Why is My Cockatiel Not Sleeping? – 5 Possible Reasons

Cockatiels need 10-12 hours of sleep per day. Some may take naps during the day, while others may stay awake during the day and sleep at night. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes cockatiels will seem stressed and rarely sleep in their cages, even when it’s time to rest.

So, why is my cockatiel not sleeping? Cockatiels may not sleep if the surrounding environment is noisy, too cold, or too bright. A sick cockatiel may have problems sleeping. Inspect your pet to get the cause of its sleeping problems and offer the appropriate remedy.

Read this article to understand better why your cockatiel is not sleeping. In this article, we shall also offer a remedy to the common problems affecting your pet’s sleeping pattern.

Why is My Cockatiel Not Sleeping? (+ Remedy To The Causes)

Why is My Cockatiel Not Sleeping?

There are several causes of your pet not sleeping or not sleeping enough. The obvious is that there is a missing element or something is affecting the normal routine of your cockatiel.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why your cockatiel is not sleeping.

Too much brightness in the surrounding

The sleeping cage should be dark to soothe the cockatiels to sleep. The birds are used to their natural habitat, where they experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

When the resting cage is bright from bulbs and tv, they tend to assume it’s still daytime and may not sleep. Always ensure you cover the cage to prevent light rays from the surroundings.

Too much noise

Cockatiels need quietness to sleep. Noise may come from motor vehicles passing by or even loud music from the house. The birds tend to confuse the noise as a threat or incoming danger. That results in the birds staying awake.

The cage should be located in a place with minimal noise, especially at night.


When the birds are sick, they either oversleep or stay awake throughout the night. Depending on the disease, cockatiels will stay awake and in a stressed mood even at night.

Lack of sleep should be the first indicator to the owner that the bird is unwell. Seek the intervention of an avian veterinary and get the right medication.

Too much cold

Birds require a war environment to fall asleep. When the cage gets too cold, cockatiels get stressed and tend to remain awake as they try to generate warmth.

You can notice the birds ducking their heads into their feathers to generate warmth. In such cases, cover the cage with a blanket to help prevent the cold air. In large-scale cages, you can introduce electric heaters to warm the cages.

New environment or incompatible mates

Introducing a new mate, especially one incompatible with the existing birds, may lead to a lack of sleep. The new cockatiel feels lonely and sees the other birds as a threat. To avoid such, get mates from the same lineage and habitat.

Changing the bird’s environment may cause a lack of sleep as they try to adapt to the new surroundings. If you want to change the bird’s cage, do it at night, so the birds cannot notice the change in the environment.

What Are The Best Cockatiels Sleeping Setups?

What Are The Best Cockatiels Sleeping Setups?

Some cockatiels may not sleep due to a lack of proper sleeping setups. Owners tend to provide sleeping setups similar to those of humans.

However, it’s good to know that cockatiels have a different sleeping setup from humans. Cockatiels perch on structures or twigs fixed in the cage.

Construct a fig or twig-designed perching point to imitate the usual habitat and ensure it is strong enough to hold the bird. The idea is to give the bird a similar environment as the one in the natural habitat.

What Happens If A Cockatiel Doesn’t Sleep Enough?

What Happens If A Cockatiel Doesn't Sleep Enough?

Cockatiels require 10-12 hours of sleep on a normal day. Failure to which cockatiels develop signs and symptoms that indicate tiresomeness and stress.

Cockatiels are social and friendly birds. If they do not get enough sleep, they tend to be bored and non-social, as it is their norm. The bird will take much of its time perched without feeding.

Depending on the cause of less or no sleep, cockatiels may be seen dozing off outside as others play along. Owners should be keen to notice such abnormalities and seek to offer the best solution.

The birds will have reduced energy for flight and an appetite to feed.

What Are Cockatiels Night Frights?

What Are Cockatiels Night Frights?

Cockatiels are small and defenseless birds. According to Avian Avenue research, these birds weigh between 90 and 100 grams. Some sleep with one eye open at night in the spot of frights and threats.

Below are some night frights that can startle a sleeping cockatiel to a waking state.

  • Invasion by insects such as ants and mites. – A dirty environment with food leftovers may attract such insects. They are deadly as they penetrate the cockatiel’s feathers and cause irritation. Avoid insect invasion by keeping the sleeping cage clean and tidy.
  • Loud deafening sound in the surroundings. – The cage should be erected away from the noise as these sudden noises disrupt the bird’s sleep.
  • Sudden bright light rays – Cockatiels hate light during their resting period. They sleep better in dark environments. Flashes of lights in the cages should be avoided as they startle the sleeping birds.
  • Sudden movements and strong winds – Avoid movements around the cage as the distraction will interrupt the birds. Shelter the cage from strong winds that drift cold air to the sleeping birds.

How Long Can A Cockatiel Go Without Sleep?

How Long Can A Cockatiel Go Without Sleep?

Every living creature requires sleep to rest and allow for metabolism. For cockatiels, they require 10-12 hours of sleep per day.

However, some circumstances may force the cockatiel to go without sleep. A cockatiel can go without sleep for a maximum of 2 days, upon which it will collapse out of fatigue.

Such occasions may be brought about by sicknesses or adverse conditions depriving the birds of time to sleep.


Below are responses to some frequently asked questions to help you better understand the cause of lack of sleep in your pet.

Why is my cockatiel not sleeping at night?

The possible reasons would be bright light or too much environmental noise. Cockatiels require total silence and darkness to fall asleep. Other causes may be due to cockatiels’ illness or cold nights. Sometimes a hungry cockatiel will not sleep at night. They tend to make sounds until you feed them.

Can my cockatiel sleep with night lights on?

Some cockatiels have night fright and may require a night light to reduce the panic and tension. However, most birds prefer a dark cage for better sleep.
If your cage houses different kinds of cockatiels, use a dim light at one end and have a separate dark side to serve all birds.


In conclusion, cockatiels may not sleep due to noise, cold surroundings, illnesses, and too much light. These factors cause disruption and confusion amongst the birds. The cockatiels translate some of these distractions as threats, and they have to stay awake in case of attacks.

Keep the cage in a quiet and dark place to allow the birds to enjoy their sleep. For illnesses, consult an Avian veterinarian to avoid infecting the other cockatiels.

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