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can parrots sleep with you?

Can You Sleep with Your Parrot?

When your parrot’s warm, relaxed, and comfortably nestled into you, it’s easy to fall asleep with them in your arms. While you may not think this will cause problems, is it okay to sleep with parrots, or does this put them at risk?

Never sleep with your parrot because you could suffocate or injure the bird, resulting in broken bones or punctured organs. Parrots require 10-12 hours of sleep each night, and taking a nap with your bird can throw its sleeping patterns out of sync. Also, you could develop allergies, such as asthma or bird fancier’s lung.

If you feel yourself drifting off while handling your parrot, put it back in its cage. This will remove the risk of accident, injury, or behavioral problems. Also, you shouldn’t keep your parrot’s cage in your bedroom.

Can Parrots Sleep with You?

The only positive of letting your parrot sleep with you is that the experience can build your bond.

While your parrot may enjoy sleeping with you, allowing it to do so can put its life in danger. As mentioned, if you fall asleep at the same time, you could accidentally roll onto your parrot.

Parrots should remain in their cages when they go to sleep.

Suffocation Risk

The problem with allowing your parrot to sleep with you is that you could roll onto it during the night and crush it. Humans are much bigger and heavier than even the largest parrot species, so they could suffocate.

At the very least, they’ll experience injuries, such as broken bones or damaged organs. If the injuries are extensive enough, you may have to euthanize your parrot to prevent further suffering.

Suffocation is far more common than crushing. Parrots have strong, pliable bones that don’t easily break. However, their respiratory systems are far more fragile. They draw in air by significantly expanding their chests, generating enough room for the air sacs to expand.

If they don’t have enough room to expand their chests and take in oxygen because they’re pinned under a heavy body, they can’t breathe the air needed to stay alive. 

When we sleep, there’s no way to control how much or often we move around.

is it okay to sleep with parrots?

Allergies

Parrots with powder-based feathers produce dust. This is a layer of fine keratin called barbules that protects birds from:

  • Water
  • Wear and tear
  • External damage

It naturally sheds off, particularly during the molting season.

According to Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology, it’s estimated that 40% of people are sensitive to foreign proteins, which parrot dust is.

Owners with parrot dust sensitivity are at risk of developing allergies if they fall asleep with their parrots too often. Over time, this could get worse, presenting a serious health risk.

Signs of a parrot dust allergy include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Itching

Allergies to parrots include:

Asthma

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. Sufferers are sensitive to parrot dust particles, and even short-term exposure can be a trigger.

Bird Fancier’s Lung

Bird fancier’s lung disease only affects bird owners. It’s caused by exposure to the proteins in droppings, feathers, and parrot dust. This leads to pneumonitis, which is an over-sensitivity to avian antigens.

Sleeping with your parrot increases your exposure to the various triggers. If your lungs become too exposed to the various avian antigens, you could develop bird fancier’s lung.

Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort
  • Chills or fever
  • Inflammation of the air sacs or alveoli  

Sleep Disruption

Sleeping with your parrot doesn’t result in a good sleep for either of you.

If you toss and turn, you’ll cause your parrot to awaken several times a night. Also, parrots that are noisy or move about while they sleep will disturb your rest.

Some parrots enjoy cooing and chattering as they settle down to sleep. Parakeets are most likely to make these sounds. Parrots awaken at the crack of dawn, giving you an unwanted wake-up call.

Sleeping together can affect each other’s mood, making you both more irritable. Stressed, tired parrots can become aggressive, lashing out with their wings or beaks. Parrots need around 10-12 hours of sleep a night.

Teaches Bad Habits

Depending on how much your parrot enjoys resting with you, it may refuse to go to sleep in its cage. It may also develop unnatural sleeping patterns, making it susceptible to over-tiredness and behavioral problems.

Parrots thrive on routine and structure. Throwing their routine out of sync with unregulated sleeping patterns will stress and confuse birds that are used to having a defined structure to their days.

Escape Hazard

If your parrot wakes up while you’re asleep, it could enter an unsafe room. Here are some hazards:

  • Other pets
  • Glass windows and doors
  • Electrical appliances
  • Cords and wires

If it finds an open door or window, it could fly away, never to return. While this is the worst-case scenario, it could happen, especially if you’re asleep and unable to stop your parrot from escaping.

can my parrot sleep with me?

How Do Parrots Sleep at Night?

Parrots sleep while standing on one leg. They pull one foot into their feathers, where it’s comfortable and warm.

Doing this also reduces muscle fatigue, making parrots feel rested when they wake up. Parrots also feel more comfortable sleeping this way as it allows them to flee from predators and threats.

If your parrot isn’t able to escape, it’ll feel threatened and become stressed. It’s unnatural for parrots to sleep snuggled up to their owners, as it prevents them from carrying out their basic instincts.

Where Should Parrots Sleep?

You may consider positioning its cage in your bedroom. However, this does have several drawbacks.

Bedrooms don’t usually have as much space as living rooms, so there may not be enough room. Similarly, we don’t tend to spend as much time in our bedrooms, so your parrot could feel isolated or neglected.

Allergies and bird fancier’s lung are just as much a problem for owners with bird cages in their bedrooms as sleeping with their parrots. You don’t want your bedroom to be filled with avian antigens, such as parrot dust.

The quality of your sleep depends on how much your parrot vocalizes throughout the night. If you get up earlier than your bird, your alarm will wake your parrot, disturbing its sleep.

Instead, spend time with your parrot by playing and socializing with it during the day.

The most suitable locations for parrots to live include:

  • Living rooms
  • Outdoors in an aviary with other birds
  • Dining rooms that are frequently used

Sleeping with a parrot isn’t recommended. Not only is it an unnatural sleeping position for birds, but the chances of it becoming trapped after you’ve moved or turned over are too high.

Parrots need out-of-cage time and one-on-one socialization time with their owners. However, you need to be fully alert and awake when letting a parrot out of its cage.