I still remember, years ago when I first brought my cockatiel home, I was so excited to play with him. We played for around half an hour, but suddenly, he found a corner in its cage and fell asleep. I waited for an hour for my cockatiel to wake up, then waited for another hour. Well, I was a newbie then, and I didn’t know what was happening. So, if you have a cockatiel and even you have had such a question, let’s find out why do cockatiels sleep so much?
Why Do Cockatiels Sleep So Much? Cockatiels are active and energetic birds. Cockatiels spend most of their time sleeping to gain their energy and rebuild muscles. It’s natural for a cockatiel to sleep for 10 to 12 hours every day. Babies and older cockatiels get tired easily and need more sleep.
In some cases, cockatiels are also known to sleep for more extended periods during the winter. There are no official studies conducted on how a cockatiel’s sleep cycle is impacted by the seasons.
However, owners often report that cooler temperatures and reduced light can make cockatiels drowsy. This, of course, will depend on your climate and if you provide your cockatiel with Uv lights.
What Does It Mean When Your Cockatiel Sleep So Much?
About 10-12 hours can seem like too much for this kind of little bird. However, there are many advantages to your cockatiel’s long sleep cycle. Most of the time, when your cockatiel is sleeping, it means that your cockatiel is:
1. Recouping its energy
Cockatiels have a very fast-paced metabolism and burn a great deal of energy. As such, cockatiels need to sleep long and often to recoup this. It’s partly because they are active birds, with impressively fast heart rates for their size. This helps them to improve their reaction times as prey animals and makes thermoregulation possible despite their size.
On the topic of size, cockatiels are also small parrots, and energetic ones at that. Their metabolism is even faster than that of a larger parrot, and they keep themselves busy with their lively, outgoing lifestyle. If cockatiels didn’t sleep as often as they did, one could reason they would deteriorate due to exhaustion.
Outside of their natural sleep cycle, cockatiels may also sleep a lot when they are molting. The process of shedding feathers and re-growing ne can be taxing. To help recoup the amount of its energy and nutrients the cockatiel is losing, it will eat and sleep more. These naps aid in the natural regeneration of the bird’s brain, body, and feathers due to stress and the toll of generating new plumage.
It may appear that your cockatiel is sleeping at all times. In truth, it’s just napping in short intervals. If you glance in your birdcage and find the cockatiel resting, understand that it may have been awake and active just a moment ago. Your cockatiel may also be active shortly after you walk away again.
Cockatiels need a great deal of sleep, but they are also prey animals that need to be on the move all the time. To strike a balance between restful and diligent for safety reasons, cockatiels often nap. These last between 15-45 minutes at a time, depending on the cockatiel.
3. Feeling a little under the weather
Cockatiels have fragile health and a delicate immune system like most small birds. However, they are not entirely defenseless against the stresses and infections of the greater world.
If your cockatiel is fighting off the beginnings of an illness, it will sleep more than usual. This allows its body to tackle the illness and conserve energy for this task rather than burning it elsewhere.
You may need to intervene if symptoms begin to appear. However, the extra naps our cockatiel has been taking in the last few days may have resolved the problem before it began.
Is It Normal For A Cockatiel To Sleep So Much?
If your cockatiel appears to sleep so much, it’s natural to be concerned. Some owners think their cockatiel is sick, bored, or failing to sleep properly throughout the night. In most cases, however, the cockatiel is sleeping an optimal amount.
As mentioned, 10 to 12 hours of sleep can seem like a lot for humans. However, it’s normal for cockatiels. If your cockatiel were to spend more time active and less time resting, it would get sick.
The only time you should be concerned about a cockatiel’s sleeping habits is if they are changing over time. A cockatiel that routinely napped during the day shouldn’t just stop. Likewise, a cockatiel that loved active, extroverted morning shouldn’t sleep in day after day.
Of course, it’s not always simple to tell when your cockatiel has or hasn’t slept. You will need to look for more generalized signs. Is your cockatiel:
- Unable to sleep at night, fluttering its wings around the cage or calling?
- Sleeping with its eyes closed (deep sleep) for more than 15-45 minutes during the day?
- For hours on end, is it remaining in the exact location on its perch?
All this may indicate that your cockatiel is dealing with health issues or a poor sleep environment. You should keep an eye out for any other symptoms and make a note of them. Speaking with your vet can help uncover the root issue and administer the proper treatment.
Do Older Cockatiels Sleep More?
Like most birds, cockatiels that are elderly will have less energy available to burn. Sleeping for longer hours at night and taking daily naps to help compensate for this. Especially during the molting period, an older cockatiel will take more naps and recoup.
An older cockatiel should get between 10 to 12 hours of sleep every day. As they get old, cockatiels become flexible sleepers. Even a pin drop can wake them, and they could go back to sleep within a few seconds. If left to their own devices, older cockatiels will eat and sleep much more than what is needed. You must train your cockatiel and set a proper schedule. Your cockatiels should get enough exercise and playtime. It is very typical for your cockatiel to take short power naps.
Also, it’s worth noting that every cockatiel is different. At the same age, one cockatiel may require more sleep than another. As long as the cockatiel is still somewhat active or doesn’t manifest signs of sleep deprivation, aging is a natural part.
Signs Your Cockatiel Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep
If cockatiels do not get their 10 to 12 hours, they may grow sleep-deprived. This can have a negative impact on their health, exercise, and mood. Sadly, cockatiels don’t exactly lie down and cozy up with a blanket. That makes it hard to tell if your cockatiel is getting the right amount of shut-eye.
Owners will need to look for physical and behavioral signs of an overly tired cockatiel. Your cockatiel isn’t getting enough sleep if it’s:
1. Falling Ill frequently
Sleep-deprived cockatiels will have lowered immune systems. As such, they will have more susceptibility to illnesses or diseases.
It’s not uncommon for cockatiels to fall mildly ill once or twice a year. You may not even notice since cockatiels are adept at hiding sicknesses. However, if your cockatiel comes down with an illness every few months, it may indicate that its sleep schedule is making it weak.
An illness can worsen your cockatiel’s sleep quality, leading to a feedback loop or sickness and sleep deprivation. You will need to reach out to a vet and limit disturbances for the cockatiel.
2. Low energy levels
Cockatiels who do not get enough rest will become drowsy, unhappy, and exhausted. Also your cockatiel may loose interest in:
- Playing with toys
- Teasing others
- Flying more than necessary
Your cockatiel may also spend more of its time at the bottom of the cage or within its nesting box. This will become apparent in any cockatiel within 1-2 weeks, especially extroverted ones.
3. Develops aggression
Sleep deprivation can lead to emotional stress and strain on the body. In combination, that can lead to your cockatiel showing unnecessary and sudden aggression.
Your cockatiel may antagonize other cage mates, guard food, refuse any company, and even bite at you. You may also find the cockatiel screeching and calling at random times, as well as destroying its toys.
If some of these symptoms arise, you need to narrow down the cause. Helping your cockatiel get a better night’s rest will ensure these conditions resolve themselves.