Should My Budgies Nap Early So They Can Stay Up Late?

The close view of 2 budgies (parakeets)
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The original question on Quora was: Can I leave the lights out for my budgies for a few hours in the early evening so they can take a nap?

They usually stay up until 2am with us? 

All birds get an extraordinarily large amount of information from sunlight both the visible spectrum that you and I can see and the invisible spectrum UVA/UVB light.

The light is sent to the pineal gland just behind the right eye where it tells the bird how long the day is and sets off melatonin cells that vibrate like micro metronomes enabling birds to tell the precise time of day – although they don’t know the day.

When you say parakeet I’m assuming it’s a budgie as there are another 370+ species of parakeets we can talk about.

So getting to the crux of your answer, it’s no!

(My private reaction to the question at home)



Your budgie shouldn’t be up until 2 o’clock the morning with you.

It is unhealthy


it stresses them out because you’re disrupting their circadian rhythm.

That’s the very same circadian rhythm making humans SAD in the winter because of shortened light cycles.

Every living being on the planet has a circadian rhythm, with birds it’s especially important to respect their’s.

The proper procedure is to install a full spectrum light over their cage and put a timer on it so the birds get 12 hours of light and 12 hours darkness.

They should wake up in the cage when the light comes on and should be in the cage when the light goes off at night signaling to them, the beginning and the end of the day.

Your birds will be healthier, more chatty and in much better spirits if you follow this procedure

Here’s a video we made covering the topic

Best of luck


I have 4 cages of birds


Parakeets, Canaries, and Lady Gouldian Finches.

I currently provide light from an attachment below the ceiling fan which I turn on during daylight hours.

It provides a LOT of light to the cages.

I think; however, that I need to get some full spectrum bulbs; but don’t know what to order.

Please advise.

This room also serves as my tv and reading room.

I assume that full spectrum would not adverse me.

Please advise on both counts.

This room also gets full daylight thru 2 big windows- -double paned.



Hi Barry


You could add our economy full spectrum bulbs found here: 


There is a small caveat requiring a brief Science lesson


The Lumens definition is: “a unit of luminous flux in the International System of Units, that is equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions”.

Lumens equals brightness!

And watts does not.

Not that watts are bad, but they measure energy use, not light output.

Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.