Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

The eyes of a parrot are never closed during sleep. But they are experts at operating in a state between sleep and wakefulness. Because of this, they have taken to sleeping with one eye open, glancing out the window every few minutes.


As a matter of fact, it serves as a form of protection.

A parrot can get some shut-eye by closing one eye and keeping the other open.

In the meantime, peeping enables a bird to keep an eye on its surroundings and detect potential threats like predators.

As a result, a parrot’s brain is sufficiently active to prompt the bird to awaken and take to the air at any time.

Seriously, how awesome is that!

Keep reading because there is a lot of great information in this article on parrots and their sleeping habits (PS – Be sure to see the adorable video of a sleeping and snoring parrot at the end of the article – That’s just too adorable!)

If you look at the following, you’ll see

  • Do you think parrots can sleep in the light?
  • Where do parrots and other birds sleep?
  • Lie in a parrot’s cage all night and see if you can tell
  • How do parrots in a tree always seem to sit with their beaks pointing down?
  • How to get a parrot to relax enough to go to sleep.

There’s a lot to go over!

Find that intriguing?


Okay, so let’s begin!

Do Parrots Need Darkness To Sleep?

Do Birds Sleep With Their Eyes Open

Like humans, parrots need total darkness in order to drift off to sleep.

Lightlessness signals to most birds that it’s time to seek cover and sleep.

Different species sleep for different amounts of time.

Most species of parrots require a daytime light cycle of at least 12 hours and a nighttime dark cycle of at least 12 hours because they are adapted to living in tropical climates.

But what will happen if that time frame isn’t adhered to?

If a parrot doesn’t get enough shut-eye, it can become irritable, nervous, and lethargic.

If a bird doesn’t get enough shut-eye, it can develop aggressive tendencies.

A parrot may start to pluck its feathers in extreme instances.

In addition, a parrot’s immune system might be weakened by anxiety.

If you are a parrot breeder and your birds appear listless, you should investigate the regularity of their snooze time or, even better, take them to the clinic.

How Do Parrots Sleep At Night?

A parrot, like many other birds, likes to spend much of its time in a dark, secluded spot on a high perch.

Normal parrot slumber habits include

  1. Getting their feathers in order
  2. Intentionally craning one’s neck to look down at one’s shoulders.
  3. Burying their beaks in the fluff of their feathers.
  4. Keeping warm by huddling together as a group.
  5. Kneeling and remaining in a perched position on the branches.

What, so,

Do Parrots Sleep Standing Up?

Do Birds Sleep With Their Eyes Open-2

In instead of lying on their backs, they squat when they sleep.

In such case, you would wonder: Wouldn’t they perhaps die while they were sleeping?

So, they sit on a limb and kneel down.

Tightening of the tendons in the foot is a result of bearing the person’s entire body weight.

Because of the way their feet are curved up, the birds are unable to move once they have perched on the branch.

So a sleeping bird won’t accidentally fly off the branch.

While the vast majority of parrot species prefer to snooze on the upper side of a tree, some are able to rest on the underside of a branch.

“Hanging parrots” is a common name for these birds.

The African Grey Parrot is a popular example.


Why Do Hanging Parrots Perch Upside Down?

Well, dangling parrots have a higher chance of avoiding predators.

One reason is that a perched bird is much easier to see than a dangling one.

Now, as a parrot parent, you may be wondering, “How do I make my parrot’s sleeping arrangements more comfortable?”

Let’s find out.

How to Make a Parrot Comfortable For Sleep?

Do Birds Sleep With Their Eyes Open-3

Some of the recommendations are as follows:

  1. Observe a light-to-dark cycle of 12 hours daily with your parrot. The bird would benefit from total darkness, therefore I recommend investing in a cage cover.
  2. Reduce or eliminate nighttime noise as much as possible. To avoid any disturbances throughout the night, the birdcage should be relocated to a more peaceful area of your home if this is not an option.
  3. If you live in an area where birds are often preyed upon, placing the cage near a window may be a good idea. The cage should be taken away from the window at night.
  4. Wooden perches placed at various heights within the cage will provide your birds with a comfortable perching environment.
  5. A bird’s cover should never be lifted out of curiosity. Don’t wake your birds up at night unless there’s a major emergency.

A vet visit is essential if your parrot is snoozing away the day.

The inability to wake up during the day could be an indicator of a more serious health problem.

Wrapping Up 

Similarly to other birds, parrots can sleep with one eye open.

They can maintain awareness while allowing half of their brain to slumber by sneaking a glimpse.

To be sure, a good night’s sleep is crucial to a bird’s well-being.

A sleeping bird will typically puff itself up and rest its neck.

A parrot sleeps in an almost upright position.

Consider the following frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Birds Sleep With Eyes Open?

True, but only if they do so blindfolded.

It’s been discovered that maintaining activity in just one hemisphere of the brain is required for this “one-eye open” phenomenon when sleeping.

Scientists refer to this phenomenon as “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep” when only one side of the brain is active during sleep.

When they sleep, do birds usually close one eye?

Once again, sneaking a glimpse at your partner when they’re sleeping is a protective strategy.

Because of this, its sole purpose is to keep a bird alert and aware of its surroundings, increasing the likelihood that it will survive.

All birds, however, require regular periods of deep sleep to maintain good health.

Therefore, birds occasionally need to close their eyes completely to rest.

Small birds in particular face a constant battle for existence.

When Do Birds Sleep With Both Eyes Closed?

Sleeping at the wrong place or at the wrong time can be disastrous for a bird.

Therefore, only when the bird is feeling safe and secure will it close both eyes during sleep.

Birds that are kept as pets can rest easy knowing that their living space is secure.

Despite the fact that they might not sneak peeks.

But a bird in the outdoors faces constant danger from predators.

The fact that different birds have developed unique strategies for obtaining rest when they need it is an interesting fact.

Among these are:

  1. Perfect Hiding Place

Parakeets and other little parrots go into a deep slumber when they discover a good hiding place.

The highest, leafiest branch is usually the target.

Some birds of song will duck into the cover of the bushes once danger approaches.

  1. Birds Roosting in Flocks 

Animal predators have a harder time finding individual birds asleep in a flock.

And so, it stands to reason that nocturnal birds on the fringes will sneak peeks at potential danger.

Those in the middle, meanwhile, will get a good night’s rest.

All birds, even waterfowl like ducks, share this characteristic.

  1. Sleeping While Flying

Long-distance migratory birds like Frigatebirds will even peek-sleep whilst flying to preserve energy.

  1. Catnaps

Catnaps Small migratory birds, such as songbirds, which fly at night, can take naps whenever they please.

This could take up to 15 minutes out of your day.

However, everytime I bring up the topic of birds resting with their eyes closed, I always get asked the most incredible question.

Do Birds Even Have Eyelids?

The vast majority of people, I’m assuming, have never seen a bird with its eyes closed.

Birds, on the other hand, have a triflict of eyelids:

  • Specifically, the lid that covers the upper part of the eye.
  • A slang term for the lower eyelid
  • The nictating membrane, which is transparent.

Lower eyelids are used by parrots, just as they are by other diurnal (daytime active) birds.

Close your eyes at night by squeezing your upper eyelids together.

The nictating membrane, however, serves primarily as a safety mechanism.

The nictating membrane aids parrots in flight when there is intense sunshine or wind.

They utilize it to shield their young’s eyes while they are being fed.

Hawks and other predators use nictating membranes to breathe underwater during hunts.


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