Parakeets, also known as budgerigars or, more affectionately, budgies, are one of the most common birds kept as pets.
A perfect species for beginners, they are both easy to take care of and require considerably less space than larger birds, like parrots or cockatiels.
Their intelligence and propensity for whistling and singing make them extraordinary creatures that provide countless hours of entertainment.
Despite being low maintenance, your parakeet still needs lots of love and attention to keep them happy and well for many years to come.
One of the best ways to ensure this is by instilling healthy sleep habits. Doing this isn’t just about establishing a routine that’s easy for you, but it also means using everything parakeets need to get a good night’s sleep.
Do budgies sleep with their eyes open?
No. Just like people, budgies close their eyes to make drifting off to sleep even easier. As diurnal creatures, budgies are awake when the sun rises and go to sleep every evening as the sunsets. So a dark space is critical for recreating their natural sleep environment.
Beyond the necessity for creating as much darkness as possible when sleeping, closing their eyes allows budgies to rest the muscles in their face.
When they feel comfortable in their surroundings, they even drop their heads to the side, giving their neck muscles a chance to relax. It’s the same reason why they close their eyes when resting.
Do budgies need darkness to sleep?
Maintaining a healthy sleep cycle requires replicating a budgie’s natural habitat as best as possible.
In this case, this means submerging the bird in total darkness when it’s time for bed. The sun setting in the wild acts as a signal to let birds know it’s time to rest their heads for the night.
Turning off the lights in your home delivers a similar signal to your pet, and he just can’t go to bed without it.
The only exception to this rule is for birds who require a night light to avoid night terrors in the evening.
Birds kept in outdoor aviaries see very little problems with their sleep cycles, as the sun already acts as a natural timer.
But those exposed to light throughout the night are subject to disrupted sleep schedules that can severely impact their overall health.
Because of this, it is vital to understand how artificial lighting impacts your bird’s sleep habits. If you’re up late or wake up multiple times throughout the night, placing your budgie in a corner of the house with less foot traffic is ideal.
You also want to keep them in an area where turning the lights on and off regularly is not routine.
Do parakeets like to be covered at night?
Covering your parakeets at night is much like wearing an eye mask when sleeping. Some need it, and some don’t, though most pet owners still recommend covering the cage at night.
And if it makes things easier for your pet, why wouldn’t you be more safe than sorry? Covering the cage also allows you to synthesize the natural progression of sleep a bird feels in the wild a little easier.
In nature, the sun doesn’t just click on and off like a light switch. So when trying to recreate a healthy sleep setting for your pet, gradually introducing them to the dark is preferable to just plunging them into it all at once.
Covering the cage helps create this effect, especially if you don’t have a way to dim the lights. Cover half the enclosure at once, then cover the whole thing, and turn the lights off one by one.
Just as the light slowly begins to fade outdoors, the bird sees the steady removal of light as its cue to get ready for bed. It calms down and allows itself to acclimate to the changing brightness before comfortably falling asleep.
Why does your budgie close his eyes when you talk to him?
If your budgie is closing his eyes while you’re talking to him, don’t worry. He’s not bored, but you are putting him to sleep. In this case, it’s a good thing! This action shows that your bird feels comfortable enough to let his guard down around you.
He not only isn’t afraid of you, but he also finds your voice soothing. Birds aren’t always ready to fall fast asleep just because they hear your voice, but it does illustrate the level of comfort that having you near provides.
It means your bird feels safe enough to be at his most vulnerable when you’re around and is a relationship step that often takes time to develop.
Read more about Do Parakeets Like To Be Held And Cuddled?
Can budgies see in the dark?
Like most diurnal creatures, budgies have a hard time seeing in the dark. They’re able to see a little bit, but it is nowhere near the level they’re used to during the day.
This disadvantage makes nighttime routines so important, as the darkness often frightens birds who feel otherwise defenseless.
The same should be said for any time you leave the house. If it’s during the day and you need to head out, keep your bird in a room with plenty of natural lighting to prevent disrupting its sleep schedule.
Since birds frighten easily, leaving them in the dark may have serious effects on their wellbeing.
Consider how we react to the slightest creaks and noises outside our bedroom door when we sleep. It’s easy to exacerbate even the most innocuous sounds and imagine the worst. It’s the same for birds.
They mistake different sounds and shadows as a threat and begin to panic. This reaction causes them to thrash about the cage, fly blindly about into the bars, and potentially injure themselves.
Check more at Do Parakeets Need Quiet To Sleep?
While it sounds a bit dramatic, it happens more often than you’d think and may sometimes lead to death.
To be safe, gradually turn on and off the lights, use night lights for particularly cautious birds, and place them in areas of the house where they can receive a quiet night’s sleep.
For other factors that might scare birds and how to calm your pet down, try these helpful tips.
Why do budgies chirp when sleeping?
You may have noticed a little singing coming from your parakeet right before he nods off to sleep. Or throughout the evening, maybe he utters a few adorable chirps.
This behavior is perfectly normal and happens for a variety of different reasons. The first is that they are attempting to calm themselves down for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Some sing themselves off to dreamland, much like a parent does with a lullaby for their child. It works in the same way and is designed to calm themselves down before relaxing completely.
So what about after they’ve already fallen asleep? It seems counterintuitive for them to continue making noises in their sleep, but there are at least two reasons birds do this.
The most common answer is based on instincts and self-preservation. In the wild, birds who nap often try to throw predators off by chirping even as they sleep.
Doing this tricks the predator into thinking the bird is awake and alert, and therefore a less likely target to attack. They mimic this same behavior when sleeping in captivity.
Another possible reason for your bird to be making noises while they’re sleeping is because they are sleep talking.
Just like humans, this isn’t a trait shared by every bird. It all depends on the individual and his or her personality. It’s nothing to be alarmed about and may vary in frequency from night to night.
What time should I put my budgie to bed?
Budgies need anywhere from 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Generally, they fall asleep with the sun, which means your routine should mimic this practice, too. In regions where the day may be significantly longer, it’s important to simulate their sleep habits as best as possible.
Doing this involves covering the cage and sending them to bed even if the sun is still up and shining. Either way, it is not healthy for birds to stay up late and may lead to other complications.
Having a set sleep schedule is critical to maintaining your parakeet’s good health. It not only has adverse effects on your bird’s behavior but also presents challenges to their immune system.
Budgies that lack sleep become more susceptible to diseases. Sleep contributes to much-needed rest, which redistributes the body’s energy toward strengthening and building up the immune system. Without the recommended hours of sleep, your budgie’s health also suffers.
Some signs to pay attention to besides a decline in health includes abnormal behaviors displayed by your parakeets. If they appear grumpy, agitated, or even show aggressive tendencies towards you or other birds in the cage, they’re not getting enough sleep.
Sleeping all day long is another clear indication your bird is not getting the necessary amount of sleep. While taking naps here and there is not unusual, sleeping for extended periods throughout the day points toward an underlying issue.
Keep these in mind when determining whether your pet’s sleep schedule is working for them or not.