Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by Rei
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 predators can harm them while they’re most vulnerable or while they’re sleeping.
You can tell that your rabbits are sleeping by looking at their body language if it’s 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?
Rabbits sleep in a variety of positions depending on their comfort level. Here are the different positions on how rabbits sleep:
- Loaf. The loaf is when your rabbit tucks their 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 stretched out. It’s another sign that your rabbit trust and is comfortable in you and 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?
Just make sure that they have access to sunlight because they use it to tell 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 sleeps in short burst 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 would 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 side?
Rabbits sleeping on their side is the most relaxed position a rabbit could do 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?
Rabbits sleep in short bursts usually after eating. Most rabbits also sleep with their eyes opened especially if the rabbit is not fully relaxed in its current environment.
A rabbit that’s sleeping with its eyes opened 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 provide some treats to show them that you mean no harm. You should also train your other pets to not harm/scare your rabbits.
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.
Sources and further reading
- Patry, Karen, et al. The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver: Your Questions Answered about Housing, Feeding, Behavior, Health Care, Breeding, and Kindling. Storey Publishing, 2014.
- 13 Things You May Not Know About Rabbits
- What does my rabbit’s behaviour mean?
- Ontogeny of sleep and wake states in the rabbit
- Sleep—wakefulness rhythms in the rabbit