It’s no secret that rabbits make great pets, and they’re also excellent companions for other animals. However, many people aren’t aware of just how much rabbits sleep. So, we thought we’d help you out by exploring the sleeping habits of these cuddly little critters. So sit back, relax, and grab your favorite drink. Let’s go on a journey of rabbit sleep discovery 🙂
How Do You Know When a Rabbit Is Sleeping?
If you’ve ever wondered how to tell if your pet rabbit is sleeping, you’re not alone. Sleeping is a normal part of a rabbit’s life, and it’s important to know what it looks like so you can spot the signs if your rabbit is sick. A rabbit that is resting or sleeping will have its ears relaxed and will be breathing slowly. It won’t react to anything you do, so don’t try to wake it.
What about rabbit sleeping positions? Rabbits can sleep in a number of different ways. Some sleep with their noses poking out of their burrows, while others sleep while lying down like a human. Some rabbits sleep by closing their eyes and moving their heads back and forth while dozing. Some rabbits even sleep standing up. Regardless of the type of sleep a rabbit uses, rabbits need to take naps every day to stay healthy, happy, and safe.
Some people have reported seeing their cute bunny sleeping with their eyes half open! When in fact it’s just that they have a third eyelid – a nictating membrane – that they can close. It appears to us as though their eyes are half open when they are, in fact, closed.
When Do Rabbits Sleep? How Long Do Rabbits Sleep?
As a rabbit owner, I am sure you have wondered about your pride and joys sleeping schedule, right? You wouldn’t be alone 🙂
In fact, a lot of people think that rabbits are nocturnal, probably because they see them lazing around in their rabbit hutch all day long. In reality, there are other reasons behind this sleepiness!
The main reason you might see rabbits sleeping a lot in the daytime is…well….because they sleep a lot 🙂 A healthy rabbit sleeps all the time. Like other small mammals such as guinea pigs, dogs and cats, rabbits typically sleep for between 12 and 16 hours a day. You will find that rabbits do not always sleep for a long period of time, but instead would sleep in small amounts regularly throughout the day and night. This is why rabbits may need feeding more than some other pets.
The confusion with rabbits and the whole nocturnal thing is probably because rabbits are crepuscular. A cute little fact, but an important one for many rabbit owners. It means rabbits are most active in the waning hours of daylight. As with many animals, however, they tend to be more active at sundown when living creatures are most active, so as day turns to night they’ll be sleeping more and, well… you get the idea. So when you see your rabbit thumping its feet in the evening, you know what’s going on 🙂 Say it with us, crepuscular not nocturnal 🙂
Anything Else to Know about Rabbits and Sleep?
Rabbits are a social animal and sleep in groups. When it’s time to sleep, they’ll start to make some noise and as soon as another rabbit is listening, they’ll all fall asleep together. They prefer to sleep in the shade, and a wild rabbit will often burrow into the ground or under logs in search of it. For your domestic rabbit, this why you might find it hiding in its rabbit hutch, often under the bedding!
I have also heard of people saying that rabbits need a night light, but if you do this, it is actually counter-intuitive. As stated above, rabbits are crepuscular animals, and if they have a light at night, you are basically extending the dawn and dusk period for them. This is why you will probably hear them scurrying around at night if you do try out a night light. Think of a wild rabbit, living in underground rabbit warrens. They are more than capable of surviving and thriving in low-light situations 🙂
That’s Your Rabbit Sleep 101!
Hopefully, you are now much more clued up on your rabbit’s sleep habits! And you learned about crepuscular animals too!! Sleeping patterns play a massive part in rabbit behavior, and knowing more about this will bring your rabbit care to another level!