Should Cockatiels Have A Night Light? (Answered!)

Last night, as the sun began to set, I started to wonder how cockatiels sleep at night as pets in their cages.

Then I began to wonder how do cockatiels sleep at night; do they need complete darkness or a night light? 

To answer this question, cockatiels sleep better with a dim light so that they do not experience night frights. Therefore, cockatiels can, or should, have a night light so that they can have a good night’s rest. 

We are going to look into this in a lot more detail, so let’s get into this!

Can cockatiels sleep in the dark? 

Yes, as the light will confuse the bird to make them think it is daytime where their instincts will tell them to stay awake and alert in case of predators.

However, in the case of cockatiels, a night light that is very dim can offer some comfort for your cockatiel who may suffer from night frights.

Darkness can hide many things and that can cause extra stress or worry for your cockatiel. 

What is a cockatiel’s sleeping pattern? 

As sunset starts a cockatiel will become ready for bed and prepare to sleep.

Like most daytime animals, a cockatiel’s eyesight is poor in the dark which makes them extra aware of any noise or sudden light.

As a pet, most birds need more sleep than we would.

They normally need between 10 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Darkness and safety are key for your cockatiel to get a good night’s rest. 

What are night frights? 

Night frights are especially common with cockatiels as they are the breed that suffers from them the most.

Cockatiels are prone to night frights, where they become startled and can thrash and flail about in their cage.

A night fright can be caused by anything, a breeze of cool air, a sudden bright light, a shadow, an abrupt noise, etc.

Often it reverts back to their instinct, as they fear it is a predator and in the wild, they would fly vertically to escape. 

There are varying ideas to help stop cockatiels from experiencing night frights.

For some, feeding before bedtime helps and for others, a dim light or night light may help.

Of course, this will depend upon your cockatiel and their preferences. 

Why do cockatiels have night frights? 

To answer this question, we have to think of the cockatiel in the wild.

As cockatiels, in the wild, spend a large portion of the day foraging on the ground they have adapted survival instincts to become airborne quickly.

Due to these cockatiels have quick reflexes and instincts, ensuring their survival when a predator is around.

In the wild, night-time is often filled with noise and the constant glare of the moon.

However, when those disappear this makes the cockatiels survival instinct heighten to be aware of any passing predators.

Therefore, in a house that is silent at night and completely dark a cockatiel will be aware of every single noise, shadow, or light making them far more likely to instinctively try and fly away, resulting in a night fright.

So a night light may help eliminate your cockatiels experiences of night frights. 

What can cause night frights? 

Night frights can be caused by a variety of things; a perceived threat caused by noise or light, change in routine, change in environment, or sudden light or vibration.

There are a few ways to help ease your cockatiel away from experiencing night frights and often it’s about perfecting their sleep schedule to make them feel as safe as possible. 

Are night frights dangerous?

Night fright episodes can be dangerous for your cockatiel, as well as being extremely distressing for them and you.

They cause a cockatiel to flail and move about in an attempt to fly away from supposed danger which may cause harm to them as they sleep in their cages.

During a night fright, your cockatiel could fall to the floor of their cage which could result in injury.

It is like having a horrible nightmare but helping soothe your cockatiel can ease them back to a calm state. 

Should I cover my cockatiels cage at night? 

As cockatiels need to feel safe in order to sleep, covering their cage may help them.

However, a source of some light will still be needed.

Situating your cockatiel’s cage in a quieter part of your house or in a corner that makes them feel safe is beneficial to ensuring your cockatiel has a good night’s rest. 

Covering your cockatiel’s cage can stop any sudden noise or light from fully frightening them and from making them act instinctively.

Covering their cage and allowing some light to emit in then it helps create the perfect sleeping nook for your cockatiel.

However, if you cover it too densely, with no light being let in, or covering it too lightly and allowing any sudden light in can cause them to have a night fright. 

How to create a comfortable sleeping area for your cockatiel

There are various ways to prevent night frights.

Some recommend an air purifier due to the white noise it offers that helps keeps cockatiels calm.

A night light should be used to help create a calming presence of light for when your cockatiel sleeps.

Helping minimize noise or invasive light can help leaps and bounds in protecting your cockatiel from night frights. 

It is difficult to stop or prevent night frights as cockatiels have adapted to react quickly to any sudden noises or changes in their surroundings.

However, the small changes and observations you make can help your cockatiel in the long run. 

Overall, a cockatiel should have some source of dim light when resting.

Night-time can increase stress levels and awareness for a cockatiel, making it an unnerving time for them and their owner.

Being observant of their environment and their care is the first step in helping curb the occurrence of night frights.

Therefore, a night light would be beneficial to help stop the likelihood of your cockatiel experiencing night frights.

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