Parrots require plenty of shut-eye, so owners should familiarize themselves with their sleeping habits. Parrots’ ability to rest depends on when you turn off the lights, shut off all sounds, and allow them to wind down.
The average parrot needs 10-12 hours of sleep, while senior and baby parrots require 12-14 hours of sleep per night. The amount of rest that parrots need depends on their species and time of the year. Parrots take naps throughout the day, but these will usually be short and infrequent.
Parrots need a sleep environment that makes them feel safe and relaxed. They shouldn’t be exposed to artificial lighting at this time unless they experience night frights. Their cages should be covered with a thin blanket so they’re not left in total darkness. Limit any noises and give your parrot time to wind down before going to sleep.
How Many Hours Do Parrots Sleep?
Some parrots thrive on more or less sleep than 10-12 hours of sleep, but that doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. Also, parrots may take naps during the day.
Some parrots are from equatorial regions that get more sunlight. So, they change their sleeping habits to reflect the day-night cycle. These species include:
- African greys
Due to their natural habitat, they’ve evolved to require 10-12 hours of sleep per day. When the sun is shining, it’s a perfect time to explore, forage, and play.
While nearly all parrots are daytime creatures, there are rare exceptions. For example, the New Zealand Kakapo is nocturnal. That means it’s active at night and sleeps throughout the day.
The region that this parrot calls home gets between 9 and 14 hours of daylight per day. Because of that, the New Zealand Kakapo sleeps for 10 to 15 hours, depending on the season.
It’s very unlikely that you own a nocturnal parrot. However, if your parrot is sleeping odd hours, take a closer look into the behavior and sleeping habits of its species.
How Much Do Baby Parrots Sleep?
A parrot’s age can affect the amount of sleep it needs. For example, baby parrots spend more time engaged in REM sleep or deep sleep. They are likely to rest with both eyes closed for long periods of time, often for between 12-14 hours a night. This extra time is needed to grow and develop.
Do Older Parrots Sleep More?
If you have an elderly parrot, the same is true. Old parrots sleep for longer than when they were young. They become less active as they reach their twilight years, spending more time getting shut-eye.
Do Parrots Sleep During The Day?
Parrots rarely sleep during the day. If they do, this should be a short-term nap to enable them to recoup energy. Because of their circadian rhythm, parrots are naturally designed to be awake throughout the day. If yours is sleeping for long periods, then it may not be resting well at night.
Do Parrots Take Naps?
Parrots do take naps, but not as often as other pets. Parrots like to remain alert. Naps may happen if the parrot feels safe and cozy. They should only happen every now and then and will last for a short amount of time, not hours. If your parrot takes long naps frequently, it could mean it’s not sleeping well.
How Do Parrots Sleep In The Wild?
Parrots in the wild are usually awake from sunrise until sunset. Following sunset, they’ll roost and sleep until the next morning. The majority of parrots are from tropical regions that experience 12 to 14 hours of daylight per day. So, they’ll sleep for the remaining 10 to 12 hours.
Of course, some parrots live farther away from the equator. They experience longer or shorter daylight hours, depending on the season. These species will compensate for this with their sleeping patterns. They’ll sleep for longer times during the winter and shorter times during the summer.
Do Parrots Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Parrots don’t usually sleep with both eyes open. Instead, they sleep with a single eye open, allowing them to rest and stay vigilant at the same time. This is an evolutionary adaptation that enables them to spot any dangers.
According to the Current Biology Journal, birds exhibit a special sleep behavior known as “unihemispheric sleep.” When they’re resting, one of their brain’s hemispheres is awake, while the other is asleep.
This allows them to keep up with basic routines, like watching for danger with a single eye. Meanwhile, the other half of their brain rests and allows the parrot to heal, renew cells, and enjoy some perks of sleeping.
Depending on the species, these ‘basic’ routines can even be more advanced. For example, some birds can use unihemispheric sleep while they’re flying. This allows them to migrate for long hours without taking a break or dropping out of the sky from exhaustion. If you’ve ever wondered, “how do parrots sleep standing up?” this is why.
Despite those perks, unihemispheric sleep isn’t as deep as REM sleep. It still doesn’t offer as much rest as sleeping with both eyes shut can. If a parrot feels entirely safe, it may take that chance to sleep with both eyes closed.
Why Is My Parrot Sleeping So Much?
It may appear like your parrot is constantly sleeping. However, in most cases, it’s roosting. Most parrots engage in “roosting” just before bed. This can be described as the act of getting into a sleeping position and becoming comfortable before finally dozing off.
At this time, a parrot will also engage in behaviors such as preening or socializing. In fact, a parrot may get more vocal and expressive in the period before going to sleep. It’s all a natural part of the pre-sleep ritual.
In a given 10-12 hour sleep period, a parrot may be sleeping for only 8 hours. If it appears to sleep for longer, pay attention to how it winds down before bed. Your parrot might be resting for a much shorter amount of time.
Why Isn’t My Parrot Sleeping?
If you notice your parrot is awake during the night, it may be having trouble sleeping. This can be caused by:
Poor Sleep Setting
A parrot should be kept in a sleep-friendly setting that’s dark, quiet, and warm. Failing to provide the right sleep environment may result in your parrot becoming sleep-deprived.
Moving to a New Owner
Some parrots have difficulty sleeping when you first bring them home. They’ll be on edge after moving to a new setting and will be on high alert. Over time, the parrot should settle into its new home and begin sleeping properly.
Incompatible Cage Mate
Some parrots find it difficult to sleep when housed with a parrot they do not get along with. This may occur when you first introduce a new parrot to the cage. However, it should pass as they learn to get along.
Parrots are good at hiding when they’re unwell. However, you can pick up early warning signs from their:
- Activity level
- Sleep habits
If you suspect your parrot is ill, you should immediately take it to a vet for a checkup.
If the parrot is kept awake at odd hours, it’ll struggle to fall asleep. Even if you can go to bed at 8 PM one night and midnight another, your parrot might be unable to sleep. Instead, your parrot will only fall asleep when it’s exhausted.
Maintain a consistent bedtime for your parrot. It should be placed in its cage at the same time each night and allowed to wind down. Many parrots instinctively move back to their cage at the same time. Encourage this, and give the parrot about 30-60 minutes to wind down before sleeping.
Parrots need 10-12 hours of sleep a night, and you should never sleep with your parrot for safety reasons. With a consistent bedtime, no distractions, and a semi-dark environment, a healthy parrot will enjoy a good night’s rest.