i think my cockatiel doesn’t sleep at night


New member
May 1, 2020
pikachu (cockatiel)
every night i can hear him move around in his cage, and whenever i walk by him both of his eyes are wide open.
at first i thought it was because he’s afraid of predators attacking him, so after some research i figured it’d help if i left a small hole for him to look out from so he’d feel safe, but that did not make anything better. it didn’t do anything.
what do i do?
It makes sense when you think of a bird in the wild that they would sleep very lightly. No doubt each time you look he will wake. I don't think that's strange at all. What is he like in the day? Does he appear tired or listless? On the odd occasion when Syd has had less sleep he naps in the day. He will often have 40 winks after lunchtime. If your little one is otherwise healthy I would think he is doing what every bird and other creatures do. It is probably totally normal.
If that is happening often, you might consider a quieter sleep space--- they are typically going to wake up from noises near their cage (even if covered and even if they don't say anything). Sure, they can go back to sleep, but not if the noises keep randomly happening. That is why a lot of people have sleep cages and bird rooms where it's easier to keep things quiet (the proximity of sound also matters). They do sleep lightly, but they still need a bare minimum of 10 hours of sleep, so I am not sure how long your activities are keeping him up (or if they are keeping your bird up at all)..It kind of depends on your behavior and how often this is happening. For instance, If I walk into my birds room at night, even though she WAS sleeping, she is going to wake up because of the sound of me entering the room deviates from the lull she was used to...so if you are walking into the room to check on her and the room had been quiet before, you are likely waking her up. That doesn't mean she isn't sleeping when you aren't in there, BUT IT COULD if you moving around and making lots of noise near her cage for long periods of time...Are you not covering the cage? How can you see your bird if the room is dark...they do need dark (be it due to lights off or a cover---some birds can have night frights, so it doesn't have to be pitch black, but it seems awfully bright if you can see him as you walk by....Are you in the room with the lights on when he is trying to sleep?

Again, not saying they need total silence, but they do need sleep- I am sure your bird is sleeping some BUT you could be keeping her up if you are up late and moving around a lot nearby. In the wild, they would hear rustling leaves and the wind..frogs..insects..maybe rain.. etc (but all of that blends together into a consistent hum--noises that are predictable) but if a stick snapped suddenly on the ground below the tree, that would get their attention...even if that sound of the stick was technically quieter than the wind/leaves etc that they were tuning out before.

It's important that they get sleep for immune and hormone regulation on a schedule as close as possible to what they would have in the wild (and again, not saying they don't sleep lightly there--- but when I used to live in a smaller space with Noodles, she was ALWAYS moodier the next day if I had to be up late for work (even if I wasn't talking, even though her cage was covered and even though most of the sounds were just things like walking by or shuffling papers --but these things DID prevent her from sleeping as soundly as she did on nights when I went to bed at a normal time). I also found that white noise or predictable noises were less disruptive than the ones that didn't really follow a pattern (e.g., me moving papers after sitting quietly for 10 minutes, or me walking through the room when it had been still, or me unloading the dishwasher after a period of quiet, a knock at the door, dropping something nearby, sudden loud sounds on TV that differ from the previous cadence/volume etc etc)...Especially when they happen near the cage. They can get used to rhythmic conversation if it's not that close to them, but if a sudden/new sound differs a lot from the previous tone/volume of the room, it usually catches their attention...does that kind of make sense? I feel like I am not explaining what I mean in a clear way..

My bird isn't a napper- I know that isn't everyone's experience, but just sharing mine. I find that mine is happier and nicer etc when she gets less disrupted sleep (she also messes with her feathers more without enough sleep... AGAIN, just sharing my personal experience.
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Well stated above!
Sleep is a very important part of a happy active Parrot.

To highlight a couple of points:
- Restful sleep away from the night noise of the home is important. Most homes rarely provide more than a few hours of true quiet and dark. HD TV is 50% brighter than older models, as is HD sound. Add, the ever expanding evening and night activities and it is amazing just how rare quiet time is.
- Stop checking on your Parrot as you looking in will tend to keep them in a very light sleep anticipating your next stop by.
- Their moving about is fairly common at night for any reasons from easy access to food and water when a late night bite /drink is wanted. Finding another perch that is not effected by a light shining in.

Each bird is different as is each home. But, understanding that sleep is needed and that a Parrot that had good sleep is a happier Parrot.
Taking into account the very good comments already given - you might try adding some "white noise" such as running a small fan --(Not pointed at bird! and fan-blades Not accessible to bird!)-- or an Air Filter, or purchase a "white noise" machine, or a device/tv/computer-monitor running any of the 8+hours "sleep" videos on you-tube (either white noise such as waves or rain, or sleep-music, and either calming visuals or else goes-to-dark-screen).

IF you do the youtube option, make sure it does Not show interruptions for commercials, which can be quite scary when they suddenly, brightly and loudly interrupt the calming noise & darkness. (Absolutely Terrified ME the first time it happened; these interrupting-commercials seem to be a new thing with you-tube. Turns out it you "pause" a video and look at its time-line, there are yellow markers where commercijals Might occur. I'm happy to run the commercial before a video -- but OMG interrupting a sleep-relax video with a commercial for some shoot-em-up monsters videogame??!!??) Don't let this happen to your bird!

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