When it comes to owning a budgie, making adjustments around the house is expected.
Many responsible bird owners know not to use non-stick pans or avoid cold drafts. Still, another important aspect of your budgie’s wellness is easily forgotten— quality sleep.
For as loud and playful as budgies are during the day, they need plenty of peace and quiet at night to remain happy and healthy.
As a caring owner, it is only natural to wonder if leaving a TV on can disturb our feathered friends’ sleep.
A bird’s sleep is often disrupted by a TV being left on, but this depends heavily on factors such as brightness or noisiness.
Be sure to read below to know how you can ensure your TV doesn’t impact your bird’s sleep.
Do budgies need darkness to sleep?
How budgies know when to sleep
Budgies don’t simply sleep whenever they are tired.
Although the occasional daytime nap is typical for birds, a wild budgie needs to be awake to forage and stay safe from predators throughout the day.
As sunset and sunrise times change throughout the year, wild budgies continually adjust their sleep schedules to sleep only during dark hours.
Budgies have a complex sleep/wake cycle known as a circadian rhythm which acts as an internal 24-hour cycle to help keep budgies awake and asleep at appropriate times.
Darkness makes budgies produce melatonin, the hormone associated with tiredness and sleep.
How brightness affects your pet budgie’s sleep
In captivity, budgies still respond to light cues to know when to sleep.
Along with natural light coming through your windows during the day, artificial light from bulbs or screens also prevents your budgie from getting sleepy.
Since many of us keep our lights on even after the sun has set, pet budgies are often kept awake much longer than their wild counterparts.
Not only does light during sleeping hours prevent your budgie from sleeping well, but it also makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep.
Budgies can nap when it is bright if they are exhausted, but their health and sleep quality may be significantly impaired.
Do budgies need quiet to sleep?
Budgies can adapt to some noise
When their environment is noisy, a budgie’s brain produces hormones such as cortisol to keep them awake.
Therefore, budgies require hours of uninterrupted quietness to stay asleep throughout the night.
That being said, budgies don’t necessarily require pure silence. Wild budgies sleep together in large flocks, meaning they are used to small amounts of movement and sound.
Quiet and monotone noises talking in another room are easily drowned out by your bird.
As long as the noise is predictable, budgies can even fall asleep to louder sounds, such as a nearby fan.
In fact, white noise can actually be beneficial to maintain an appropriate environment for sleep as it serves as a sound buffer to mask disruptive noises!
Unexpected noises will wake your budgie up
As prey animals, budgies are very skittish, especially at night. In the wild, budgies must always be on alert to flee from any predators.
Any unpredictable changes in a bird’s environment, such as sudden noise, will likely catch a sleeping bird’s attention.
Although they may become accustomed to soft, repetitive sounds, budgies are unlikely to sleep well with unexpected loud noises.
A particularly startling noise could possibly give your budgie a night terror, leading to injury or stress.
Is the TV too noisy and bright for a budgie to sleep comfortably?
It’s easy to get carried away when marathoning your favorite series, but leaving the TV on at night could disrupt your bird’s sleep.
Shows and movies have constantly changing sounds, brightness, and movement, all of which will catch your budgie’s attention and simulate the wake centers in its brain.
Is my TV too bright for my bird?
The exact amount of light a TV produces is dependent on its model, but most modern LED TVs produce high amounts of blue light.
Although most artificial lighting can disrupt your budgie’s sleep, blue light is especially known to upset their circadian rhythm.
Because of this, the brightness of even a dimly lit TV in a dark room can prevent proper melatonin production. This makes it difficult for your bird to even fall asleep in the first place.
Not only does the brightness cause issue, but the images on the TV themselves may serve as a hindrance to proper sleep.
Budgies often sleep with one eye open and half of their brain awake to monitor their surroundings for any sign of movement or danger.
They are ready to wake up on a dime, and your TV can trick them into doing just that.
Is my TV too loud for my bird?
Whether or not your TV is too loud for your budgie depends on the TV’s volume, how close your budgie is to it, and what the sound is.
The closer your budgie is to a loud TV, the more likely your budgie will be disturbed.
Most programs at average listening volume will disturb your budgie’s sleep throughout the night.
Perhaps more important than the actual noisiness of the television is the loudness range of audio itself. Most TV programs use a wide loudness range for dramatic effect.
What would a good horror movie be without audio scares or an action series without a booming soundtrack?
Calm, unvaried sounds coming from your TV, such as classical music or quiet dialogue, are much less likely to bother your bird.
Very repetitive noises such as classical music or rain can actually help your bird sleep better if they are at a comfortable volume.
Do budgies like to watch TV?
What budgies enjoy watching
Like other parrots, budgies have excellent vision and are highly intelligent. This makes them naturally curious and easily entertained by simply watching the world around them.
Based on the experiences of many owners, budgies are seemingly no exception.
Shows and videos provide excellent entertainment for budgies because of the noise, colors, and movement coming from the screen.
Although this may be interesting enough for your bird, watching other birds or humans on the screen can emulate social interaction while you are gone.
Will my budgie be scared by the TV?
As always, monitoring your bird for stress when introducing it to something new is a good idea.
Although most birds enjoy televisions, images on the TV can frighten your bird, especially if the TV is close or loud.
A scared bird will move away from the TV and pull in its feathers. It may hiss or make distress calls.
You can tell if your bird is enjoying the show if it is watching closely, purring, singing, or chirping.
Eight tips to watch TV without affecting your budgie’s sleep
Choose a bedtime
Since budgies have a 24-hour circadian rhythm, they naturally want to fall asleep at the same time each night.
Pick a 10-12 hour time period to keep things quiet and dark. Over time, your budgie’s sleep schedule will adjust to fit this.
Place your budgie’s cage far from the TV
It doesn’t matter if your TV is at the lowest brightness and volume settings if your budgie is too close to it.
Keep your budgie’s cage at least a few feet from the screen throughout the day, especially during quiet hours.
Turn off the lights and keep your budgie’s cage covered
It is always recommended to turn the lights off in a room where a budgie is sleeping.
Covering the cage with a sheet at night is also a good idea, as it will block out a significant amount of noise and light.
Keep the volume low and reduce the brightness of your TV
Even if your bird’s cage is covered, light and noise can still get through. Be sure to keep the volume and brightness as low as possible.
Avoid noisy shows
Not every show is made equally.
Instead of choosing scary movies or those that have sudden loud noises, pick shows with more level, calming soundtracks, and dialogue.
Better yet, choose videos that are meant to be calming.
Take advantage of your TV’s settings
Many modern TVs come with useful settings that can significantly reduce disruptions.
If possible, turn on a blue light filter and enable options to reduce loud sounds and level the volume.
Move your budgie at night
As much as your bird may like watching TV during the day, it may be a good idea to move it somewhere else at night.
If necessary, move your budgie to a more appropriate room or give it a designated sleeping cage away from noises.
Create white noise
It may be counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to get rid of disturbing noise is to create more appropriate noise.
A fan or air purifier can block many of the disruptive noises that would normally wake your bird.
Providing your budgie with 10-12 hours of quality sleep is a priority for any responsible owner.
Regulating the brightness and noisiness of your budgie’s surroundings is key to making sure your budgie has an uninterrupted sleep it needs to thrive.
Although many budgies enjoy watching TV, leaving the TV on during resting hours may cause your budgie to miss out on precious sleep.
Fortunately, your feathered friend can enjoy watching TV comfortably as long as you take steps to ensure your bird still has the darkness and quiet it needs at night.