How Do Parakeets Sleep? [Do They Need A Nest & Be Covered?]

How do parakeets sleep? Do they need to be covered at night? Do they need a nest? How long should they sleep? Questions such as these are very common among pet parakeet owners. After all, you want your bird to be healthy and happy, and getting enough sleep is crucial for that. Your parakeet deserves a good night’s rest after a long day and giving them a proper sleeping environment is an essential part of achieving just that.

To give a complete answer to these questions, I’m going to go over each aspect of the parakeet’s sleeping behavior one by one. I will start off by discussing how they sleep, then I will move on to whether or not they need a nest, after that, I will discuss whether you should cover your parakeet at night, and finally, I will go over some related questions. Let’s dig in!

How do parakeets sleep?

Just like us humans, not all parakeets sleep the same way. They’re quite peculiar creatures and all of them like to do things their own way. There really isn’t a “right” sleeping position for them.

Nevertheless, there are some commonalities in the way that many budgies sleep. Usually, your bird will sleep in the following position:

Most like to sleep standing up on one leg. Since birds do not have feathers on their legs they lose a lot of heat through them. Putting one leg up minimizes this heat loss. However, if your bird doesn’t do this, it’s not a cause for concern.

Most parakeets also enjoy tucking their head under their wing. Unlike us, they cannot rest their head on a pillow so this is the next best thing. By tucking their head under their wing it gives them a break from having to hold it up all day.

Some people also wonder if parakeets sleep with their eyes open or closed. They do indeed sleep with closed eyes, but just because your parakeet has their eyes closed doesn’t mean that they’re asleep. They also close their eyes during moments of rest and relaxation. Keep an eye out for the other signs of them being asleep that I’ve mentioned to determine whether your budgie is just relaxing or actually sleeping.

To get an idea of what a budgerigar looks like in a sleeping position, take a look at this photo:

a photo of what a sleeping parakeet looks like

When do parakeets sleep? (are they nocturnal?)

Parakeets are not nocturnal creatures. They sleep during the night just like you and me.

Usually, they will start going to sleep when it starts getting dark and wake up when the sun comes back up.

How long do parakeets sleep?

Birds need a lot of sleep. The average budgie will sleep for around 10-12 hours every night.

Do parakeets need to be covered at night?

Whether you should cover your parakeet’s cage depends a lot on the environment. For instance, I live near a road where the streetlights make the room quite bright, even in the midst of the night. In cases like that, where there is a lot of light during the night, you should cover the cage of your parakeet.

In other situations where you have a dark and quiet spot for your parakeet, there’s not really any need to cover their cage. Nevertheless, it’s never harmful to cover it, so feel free to do so if you believe your bird will benefit from it.

Since sleep is such an important aspect of your parakeet’s wellbeing it’s better to be safe than sorry and cover the cage if you’re unsure.

Do parakeets need a nest to sleep in?

Generally speaking, birds do not need a nest to sleep in because they sleep standing up. However, some parakeets can benefit from having a hut or a nest to sleep in. They do not need a traditional nest made from sticks and grass but some do love having an enclosed, safe space where they can spend the night. It also gives them a place where they have some privacy.

Since they cannot build a nest themselves in captivity (due to a lack of materials), you will have to provide it for them.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to go out into the woods and collect sticks to build them a nest. There are many huts that you can buy from Amazon or other webshops that will suffice just fine.

How to help your parakeet get a good night’s rest

Sleep is one of the most important things in any creature’s life. It gives the body and mind time to recoup and regenerate for the day ahead. For that reason, it is very important that your parakeet has proper sleep in order to remain in good health.

Here are some tips that might help your parakeet sleep better:

  • Cover their cage

Parakeets need darkness to properly sleep. If there is too much light around they will not be able to have a good, restful sleep. Covering their cage makes it a lot darker and can contribute to better sleep.

  • Keep an eye on the temperature

I’ve already briefly talked about why parakeets sleep with one leg up (to minimize heat loss). This indicates how important temperature is for your budgie. If the temperature in their cage is not correct, it can make sleeping difficult for them.

The recommended temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the ideal is 77 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Give them a good sleeping environment

Loud noises and sudden lights can easily scare your parakeet awake. For that reason, you have to make sure that the chance of this happening is minimal. Keep other pets away from the cage so that they do not interfere with your parakeet’s sleep.

Also, parakeets really like having a tidy cage. Since they can’t clean it themselves, it falls upon you to keep it nice and tidy.

Why is my budgie sleeping a lot?

While it’s important that your parakeet gets enough sleep, too much can be a sign that something is amiss.

If you’ve noticed that recently your bird has started sleeping a lot more, this may be cause for concern. Keep an eye out for other indicators such as these:

  • Puffed up feathers
  • Lack of appetite
  • Bad posture
  • Wetness around the nose
  • Sneezing
  • Lack of energy
  • Plucked feathers

If you have any doubts, take your bird to an avian vet immediately for a check-up.

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