Budgies need 10-12 hours of sleep on average every night. Because if not, your bird may become aggressive, stressed, and its health may weaken.
But do budgies need darkness to sleep? Absolutely. Your pet birds need darkness to sleep soundly at night. This is because wild budgies usually fall asleep when daylight fades and are awake at sunrise. Therefore, darkness helps signal pet budgies when it is time to sleep. However, during the day, your parakeets don’t need darkness just to nap.
So then, how much darkness does a budgie need? Read further to understand why parakeets need darkness to sleep and the best nighttime routine practices.
Do Budgies Need Darkness To Sleep?
Yes. Budgies need total darkness to sleep at night. This is because, in the wild, budgies stay awake during the day and sleep at night when darkness falls. After all, these parrot species are diurnal and not nocturnal animals like:
Therefore, you must turn off the lights in your pet bird’s room when it is time for them to sleep. You could also cover their cage. However, during the daytime, your parakeets can sleep or nap comfortably without the need for darkness.
Why Do Budgies Need Darkness To Sleep?
Besides helping your budgies achieve deep sleep, darkness is necessary for the following reasons:
Mimics their natural habitat
Most parakeets originate in tropical areas. Here, they usually experience 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of daylight. Therefore, providing them with darkness helps mimic their natural environment, allowing them to sleep.
Critical during the breeding season
Darkness helps stimulate the hormone for ovum maturation in female budgies during the breeding season. Therefore, you must provide your pet birds with more dark time during this time.
Reduces aggressive behavior
Without darkness, your budgies may not get enough night’s sleep. As a result, this might make your pet birds behave aggressively. Some aggressive behaviors your parakeets may exhibit are feather picking and biting.
Budgies cannot fall asleep well without darkness. Due to this, they can quickly get stressed and irritable if they don’t sleep for at least 8 hours a night.
Protect their immune system
If your parakeets don’t get adequate sleep due to limited darkness, this could adversely affect their health. Simply, your pet birds may become more susceptible to infections.
Nighttime Routine Best Practices
Establishing a strict nighttime routine for your budgies is critical because these birds need to get adequate sleep. So, below are some best practices to keep in mind.
1. Keeping the room quiet
When your parakeets try to fall asleep, you must switch off the TV and all the noises around. Loud noises can prevent the birds from sleeping or lead to night terrors.
2. Covering the cage
You should also consider covering your budgies’ cage at night using a thick or dark fabric. This will help keep the cage entirely dark throughout the night.
3. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
To ensure your budgies get restful sleep every day, you should set a consistent bedtime schedule. And, of course, make sure to follow the program persistently.
4. Not switching lights off abruptly
Just like the sunlight dims slowly in the wild, you should also switch the lights off gradually. This way, your pet birds can figure out when it is time to sleep.
5. Get plenty of perches
Pet budgies prefer sleeping while standing on the highest point of their perch. So, if you have multiple birds, ensure their cage has several perching objects.
Should I cover My Budgie’s Cage At Night?
It is not really necessary, but you can. Covering your bird’s cage can help them sleep better at night by ensuring total darkness. Additionally, a cover may help establish a consistent sleeping pattern for your parakeets. If you prefer to cover your budgie’s cage, you should try to do it simultaneously every night.
Using a cage cover also helps mimic the nest cavity of budgies in the wild. Further, the cover offers security while minimizing movements and sounds that might scare your budgies. The light blanket also helps keep your birds warm during the cold season.
Unfortunately, while some parakeets may be comfortable sleeping in a covered cage, others may not be. So, below are scenarios when not to cover a budgie’s cage.
- When there is a dark, quiet, and secluded area for the birds to sleep
- Budgie acts scared and nervous in the dark
- When light and noise are not an issue
- During the summer when temperatures are high
How Much Sleep Do Budgies Need?
Being diurnal animals, budgies need between 10 and 12 hours of sound sleep every night. Because in the wild, these birds usually sleep around sunset and wake up during the sunrise. Your pet birds may also nap during the daytime.
Getting at least 10 hours of sleep helps ensure your pet budgies can operate at maximum energy levels. Unfortunately, if your parakeets don’t get adequate sleep, they may:
- Become aggressive and more cranky
- Squawk excessively
- Pick fights with other birds
- Start falling ill more often
- Become more lethargic
- Engage in behavior like feather plucking
Can Budgies Sleep With A Night Light On?
Yes. While budgies need sufficient darkness to fall asleep properly, they can still sleep with a night light. This is because, unlike other lights, a night lamp is not bright, just like a candle.
However, a night light is not necessary for your budgies. This is because limited darkness can be stressful for some birds. As such, it may lead to various behavioral problems. But a night light is essential if your parakeet is scared of the dark and often experiences night frights.
You could also use the light when your birds are rousting or breeding if they hardly ever get out of their cage. The light can help your budgies synthesize vitamin D.
Before concluding, we will respond to several frequently asked questions about budgies needing darkness to sleep.
How much darkness does a budgie need?
Your budgies need darkness throughout the night when they are asleep. Since they can sleep 10 to 12 hours, they need at least 10 hours of darkness. So, you might want to cover their cage to keep the light out.
Do budgies like sleeping in the dark?
Yes. This is because light only encourages wakefulness in parakeets. As a result, your birds may stay alert for most of the night, which is not healthy. Some budgies even like it when you cover their cage for enhanced darkness.
Can budgies sleep in the dark?
Absolutely. Sleeping in the dark at night is essential for your budgies’ well-being and health. However, some pet birds are highly prone to night terrors and must sleep with a night light on.
Budgies need darkness at night to sleep for at least 10 hours. This helps minimize aggressive behavior and stress while also mimicking their natural behavior.
But to help your pet birds get adequate sleep, you should consider some of the best nighttime routine practices. For instance, if your birds are scared of the dark, you could cover their cage or even leave a night light on.