Do Parakeets Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Contrary to popular belief, parakeets do not sleep with their eyes open. Parakeets, just like other birds, close their eyes when they sleep. They have a specialized third eyelid called the nictitating membrane, which provides protection while allowing them to see partially. The nictitating membrane is translucent, allowing some light to enter and enabling them to stay aware of their environment even when they’re resting.

Factors Influencing Parakeet Sleep

Several factors influence the quality and duration of parakeet sleep. Let’s explore some key factors that affect their slumber:

  1. Lighting: Parakeets are sensitive to light, and exposure to excessive artificial light can disrupt their sleep. Providing a natural light-dark cycle can help regulate their sleep patterns.
  2. Noise Level: Loud or sudden noises can startle parakeets and disturb their sleep. Keeping their sleeping area in a quiet and peaceful part of your home can promote better sleep.
  3. Temperature: Parakeets are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can affect their sleep. Ensure they have a comfortable sleeping environment with an appropriate temperature range.
  4. Cage Size and Setup: A well-designed cage that provides security, comfort, and enough space for movement is essential for promoting restful sleep.
  5. Companionship: Parakeets are social birds and thrive with companionship. Having a compatible cage mate can contribute to a sense of security and better sleep.

Signs of Parakeet Sleep

While parakeets sleep with their eyes closed, it may not always be easy to determine if they are asleep. However, certain signs can indicate that your feathered friend is in the midst of a peaceful slumber:

  1. Closed Eyes: As mentioned earlier, closed eyes are a clear sign that your parakeet is sleeping.
  2. Relaxed Posture: During sleep, parakeets tend to relax their bodies and tuck their heads under their wings.
  3. Decreased Activity: Parakeets are naturally active birds, but during sleep, their activity level reduces significantly.
  4. Quietness: A sleeping parakeet is generally quieter and less vocal compared to its active state.

Parakeet Sleep Positions: A Closer Look

The way parakeets position themselves during sleep can vary. Here are a few common sleep positions observed in parakeets:

  1. Perched Sleep: Parakeets often sleep while perched on a branch or inside their cage. They balance themselves by holding one foot up close to their body while standing on the other.
  2. Wing Tuck Sleep: Another common sleep position is when parakeets tuck their heads under their wings, resting comfortably.
  3. Back Sleep: Occasionally, parakeets may sleep on their backs, with their legs pointed upward. This position usually indicates a deep state of relaxation and comfort.

How Long Do Parakeets Sleep Each Day?

The duration of parakeet sleep varies based on factors such as age, environmental conditions, and overall health. On average, parakeets sleep for around 10 to 12 hours per day. However, it’s important to note that they do not sleep for a continuous stretch like humans do. Instead, they take short naps throughout the day, often breaking their sleep into multiple sessions.

Do Parakeets Experience REM Sleep?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, associated with dreaming in humans, is not observed in birds like parakeets. They primarily experience slow-wave sleep (SWS), which promotes physical and mental rejuvenation. During SWS, parakeets exhibit slow and synchronized brain waves that help facilitate restoration and overall well-being.

Sleep Disturbances in Parakeets

Parakeets, like any living creature, can experience sleep disturbances. Some common factors that may disrupt their sleep include:

  1. Stress: Parakeets can become stressed due to changes in their environment, loud noises, or feeling threatened. Stress can disrupt their sleep patterns and lead to restlessness.
  2. Illness or Pain: When parakeets are unwell or experiencing pain, their sleep can be affected. If you notice any significant changes in their sleep patterns, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian.
  3. Improper Cage Placement: Placing the parakeet’s cage in a noisy or high-traffic area can lead to sleep disturbances. Find a quiet and peaceful spot for their cage to ensure uninterrupted rest.
  4. Sleep Disorders: While rare, some parakeets may develop sleep disorders, such as night frights, where they experience sudden panic or fright during sleep. Professional advice should be sought if you suspect your parakeet has a sleep disorder.

Do Parakeets Need Darkness to Sleep?

Parakeets do not require complete darkness to sleep, but providing them with a dim environment can promote better rest. In their natural habitat, parakeets experience periods of dim light during sunrise and sunset, signaling the start and end of their active day. Mimicking this natural light-dark cycle can help regulate their sleep-wake cycle and promote healthy sleep habits.

Providing a Restful Environment for Your Parakeet

To ensure your parakeet gets quality sleep, consider implementing the following tips:

  1. Cage Cover: Using a breathable cage cover can create a cozy and secure environment for your parakeet. Ensure the cover allows for proper airflow while creating a dimly lit atmosphere.
  2. Consistent Sleep Schedule: Establishing a regular sleep schedule can help your parakeet anticipate restful periods. Try to maintain a consistent routine for their sleep and wake times.
  3. Noise Reduction: Minimize loud noises or sudden disruptions near your parakeet’s sleeping area. This can include lowering the volume on electronic devices or moving the cage to a quieter room.
  4. Temperature Control: Maintain an optimal temperature range in the room where your parakeet sleeps. Avoid exposing them to extreme hot or cold temperatures, as it can disrupt their sleep.
  5. Companionship: Consider providing your parakeet with a compatible cage mate to promote a sense of security and companionship during sleep.

FAQs about Parakeet Sleep

FAQ 1: Can parakeets sleep while perched? Yes, parakeets can sleep while perched on a branch or inside their cage. They have the ability to balance themselves with one foot tucked up close to their body.

FAQ 2: Do parakeets snore while sleeping? No, parakeets do not snore like humans do. However, they may make soft chirping sounds or gentle movements during sleep.

FAQ 3: Should I cover my parakeet’s cage at night? Covering your parakeet’s cage at night with a breathable cover can create a cozy sleeping environment. It can also help block out excessive light and reduce external distractions.

FAQ 4: What are signs of a sleep-deprived parakeet? Signs of a sleep-deprived parakeet may include excessive tiredness, irritability, decreased appetite, and reduced activity levels. If you notice these signs, it’s important to assess their sleeping conditions and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

FAQ 5: Do parakeets have nightmares? It is currently unknown if parakeets experience nightmares. However, they may exhibit signs of distress or fear during sleep if they have a sleep disorder or are experiencing night frights.

FAQ 6: How can I help my parakeet sleep better? To help your parakeet sleep better, ensure they have a comfortable and secure sleeping environment. This includes providing a proper-sized cage, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and minimizing disturbances such as loud noises or bright lights.


In conclusion, parakeets do not sleep with their eyes open. These captivating birds close their eyes while sleeping, just like other species of birds. Understanding the sleep habits of parakeets is essential for providing them with a restful environment that promotes their overall well-being. By following the tips and recommendations provided in this article, you can ensure that your parakeet enjoys peaceful slumber and wakes up refreshed to greet each new day.