Do rabbits sleep? What You Need To Know.

Categorized as Bunny Facts Tagged , ,

Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Rei Garnet

Rabbits are “crepuscular” creatures, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn while sleeping in between those hours. On average, rabbits sneak in 8.4–11 hours of sleep in between their active hours.

Rabbits in the wild sleep in a hole they dig called “warrens.” Warrens are intricate networks of tunnels that rabbits use to sleep and build nests in. They do this so that no predator can harm them while they’re most vulnerable or while they’re sleeping.

If your rabbits are sleeping, you can tell by looking at their body language if they’re relaxed. A rabbit that’s sleeping would also stop wiggling its nose.

Now that I’ve given you the gist of the article, read on as I explain the articles in more detail:

How do rabbits sleep?

A white rabbit sleeping in the loaf position.
“Knabbel looks like an easter egg.” by jpockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rabbits sleep in a variety of positions, depending on their comfort level. Here are the different positions rabbits sleep in:

  • Loaf. The loaf is when your rabbit tucks its paws underneath its body while sleeping. This position is the initial position they would take before fully relaxing and doing either the flopped or pancake position.
  • Flopped. The flopped position is when your rabbit lays on its side while sleeping. They would usually suddenly fall down when doing this position. It means that your rabbit is comfortable around you and in their environment.
  • Pancake.The pancake position is when the rabbit falls on its stomach while its hind legs are stretched out. It’s another sign that your rabbit trusts you and is comfortable in your home.

When do rabbits sleep?

Rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn. They usually sleep in between their active hours. On average, rabbits sleep for about 8.4–11 hours per day in short bursts, usually after eating.

Do rabbits sleep in the dark?

Rabbits in the wild sleep underground where there’s little to no light available. So don’t worry if you’re leaving your rabbits in the dark. You don’t have to leave the lights on while they sleep.

Just make sure that they have access to sunlight because they use it to determine when to wake up and when to sleep. Blocking sunlight for long periods of time could lead to confusion and stress.

Do rabbits sleep at night?

Rabbits sleep in short bursts all day long. This is because they are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dusk and dawn while sleeping in between those active hours.

Your rabbit will usually sleep after eating or after a bout of exploring or running. In total, rabbits usually get 8.4–11 hours of sleep per day.

Do rabbits sleep on their sides?

Rabbits sleeping on their sides is the most relaxed position a rabbit could be in while sleeping. You would only see a rabbit sleep on its side if it’s fully confident that no predators would harm them while they’re sleeping.

Rabbits sleeping on their side is called the “flopped” position. This is when your rabbit lays on its side while sleeping. They would usually suddenly fall down when doing this position. It means that your rabbit is comfortable around you and in their environment.

Why is it that you never see your rabbits sleep?

A rabbit sleeping with its eyes closed.
“I’m so tired” by jpockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rabbits sleep in short bursts, usually after eating. Most rabbits also sleep with their eyes open, especially if the rabbit is not fully relaxed in its current environment.

A rabbit that’s sleeping with its eyes open is a sign that your rabbit doesn’t fully trust you yet or your home. It could also mean that your rabbit is scared of your other pets, if you have one.

You can make your rabbit more relaxed around you by letting them explore your home and by providing some treats to show them that you mean no harm. You should also train your other pets not to harm or scare your rabbits.

Summary

Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they sleep in between their active hours (dusk and dawn). In total, rabbits sleep for about 8.4–11 hours each day in short bursts, usually after eating and playing.

Wild rabbits sleep in underground tunnels they dig called “warrens.” They do this to protect themselves and their kits from predators.

Cite this article:

Bunny Horde (September 17, 2022) Do rabbits sleep? What You Need To Know.. Retrieved from https://bunnyhorde.com/do-rabbits-sleep/.
"Do rabbits sleep? What You Need To Know.." Bunny Horde - September 17, 2022, https://bunnyhorde.com/do-rabbits-sleep/

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By Rei Garnet

I’ve loved and cared for rabbits since I was 9 years old, and I’m here to share my passion for rabbits. My objective is to help rabbit owners give their rabbits the best life possible.