You could fall asleep when a parrot’s warm, relaxed, and comfortably nestled against you.
Never sleep with a parrot due to the risk of asphyxiation, broken bones, or punctured organs. If you’re drifting off while handling your parrot, put it back in its cage.
Parrots require 10-12 hours of sleep, and napping together can disturb their sleeping patterns.
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, you could accidentally roll onto your parrot.
Parrots should remain in their cages when they go to sleep.
Suffocation And Injury Risk
The problem with allowing a parrot to sleep with you is that you could roll onto it. Humans are much bigger and heavier than even the largest parrot species, so they could suffocate.
At the very least, it’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 inhale the air needed to stay alive.
We can’t control how much or often we move around when we sleep, so it’s a risk not worth taking.
Parrots with powder-based feathers produce dust. This is a layer of fine keratin called barbules that protects birds from:
- 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 risk developing allergies if they fall asleep in the same room as their birds too often. Over time, this could worsen. The 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, 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 a parrot increases your exposure to various triggers. If your lungs become too exposed to the various avian antigens, you could develop bird fancier’s lung. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort
- Chills or fever
- Inflammation of the air sacs or alveoli
Sleeping with your parrot doesn’t result in good sleep for either party.
If you toss and turn, you’ll cause your 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, giving you an unwanted wake-up call.
Sleeping together can affect each other’s mood, making you 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 a parrot enjoys resting with you, it may refuse 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 accustomed to a defined structure to their days.
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
- Open windows
- 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.
How Do 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 as it allows them to flee from predators and threats.
If your parrot can’t 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 a parrot’s cage in your bedroom, but this has several drawbacks.
Bedrooms don’t usually have as much space as living rooms, so there may be a lack of 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 filled with avian antigens like 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 the parrot, disturbing its sleep.
Spend time with your parrot playing and socializing during the day. The most suitable locations 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.