Why Is My Cockatiel Not Sleeping? (Causes+ What To Do)

All animals need sleep, including our cockatiels. Therefore, it can be worrisome when our little birds aren’t sleeping as much as they should be.

In order to help your bird sleep better, you first need to figure out why it is not sleeping at night in the first place. This may require you to put on your detective hat and carefully investigate what may be going on.

If your cockatiel isn’t sleeping enough, this may be a sign of a medical problem. In addition, cockatiels are very sensitive to their environment. A slight change in decibels can soothe or spook your birds. Furthermore, if the room is cold and the cockatiel lacks other cage mates to huddle with, it may also struggle to sleep.

Just like us, there are plenty of reasons why your cockatiel might not be sleeping; and, just like us, it can become a long-term problem.

Today we will be discussing some of the reasons why your bird may not be sleeping, and how you can help them get a good night’s sleep.

9 Reasons Why Your Cockatiel Isn’t Sleeping

There are a number of reasons why your cockatiel might not be sleeping. Sometimes, it is not that easy to pinpoint the exact reason.

However, if your cockatiels have recently experienced any lifestyle changes, going through this list may help you figure it out.

In many cases, you will likely need to try multiple strategies to help your bird get a good night’s sleep.


Baby cockatiels tend to sleep more than their adult counterparts.

You will notice that as your baby cockatiel becomes an adult, they will stop sleeping as much as they did when they were babies.

This change in sleeping patterns is pretty gradual. Therefore, owners typically don’t notice it all that much.

However, some cockatiels can suddenly shift their sleeping habits, especially when there are other factors at play.

You must understand that all cockatiels have their own personalities and some birds will continue in the same sleep cycles as they always did and transition to adulthood, while others will show a noticeable change in their habits.


A stressed cockatiel will probably sleep less due to anxiety. If your cockatiel is scared, then there are chances that it will stay on a high-alert mode more often. This will lead to extensive amounts of sleep loss.

Even if you can’t think of anything your bird is stressed about, there is still the possibility that something is bothering them.

Stress can look like an illness with low activity, lethargy, and extra stinky excrement and can arise for a number of reasons.

The most common is poor habitat, but it could be something as simple as too many loud noises or being handled more than they’d like.

If you feel your cockatiel is stressed, do not ignore it.

In some cases, stress might even lead to loss of appetite and other serious health complications that can take away your cockatiel’s life.

Therefore, you must provide your cockatiel with the life they deserve.


Cockatiels need proper care and attention to avoid any kind of health issues.

Cockatiels can hide their pain pretty well. Sometimes, you will not even know how much your little birds are suffering.

If your suspect that your cockatiel is suffering from a health condition, observe your pet regularly and look out for any adverse symptoms.

If your little bird shows any unusual or weird behavior, then take them to a vet.

Excessive Stimulation

If your cockatiel has experienced too much stimulation, it will probably have a tough time getting to sleep.

Before getting settled for the night, your cockatiel will need a period of calm.

You must avoid handling your bird a lot in the hour before bed. If you do so, you may find that they have a hard time settling down and may stay awake long passed lights out.

Due to this, you must try to limit the amount of stimulation your cockatiel receives in the few hours leading up to bedtime.

Besides this, you should also limit the amount of noise and movement outside of their enclosure.

Just like we turn off the lights a few hours before bed, you should try and “turn off” your birds’ stimulation as well.

Furthermore, you should also not feed your bird shortly before bed. Food can make your cockatiels very excited, which can interfere with their sleep.

Too Much Noise

If there is excessive noise around your bird’s cage, then there are chances that it will have a tough time sleeping.

Unfamiliar sounds are often known to cause stress in cockatiels, which, in turn, can keep them awake for a long time.

Some of the common noises that can be problematic for your cockatiels are:

  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Other Pets
  • Outside noise such as from horns.

Cockatiels often tend to interpret the unfamiliar sounds as threats. Therefore, due to their survival instinct, it will not sleep until it feels safe.

You must also consider in which part of your home your cockatiel is housed.

For example, near a window that overlooks a busy road might not be the best place.

Furthermore, try and consider lowering entertainment such as TV as this can make a big difference in their quality of sleep.

Incorrect Temperature

Most cockatiel won’t fall asleep if the temperature around their cage is too cold.

In the wild, cockatiels are known to keep warm in cold weather by huddling together.

However, this may not be possible when kept in captivity, especially if your bird lives alone.

In such cases, you consider, that covering the cage with a bath towel will help insulate your cockatiel’s cage.

However, always leave a small opening at the top of the cage to allow air circulation.

Too Much Light

Just like us, cockatiels also have difficulty falling asleep with lots of light on.

However, smaller or dim lights won’t be a problem.

For example, if you’re on your cell phone or have a charger that lights up, it probably won’t cause many issues.

You must also keep in mind that some cockatiels may be more sensitive to light than others.

If your cockatiel seems to take a while to calm down after the lights are turned off, you may want to start turning them off slightly earlier.

If your cockatiel seems to be having a difficult time, consider darkening their room 15 minutes early. This includes ceiling lights, lamps, and TVs.

Incorrect Diet

Diet has a direct impact on how much energy our cockatiels have.

If our birds are not getting the proper nutrients, they will become lethargic.

We highly recommend taking plenty of time to check your cockatiel’s diet to ensure that they receive a balanced diet. 

Another sign that your bird isn’t getting the nutrients they need is when you see them eating their own poop.

You must keep an eye on your bird’s sleeping habits. If you feel your cockatiel is not well, immediately take them to a vet.

Disturbing Cage Mates

There might be chances that all the cockatiels in your bird’s cage might not get well together.

If your birds are not happily well settled with each other then, one or the other might have a tough time sleeping.

In addition, whenever you add a new bird to the cage, then make sure you are extremely careful. Keep an eye on them for a few hours to make sure they are ok with each other.

How To Put A Cockatiel To Sleep?

There are a few ways by which you can help your cockatiel sleep better.

The first thing you can do is over to your bird’s cage.

Covering the cage will help to keep the environment dark and block out some noise. This will help your pet to feel more comfortable and safe.

In addition, you want to make sure that the room with their cage is not too hot or too cold.

Changes in temperature, or extreme temperatures, will make your pet feel uncomfortable and even leave them prone to illness.

What Happens If Cockatiel Doesn’t Sleep Enough?

Just like we humans, our cockatiels need to sleep a particular number of hours each day to live a healthy and happy life.

Lack of sleep makes our birds prone to a number of health complications.

However, in most cases, cockatiels will fall asleep eventually, even if they are struggling to begin with.

Also, cockatiels can also go quite a while with less-than-stellar sleep before they begin to experience serious consequences.

Still, it is best to handle the underlying cause of your bird’s lack of sleep as soon as possible. You don’t want your cockatiel to be affected by preventable health problems.

How Long Should A Cockatiel Be Awake?

In the wild, cockatiels are awake from sunrise to sunset, which amounts to about 12 hours on average.

However, the change in the number of hours of sleep depends on a number of factors.

Do Cockatiels Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

Cockatiels can sleep with both their eyes shut or with their eyes slightly open. These birds can also sleep with one eye open and the other closed. At such a time, half the brain rests, and the other half remains alert.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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