Just like you, your parakeets need to have ample time to rest. If not, your bird will become cranky, unhealthy, and won’t be able to sing beautiful melodies for you which, we are pretty sure you wouldn’t want to happen.
Your parakeets require longer sleep hours than you-that is between 10 and 12 hours of blissful sleep at nighttime.
In the wild, parakeets go to bed at sunset and wake-up at dawn to search for food and water. Parakeets that are in captivity retain in them the natural instinct to sleep by utilizing the cycle of the sun.
If they get tired during the day, they also take time to have some siesta.
How Do Parakeets Sleep in a Cage?
- Parakeets have awesome balancing skills because they sleep inside their cage doing a yoga pose-resting on one leg while the other leg is up. They do this in order to reduce the loss of heat from their featherless legs. In order to balance, their four toes grasp on the cage bars so they won’t fall-off and this is referred to as perching.
- Just like you, their eyes are closed when they are deep in sleep.
- During the daytime, parakeets always hold their heads up but come sleeping time, they will tuck their heads beneath their wings to relax and for a darker ambiance.
3 Things You Need to Know for a Parakeet’s Day and Night Cycle:
Since your birds are busy playing and chirping all day long, your feathered pets need 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night, as mentioned a while ago. But, may we just stress that the sleeping environment should be quiet and dark in order for them to have a good sleep.
Here’s what you can do to adjust the light and dark cycles so your parakeets will remain in good condition.
1. Exposure to Natural Sunlight:
Your parakeets need to be exposed to natural light at least three times a week. But, if you can do it for them every day, the better it is for their well-being.
If they remain indoors all their lives, they do not receive the benefits of UVA and UVB lighting. UVA is for good eyesight while UVB is for vitamin D (for healthy feathers, bones, and egg-laying).
Taking them outdoors to expose them to sunlight can be done for an average of 15 to 40 minutes three times a week at the minimum. You can expose them longer, like 4 to 6 hours but be sure that the sunlight must not directly hit them. It could be under a tree or in your patio.
2. Keep the Sleeping Area Dark:
We highly recommend that you use a sleep cage for your parakeets. This cage is only used during sleep hours which is typically smaller and cozier.
The sleep cage must be placed in a room where it is dark and quiet. Good areas are the laundry area, walk-in closet or a spare bedroom. You have to understand that parakeets are easily awakened by loud talking.
It is also a good idea to use a cage cover in order for your pets to enjoy a dark sleeping ambiance. By using a cage cover, your pets are prevented from getting bothered by lamp posts, passing car headlights that shine through the windows, among others.
But, in case you cannot prevent your feathered pets from sleeping before 10 or 11 at night, it is best that you use blackout blinds or heavy drapes in the room where they sleep. By doing so, they can sleep until late in the morning with complete darkness so they can get the ideal 10 hours of continuous sleep.
One tip that we want to give you is to remove the cage cover gently in the morning. Avoid getting dramatic by taking off the cover like a magician as the abrupt change in light can frighten the bird. The same can be said when opening the drapes. You can use a dimmer light to acclimatize the bird to sunlight in a gentle manner.
3. Modify Light/Dark Cycles:
There are instances when adjustments have to be done regarding sleep patterns. For example, if your parakeet comes from a temperate country (such as the Monk Parakeet), they may require light and dark variation than the usual 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. It would need 10 hours of light and 14 hours of darkness during winter.
But, come summertime, it would need 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness.
Additionally, lighting has a direct effect on the breeding mode of the parakeets. By extending the day cycle, breeding is encouraged. In case you want your birds to mate, let them sleep for less than 10 hours a day.
By doing some adjustments in terms of schedule and procuring additional types of equipment to induce sleep, you can be confident that the ideal number of light and darkness are given to your parakeets for their optimum health.
What Are The Problems Linked with Lack of Sleep?
If you fail to give your birds the necessary requirements for a refreshing sleep, here is a list of what to watch out for:
- The symptoms are feather plucking and biting.
- Lowered immune system
- Unplanned breeding or susceptibility to chronic egg-laying
Parakeets, in order to be healthy and have a sunny disposition, should not be disturbed while they are sleeping. The best way for them to function at their best in the daytime is by having 12 hours of rest in a dark room.
Lights and noise will keep your birds awake since their instincts tell them to stay awake and alert from predators during this time. Your birds may be able to sleep but not the restful type.
The ideal day cycle for parakeets is to have a light exposure of 12 hours and dark exposure of 12 hours. But, again, there are some exceptions to the rule like for breeding purposes.