It seems reasonable that if your bird is sleepy, they will fall asleep, but that isn’t always the case.
Do budgies need darkness to sleep? Yes, budgies need darkness to sleep. Less light and darkness shows a budgie that it is time to go to sleep. Budgies are not able to fall asleep properly without darkness. To make sure that your budgie sleeps well, you need to cover the cage and/or turn off the lights in the bird room.
Depending on where you live; however, these little birds are set on a different schedule than where they are currently living, so adjustments on your part need to be paid to make them comfortable.
Read further to understand when your budgie needs rest, the perfect sleep cycle for them, and tips and tricks to help accomplish that.
When the dark is your bird’s best friend.
While they might look completely different from us, they still need the same things that we do: food, water, play, and restorative sleep. The main word here is restorative.
While yes your bird might be able to get a little bit of shut-eye in the wind-down part of the day where you want to sit on the couch and watch tv.
After a while of this, they will be an irritable mess ready to fight.
Besides the grumpies your budgies need it to be dark when they sleep for biological reasons:
- Mating cycle
- Lowered immune system
Breeding in birds is linked to the amount of daylight that they get.
If your bird gets exposed to more light then they need, more on that later, it will kickstart their breeding cycle, and you will have to deal with a crusty and frankly uncomfortable bird mating rituals in which they might see you as their mate.
The immediate effect of lack of sleep is stress and aggression issues.
The biting and feather picking is a good indicator of how much sleep your bird needs. If you find your budgie aggressive the next day, increase their sleep time by an hour until you hit the right amount. (If your budgie is suddenly aggressive, you should also read this article!)
Long term lack of sleep will cause health problems such as the lowering of their immune system.
Hopefully, you adjust the time they need to sleep before this happens, but if you find that your bird has a crust on the corners of their eyes take them to the vet to get a diagnosis.
Best sleeping schedule for your budgie
During the day your budgie needs to be in a high traffic area of the house, during the night they can’t deal with all of the noise and lights as they are trying to fall asleep.
The TV and all noises at night will keep your bird on high alert for predators that are trying to attack.
That instinctual unease will prevent them from sleeping, and if it is loud or sudden enough, it could cause them to have night flights where they flay around their cage in terror unable to escape. In their fright, they can seriously hurt themselves.
While each bird is different and you will find that out, but it is best to start around 10 to 12 hours of rest a night.
Most pet birds are from tropical climates where there are 12 hours of daylight than 12 hours of the night. Depending on where you live the amount of nighttime that you have is just inadequate for their needs.
Currently, I only have 9 hours of the night where I live. Unless you sleep around 12 hours a night, you will need to wind them down before you go to bed.
It’s easier to schedule their sleep around yours, just a few hours before you go to bed begin a winding down process for them by either covering their cage or placing them in another cage entirely.
With this schedule, when you wake up, they can wake up as well. Some people set the alarm for their birds since they wake after they leave for work. When you get them ready to sleep a few hours before you go to bed, there is no need for that alarm.
You will be able to tell that your budgie is drifting off when they start to grind their beak and tuck one of their legs to get comfortable.
How to get them to sleep early when they are in a high traffic area of the house
So how do you keep it dark and quiet for them to sleep when during the day your budgie needs to be in a highly frequented room? That depends on you and your bird.
The most natural solution has two separate cages. One for play and the other for rousting. This solution is highly dependent on your living situation, affordability, and also the comfort of your birds.
Some birds will take to separate cages ideally find, while others will go into a panic about a new situation. If you have had your budgie for a while, thinking about how they react to new situations.
If it makes them overly nervous, then try using a cage that has wheels or one where the pen can disconnect from the stand so that you can put them in a dark and quiet area while still keeping an environment that they are accustomed.
Birds are individuals so moving or another cage altogether in a separate part of the house might work, then again it might not. It could cause them additional stress, which is what we are trying to prevent.
If you have them in the living room where the TV is there is no other solution besides permanently moving them to another area where you can manipulate the surroundings when they sleep.
You can also try:
Covering for cage
Some birds are triggered by specific colors if black is one of those colors for your bird then try a deep purple or brown to see how they react. Also, the opaqueness of the covering might send them off in terrifying squawks.
If you can find a cover that has the top open, it will bring them comfort. Also trying a fabric that is less opaque that dims their surroundings rather than blocking them out completely.
If they hate the separate cage and loss it when you try to put a cover on their cage, try a room divider to block off the view of the cage.
A cover might cause your bird stress that they can’t see their surroundings, a room divider will block out the lights in the home and also muffle any noises.
When getting a divider for your bird, don’t get any wood that has a pungent smell since it can be toxic to birds.
Accommodating your bird.
Likened to sneaking out in the middle of the night to watch tv, but keeping the volume low not to disturb anyone else in the household.
Keep the lights out where the bird is while it’s sleeping and turn the volume down on your tv so that it doesn’t startle them when they sleep.
As always find the situation that works for you and your bird. While you do need to make accommodations for your bird, they also should run your life.
Can budgies sleep with the TV on? No, the light from the TV will give them the false impression that it is still daytime offsetting their schedule. While the noise from the TV will keep them up at because the budgie will instinctively believe it posses a threat to them.
Is it Ok to keep a budgie in your bedroom? During the day budgies need to be in a high trafficked area of the house. If you spend more time in your room, then this is a perfect spot. When sleeping cover their cage a few hours before you go to sleep so they can get their 12 hours.
Can a single budgie be happy? That depends on how much time you have to spare for your budgie. If you only have one, then they will deeply bond with you, believing you are just an odd-looking bird. If you are away from home for long periods, it is best to have another budgie to provide companionship.