How do you feel when you have to go to work and you’ve only had four hours of sleep? Pretty rotten, right? I had to do this working almost a 12-hour day recently because my work day ended so late the night before. I go to work before I need to be there, getting up at 4:45 a.m. to be at work approximately two hours before I’m required to be there. This way I avoid traffic and it gives me some time to do some work here at the birds.about.com website.
I know I felt like I had been dragged behind a truck the next day.
For the most part, humans only need approximately eight hours of sleep every night give or take an hour or two depending on the individual’s needs. As it stands now, many experts are guessing that most Americans are sleep deprived right now due to stress, pressures and extra work loads being placed on them by their employers.
But your bird? Well, that’s a different story. Most birds we tend to keep in our homes live quite near the equator where each day and each night are twelve hours long. Dark sends them to the safety of their roosts where they can rest and recuperate from that days, flying, foraging and interacting with other birds.
When you have birds in your home, they aren’t as active as their wild cousins, but allowing your bird some peace and quiet at night as well as some quiet time during the day to nap seems to be the ideal way to deal with this sleep issue.
They can rest, sleep or simply relax by getting a little shut eye in the afternoon. I’ve noticed that my Greys tend to quiet down about noon or one o’clock during the day for an hour or so just for some down time after a busy morning of eating their breakfast, getting some morning sun and getting in my hair and driving me to distraction before settling into a routine.
Well, to their credit, they’re just being parrots!
From my research, I’ve found that most experts believe that ten to twelve hours a night is sufficient to keep your bird happy and healthy.
My Greys are pretty much on a set schedule. Pepper is pretty easy going and will go with whatever seems to be going on at the time. But I’ve noticed that at about eight o’clock, Parker gets a bit mouthy and vocalizes frequently. If I put him in his house and don’t cover him immediately he settles down. He grabs a few pellets and heads for his water bowl and taking a quick drink. He seems to know that I have picked up his cue that he is ready to go to his perch and settle in and so he goes about his business of his water and last pellet bedtime snack. When I do pull his cage cover over him, he immediately heads to where he likes to perch for the night and settles right in. Through observation I have learned what he does to indicate to me that he’s just about had it and wants to go to sleep. After covering him up and singing to him, (Yes, I do! It’s a cue and it works to get him settled in.) I then cover Pepper who settles right in on her swing which is where she sleeps. I turn out the light and head to my bedroom in the back and either continue my evening there or simply turn in myself.
This gives them the quiet and peacefulness they need to settle into a good sleep. Aside from covering them and turning out the light, I have an air purifier that seems to provide a ‘white noise” for them. If I get up for any reason, I have found that I can go past their houses and they don’t awaken when the air purifier is running. If it isn’t running, Parker usually wakes up even if I creep into the kitchen for an early morning cup of coffee.
Making considerations for their rest and sleep is a very important part of their daily routine. Their sleep is just as important to their health as a good diet and clean water. So take care to ensure that they get enough rest.