Can My Cockatiel Sleep With Me?

There is nothing cuter than falling asleep with your cockatiel snuggled up against your chest.

It may be tempting to have a nap with your pet bird as it seems like an innocent act of bonding, but it actually is a fairly common cause of death or injury in these birds.

If you roll over on your bird while you are asleep, you risk crushing or suffocating the poor animal.

So if you’re wondering – Can my cockatiel sleep with me?

Well the answer to this is

Because the risk outweighs the reward in a situation like this, It would be best to avoid sleeping with your pet cockatiel.

I know you love your cockatiel but it’s for their safety that you avoid this

Is It OK To Sleep With Your Bird? (Answered In Detail)

It is always a sweet gesture to cuddle up and doze off with pets.

We all do it with our dogs and cats, so why not with birds?

When you sleep with a dog, the chance of injuring the animal is minuscule unless it is a new puppy due to the size of the species.

Birds, however, are much smaller and more delicate.

Imagine the difference in weight of a 100-gram cockatiel to a 180-pound human.

That is equivalent to a car rolling over on you.

There is nothing more tragic than waking up to your feathered friend having been injured or killed in your sleep due to you rolling over.

Surprisingly, most reported causes of death from a human accidentally rolling on their cockatiels are from suffocation rather than crushing.

These birds can squeeze themselves into very small areas, so their bodies are more durable than we may think.

For a bird, to breathe, it must have space to expand its chest and airways.

Without the necessary space, it can suffocate.

This is why it is also important not to grasp your cockatiel too hard whenever you hold it. 

Now we know we can’t sleep with our bird

But what about just cuddling

Is it dangerous to this?

Or can we cuddle with our cockatiel

Let’s find out

Can You Cuddle With a Cockatiel?

Birds such as cockatiels and parrots generally are extremely affectionate animals that love to be scratched and cuddled.

Personalities differ from bird to bird, and some cockatiels will not enjoy being handled as much as others.

It is important to socialize your bird early on so that you develop trust and bonding.

Start by spending some time outside its cage so that the cockatiel gets used to your company.

Related article you may be interested in – Should I let my cockatiel out of his cage?

After some time, you can try hand feeding it treats and giving it some light pets and scratches.

If your bird responds well to this, you can try to pick it up or see if it will perch on your fingers.

After the initial bond is made, you will notice a change in your cockatiel’s behavior.

It may fly straight onto your shoulder whenever it leaves the cage and playfully rub its face against you or preen you.

Related article – Should I let my cockatiel sit on my shoulder?

If your bird shows you affection, give it some love back.

They are affectionate creatures that thrive on attention and acknowledgment from their flock. 

Can Cockatiels Sleep With The Light On?

Like humans, cockatiels are diurnal species, which means that are awake during the day and asleep at night.

If you leave lights on at night time when it is time for your cockatiel to sleep, it may confuse the bird into thinking that it is the day and it will not sleep.

Darkness not only sends a message to their brains that it is time to rest but also provides comfort from external things that may cause extra stress. 

Some birds may suffer from night frights.

This usually happens because their senses are heightened at night due to cockatiels’ poor night vision, causing them to be extra aware of sounds.

If your bird suffers from constant night frights, it might be a good idea to introduce a dim night light.

Something that does not emit enough light to trick the bird into thinking it is the day, but just enough to allow for some extra comfort during the night. 

Do Cockatiels Get Attached to Their Owners?

One of the amazing things about being a cockatiel owner is the bonding and affection that comes with it.

They will quickly form a bond with their owner as they would with members of their flock.

In the wild, cockatiels form love pairs and sometimes will even mate for life.

This behavior is similarly reflected in domesticated birds as well.

They will cuddle up with you, clean you, and perch on your shoulder.

Cockatiels love spending time with their owners and learning new words and phrases through repetition and quality time.

If you go on a trip and leave your bird for a while, you will notice that your bird gets excited when you return, because it has missed you. 

Since birds tend to live a very long time, it is common that they outlive their owners and are re-homed.

It is proven that they do grieve when they lose an owner, but they can successfully be re-homed and form bonds with new owners.

Check out my article – My cockatiel is too attached to me

Wrapping Up

Although it may be tempting to allow your bird to cuddle up with you when you sleep, it can end in disaster 

And I’m sure that’s not what you’d like to happen

The temptation is understandable as they are super affectionate creatures, but when it comes to taking naps, just leave the bird’s cage near your bed so that it doesn’t feel left out.

Cuddling is a great way to bond with your cockatiel, but when you sleep, put the bird back in its cage.

This can save its life!

Related articles you may be interested in

Can you keep a cockatiel in your bedroom?

Why does my cockatiel nibble me?

Why does my cockatiel scream when I leave the room?

We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.