings and feathers. This leads to pneumonitis, which is an over-sensitivity to avian antigens.
Sleeping with a parrot increases your exposure to the triggers. If your lungs become overexposed to the avian antigens, you could get bird fancier’s lung. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest discomfort.
- Chills or fever.
- Inflammation of the air sacs or alveoli.
Sleeping with a parrot doesn’t result in good sleep for either party.
If you toss and turn, you’ll cause the parrot to awaken several times a night. Also, parrots that are noisy or move about will disturb your rest.
Some parrots enjoy cooing and chattering as they settle down to sleep. Parrots awaken at dawn as soon as the sun rises, producing an unwanted wake-up call.
Sleeping together can affect each other’s mood, making you tired and irritable. Stressed, tired parrots can become aggressive, lashing out with their wings or beaks.
Teaches Bad Habits
A parrot may refuse to sleep in its cage or develop unnatural sleeping patterns, making it susceptible to overtiredness and behavioral problems.
Parrots thrive on routine and structure. Throwing their routine out of sync with unregulated sleeping patterns will stress and confuse birds accustomed to structure in their days.
If the parrot wakes up while you’re asleep, it could enter an unsafe room. Here are some hazards:
- Other pets.
- Glass windows and doors.
- Ceilings fans.
- Open windows.
- Electrical appliances.
- Cords and wires.
If it finds an open door or window, it could fly away, never to return.
How Parrots Sleep at Night
Parrots sleep while standing on one leg. They tuck one foot into their feathers so it’s comfy and warm.
Doing this reduces muscle fatigue, making parrots feel rested when they wake up. Parrots also feel more comfortable sleeping this way, allowing them to flee from threats.
If a parrot can’t escape, it’ll feel threatened and stressed. Sleeping snuggled up to their owners is unnatural for parrots because it prevents them from carrying out their basic instincts.
Where Parrots Should Sleep
You may consider putting a parrot’s cage in your bedroom, but this has significant drawbacks.
Bedrooms don’t usually have as much space as living rooms, so there could be a lack of room. Similarly, we don’t spend as much time in our bedrooms, meaning the parrot may feel isolated or neglected.
Allergies and Bird Fancier’s Lung are just as problematic for owners of bedrooms with bird cages as sleeping with parrots. You don’t want your bedroom filled with avian antigens.
The quality of your sleep depends on when the parrot awakens. If you usually get up earlier than the bird, your alarm clock will disturb the parrot’s sleep.
The most suitable locations for a birdcage include:
- Living rooms.
- Outdoors in an aviary with other birds.
- Dining rooms that are frequently used.
Sleeping with a parrot isn’t recommended. It’s an unnatural sleeping position for birds, and the chances of it becoming trapped when you move or turn over are high.