Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by keno
How long do rabbits sleep at night? Most rabbit owners often ask themselves this age-old question. Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dusk and dawn. In addition, bunnies are also light sleepers that prefer taking naps at night and during the day.
The time it takes rabbits to sleep at night on average is between 4 to 5 hours. This is one of their sleeping phases which starts from midnight to 04:00 or 05:00 in the morning. The other phase is during the day, normally between 10:00 am to mid-day. The rest of the day, rabbits will be nibbling on food, relaxing, and taking naps in between up until 5:00 p.m. when they’re more lively.
Do rabbits sleep more at night?
Rabbits are most active from dusk up until midnight. They normally sleep in the wee hours, that is after midnight to around 04:00 in the morning. If we are to draw a comparison between the two main sleeping phase timeframes, then our answer will depend on circumstances.
A bunny will sleep soundly when they feel safe and comfortable with their surroundings regardless of time. However, assuming that they live in a conducive environment, free from disturbance, they tend to sleep slightly more during the day. However, your bunny will essentially be taking naps between eating and playtime.
Do rabbits like to sleep in the dark?
Yes, they do. Wild rabbits spend a lot of their time in underground tunnels known as warrens, which tend to be darker. However, since sunlight usually passes through these warrens during the day, it’s safe to say they’re not pitch black.
Domestic rabbits often prefer sleeping in secluded or hidden areas such as under the bed or furniture. This mimics warrens which essentially helps them feel much safer. However, you don’t necessarily need to block light from reaching their sleeping place during the day.
In order to moderate their body clock, rabbits typically need both light and darkness. In simpler terms, a rabbit doesn’t necessarily need darkness to sleep. What determines their sleeping pattern is their energy level at a particular time.
Do rabbits sleep with their eyes open?
Yes, some rabbits prefer to sleep with their eyes open, while others sleep with their eyes half or fully closed. It normally boils down to your rabbit’s personality or how comfortable its environment is.
Since bunnies are prey animals, they’re always on high alert, and sleeping with their eyes open is a form of defense mechanism. In other words, in the wild, it creates the illusion of them being awake to avoid being easy targets. The other benefit is that light tends to reach their open eyes quicker thus allowing them to escape imminent danger.
Some may wonder, doesn’t a rabbit’s open eyes dry out when they’re asleep? The short answer is no, not really. Bunnies essentially have a translucent film or nictitating membrane that keeps their open eyes moist.
Rabbit sleeping positions and their meaning
Bunnies usually have three main sleeping positions regardless of whether it’s during the day or in the middle of the night. However, depending on their personality, they might prefer one style over the other. Although we have the sphinx and lambchop napping positions, below are the three common ones, rabbits are comfortable sleeping in.
The loaf sleeping position is when a rabbit tucks their legs underneath their body while they’re hunched down in a relaxed position. This sleeping style leaves them looking like a loaf of bread, hence the name. This loaf style implies that your bunny is not only comfortable resting but they’re also ready to hop off when need be.
This particular sleeping position is another common one, especially for bunnies that are comfortable and relaxed enough. It involves a bunny laying down on its stomach with its back feet stretched out behind. Their front legs can be tucked in or also spread in front of their body.
The flop is another popular rabbit sleeping position. It’s when a rabbit flops over and sleeps on its side with its feet stretched on its front. This particular position is for tired bunnies in need of a good rest. In other words, the flop is for rabbits that are very comfortable with their surroundings.
Why is my rabbit sleeping on its back?
Considering that rabbits are prey animals, exposing their vulnerable stomachs is something that rarely happens naturally. However, that doesn’t mean that it can never happen.
In most circumstances, a rabbit that’s sleeping on its back could be taking a brief breather when it’s trying to roll over when sprawling or during playtime. However, they tend to prolong their position when in a trance state which can cause injury to their fragile backs. Regardless of how they end up sleeping on their backs, always try to position them back on their belly or side.
How to make a rabbit sleep at night
Since bunnies are crepuscular their sleeping pattern is totally different from ours. Novice owners, tend to find out that their adorable pets can sometimes be naturally noisy, more so at night. For instance, they might instinctively dig, chew or play around when you need to get a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, we can’t make a bunny sleep on command or involuntarily, since they do so when their biological clock tells them to. However, what we can do is to try and minimize their noise or nighttime activities.
For instance, we can tire them out by allowing them to play just before nighttime. In addition, we can also ensure that bunnies have a cozy bed or comfortable spacious place to sleep in. Their sleeping area also needs to be quiet, dark, and away from distractions. If you have an indoor rabbit and happen to live in a large town, cover their cage with a blanket or cloth to prevent external light pollution.
Lastly, create a daily routine around your pet’s schedule rather than on yours. This includes teaching them not to expect toys, playtime, or their favorite treats during the night. Eventually, over time your bunnies will adapt to their new routine.
How many hours do baby rabbits sleep?
Unlike adult bunnies who sleep for 8 hours on average, kittens normally sleep for 20 hours per day. This is the case for young bunnies that are a few weeks old. However, as they approach the juvenile stage, they tend to sleep lesser.
Why is my rabbit sleeping a lot?
A rabbit that sleeps a lot could imply many things. For instance, they could be in pain or perhaps they’re comfortable enough with their environment. High temperature could also be another reason that they’re sleeping a lot. In other words, rabbits will avoid being active during hot summers to prevent getting heatstroke. Lastly, the age of a bunny greatly determines its activity levels. Older rabbits tend to sleep a lot or are less active compared to younger bunnies.
We hope we’ve answered the question; how long do rabbits sleep at night? The main takeaway is to ensure that your rabbit’s environment is conducive enough for them to get enough sleep. Finally, if you’re worried that your rabbit is sleeping too much or they’re sleep-deprived, always take it to a vet for a checkup.