Baby parrots (chicks) sleep for 12-14 hours a day, while adult parrots sleep for 10-12 hours a day. It isn’t always in one session, as some chicks nap during the day.
Parrot chicks spend longer in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, a deeper stage of sleep.
Chicks sleep for as long as they need to, so the number of hours they rest varies. This longer sleeping session enables chicks to grow and keeps them healthy during these vital stages of development.
Whether a chick takes naps comes down to its personality, sleep preferences, and the energy it expends.
If your baby parrot sleeps more often than you’d expect, sickness or exhaustion could be the explanation. This is more likely to be the case with hand-reared chicks.
Also, environmental disturbances, crop burn, and night fright could cause tiredness and sleep deprivation.
How Do Baby Parrots Sleep?
Baby parrots spend more time in REM sleep. According to the National Audubon Society, birds share the same sleeping cycles as mammals, which include the following two stages:
- Non-rapid eye movement sleep (non-REM)
- Rapid eye movement sleep (REM)
The only difference is that the cycles are shorter. Non-REM sleep averages around two and a half minutes, while REM sleep lasts around nine seconds in parrots.
Baby parrots also sleep with half of their brain awake, known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep.
This is essential for their safety, allowing them to wake up whenever a predator’s nearby. Parrots adjust how much their brains are asleep by varying how much they open or close their eyes.
Newly weaned baby parrots prefer to stay close to the ground while they sleep. After a few weeks, their sleeping position becomes similar to adult parrots.
Parrots don’t lose muscle tone while they sleep, so they rest in different ways, including:
Sleeping on One Foot
This is where a parrot tucks one foot into its feathers before it goes into a deep sleep. The other foot holds onto a branch or perch.
Head Tucked Into Body
Baby parrots that frequently nap like to rotate their heads and tuck them against their back. They use both legs to stand and remain partly alert.
Baby parrots getting used to new sleeping positions nap while leaning forward on their perch. In many cases, they land at the bottom of the cage.
Lying on Back
Some parrot species fall asleep lying on their backs.
Baby parrots don’t tend to be as wary of predators and other dangers as adults, so they’re more comfortable falling asleep this way. They also tire more easily, and laying on their backs conserves energy.
Why Is My Baby Parrot Sleeping So Much?
Baby parrots sleep more because they’re growing and developing. They need to conserve their energy, and sleeping is the best option. However, your parrot shouldn’t be sleeping all day, every day.
Sleeping can be mistaken for roosting. Roosting looks like sleeping, but it happens when parrots get into a comfortable sleeping position before dozing off.
The most likely causes of a baby parrot sleeping a lot include the following:
Baby parrots are vulnerable to health conditions as their bodies are weak and vulnerable. Also, inexperienced handlers may have poor feeding and handling techniques.
Exhaustion may be to blame for a parrot’s sleeping behavior, but this is normal.
As they’re learning and discovering so much, it’s natural for them to tire more easily. Baby parrots develop at different rates and have varying sleep requirements.
Why Isn’t My Baby Parrot Sleeping Enough?
If your baby parrot seems overly tired or struggles to carry out basic tasks and activities, it’s probably not getting enough sleep. This can have long-term health consequences.
These issues are most likely caused by the following:
Environmental disturbances may make it hard for your parrot to sleep. Factors include:
- The TV or radio’s on too loud or too late
- Your family’s up too late, making excessive amounts of noise
- There are artificial or LED lights shining on your parrot’s cage
- Your parrot’s constantly startled by noisy pets
These things can prevent your parrot from getting the rest it needs. A lack of sleep is bound to affect your parrot’s development and growth in the long term.
Baby parrots are at risk of night frights because they’re experiencing new things.
Night frights are caused by the following:
- Dogs barking
- Cats meowing
- Babies crying
- Car headlights going past the window
- Insects flying past the cage
Night terrors can be terrifying for baby parrots. If scared, it could fall off its perch, resulting in injury. Covering the cage with a sheet or blanket can reduce light exposure.
Crop burns occur when an owner hand-feeds a baby parrot formula that’s too hot. This commonly happens when the food’s microwaved and develops hotspots due to improper mixing.
Not only can this burn the crop, but it affects the ability to empty itself, resulting in yeast infections. The discomfort makes it difficult for baby parrots to fall asleep.
Why Is My Baby Parrot Making Noise While Sleeping?
Many baby parrots make noises while they sleep. While inexperienced owners may be concerned that this is a sign of a problem, it’s normal. You may notice the following sounds during a parrot’s sleeping time:
- Beak grinding
The Guardian reported that baby birds practice songs while they sleep by replaying them in their heads.
Researchers recorded the brain activity of birds and found that they flickered when they heard songs the previous day. This explains why some birds are more prone to making noises in their sleep than others.
Don’t be alarmed if your baby parrot sleeps a lot, as this is normal. However, pay attention to the behavior and mannerisms, as excessive sleep sometimes indicates a health or environmental issue.
For further information, read our guide to caring for baby parrots.