Do Rabbits Sleep? This May Surprise You

Do Rabbits Sleep
Do Rabbits Sleep

As a loving pet owner, you want to know everything about your rabbit that there is to know. This means you want to know all about your rabbit’s diet, exercise, and sleeping habits. That makes you curious about whether or not rabbits sleep at all. Every time you see your beloved bunny, its’ eyes seem to be open, anyway. In fact, you’re not sure that you’ve ever seen your rabbit sleeping!

So, do rabbits sleep? Rabbits do sleep, but they usually do it with their eyes open. Since they are nocturnal, rabbits usually are asleep during the day and awake at night. You can usually tell they are sleeping because their noses don’t wiggle while they are sleeping. They may also begin to twitch a little during their slumber. Don’t interrupt a sleeping bunny.

In short, that is the basic answer to whether rabbits sleep or not. They do sleep, but it may be very hard to notice when they’re not awake. And you should absolutely never interrupt your rabbit during its’ sleep cycles, or that could lead to consequences. If you are still curious about rabbits and their sleep cycles, then we have a lot to talk about today.

How Do Rabbits Sleep?

Rabbits usually sleep with their eyes open, so most owners do not know that they are actually sleeping. This may lead to you believing that your rabbit doesn’t sleep. But like all mammals, sleep is very important to a rabbit’s well-being. When your rabbit is sleeping, you should not try to interrupt them. Interrupting a rabbit during sleep may also startle and scare it.

When your rabbit is more comfortable in its’ home with you, it may be more likely to sleep with its’ eyes closed. This is because sleeping with their eyes open is a way for rabbits to stay safe and alert. As prey animals, this is a part of a bunny’s natural instincts. Do not worry if you do not often notice your rabbit sleeping, especially if they are a brand new addition to your home.

If your rabbit is feeling cold, it may sleep cuddled up in a ball with it’s feet tucked underneath itself. However, a warm rabbit will most likely sleep stretched out. These two positions can be affectionately referred to as the “bunny loaf” and the “dead bunny flop”. Don’t be alarmed if your bunny looks like it is playing dead while asleep, since many rabbits do this.

Where Do Rabbits Sleep?

Most rabbits will sleep in their cage, or anywhere where they feel safe. Since rabbits are prey animals, they will only sleep somewhere where they feel secure. If your rabbit runs free in your home, it may sleep in a familiar location such as a bed or underneath a piece of furniture. And if you have a bed purchased specially for your bunny, it may choose to sleep in that.

If you have more than one rabbit, they will likely sleep together. This is because rabbits are more likely to sleep with one another for both safety and comfort. A bonded pair will likely do everything together, and this includes sleeping.

How Long Do Rabbits Sleep?

In general, rabbits will sleep for a short period of time, or until they are no longer tired. They will also wake up if their sleep is interrupted. However, tired and sleep-deprived rabbits will sleep longer than bunnies who are regularly well rested. You should let your rabbit have time by itself every day to sleep when it needs to, especially if you have been playing with it for a while.

Rabbits, on average, will sleep for a much shorter period of time than humans will. This is because they are prey animals, and they will want to stay alert to look for predators. The more comfortable your rabbit becomes with you, the longer it may sleep.

How Can You Tell If a Rabbit Is Sleeping?

When awake, a rabbit’s nose will often wiggle. But the nose wiggling will stop when they are asleep. You can also notice a rabbit twitching off and on when they are in a deep sleep. The twitching is because of paradoxical sleep patterns. The paradoxical part of the sleep cycle is also known as “REM” sleep. During this time, your rabbit may be completely asleep despite the brain sending out slight movement signals to the body.

Since rabbits are prey animals, their natural instinct is to sleep discretely. This means they usually sleep in such a way that you may not be able to tell if they are awake or asleep. They will also be frequently caught sleeping with their eyes open. However, a rabbit may get more used to you over time and their sleeping patterns may be more noticeable as a result of trust. 

What Are The Best Hours For Rabbits To Sleep?

Rabbits are nocturnal, which means that they generally prefer to be awake at night and asleep during the day. This means that they are generally not on the same sleep schedule as their human companions. Rabbits may be most likely to take naps in the middle of the day.

Rabbits at most active first thing in the morning, and right at the end of the night. This means that they are “Crepusculum”, which is what the term refers to. If you want to exercise or play with your bunny, the best times to do it may be early in the morning, and right before you go to bed at night. Any other time and your rabbit may be expecting to just lay around sleeping!

Do Rabbits Get Tired?

Yes, rabbits get tired just like any other mammal. They also rely on sleep to be healthy, energetic, and physically sound. Rabbits may be more likely to get tired if they were just out of their cage exercising, or if it has been a while since they have slept. This is another reason you should avoid interrupting your rabbit’s sleep, so that they do not get too tired too often.

Do Rabbits Need to Sleep in the Dark?

You may be wondering if your rabbit needs total darkness to get the best sleep, since human beings usually do. However, rabbits are not exactly like human beings. Remember, rabbits are usually nocturnal, which means that they can sleep just fine in a light or dark environment. If your individual rabbit prefers to sleep in a dark space, it will crawl into a dark area to get rest.

What Is Paradoxical Sleep?

Paradoxical sleep is another way to refer to REM sleep. The acronym “REM” stands for “rapid eye movement”. Almost every mammal has an REM stage in their sleep cycles. In humans, you may known REM sleep as the “deep sleep” part of the cycle. Paradoxical sleep is the time when someone may start to twitch without realizing it. This is because the brain is still sending signals out to the body, even when the body is asleep.

Rabbits frequently have paradoxical sleep patterns. And during paradoxical sleep, rabbits may wake instantly and be very startled. This is because even though they look like they are sleeping very deeply, their brains are still awake and their bodies are ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Should Rabbit Sleep Indoor Or Outdoor?

Generally, indoor living is much safer for rabbits. Rabbits living outside may be at risk of bad weather, attacks from predator animals, and illnesses. However, this is different if your rabbit lives mostly indoor but goes outside in a safe and supervised environment to play outside. Make sure you keep an eye on your rabbit if you suspect it is sleeping while running around outside to play.

If your rabbit lives outdoors in a hutch, make sure you give it a safe box to sleep in. A sleeping box should be weather-resistant, and these boxes are usually filled with hay. Soft bedding that is safe for small animals is also acceptable. If you use hay or other bedding in your rabbit’s hutch, make sure you change it regularly so that it stays clean.

Will Two Rabbits Sleep Together?

If two rabbits who live together are bonded, they will want to do everything together; this definitely includes eating, playing, and sleeping with each other. Therefore, you may often see two bonded rabbits sleeping at the same time as each other. Rabbits who have not yet bonded with one another may not sleep together, since they may not feel safe to do so until they are bonded. Give them time to get used to each other, and they will be sleeping together in no time.

Rabbits also prefer to sleep in the company of other rabbits in order to keep themselves safe.

Best Rabbits Sleeping Beds?

Now that you know rabbits do sleep, you may be wondering what the best beds are for your rabbit to sleep on. Fortunately, many pet companies manufacture beds that are especially made for rabbits to sleep on. Even though these beds may be the best and safest for rabbits, they are not the only places your rabbits can sleep.

But when you are purchasing a rabbit bed, here are some things to consider:

  • Remember, just because you buy a specialized rabbit bed doesn’t mean your rabbit will necessarily like the bed or sleep on it. Don’t be disappointed if your rabbit does not sleep or rest in the bed that you purchased for it.
  • If you have multiple rabbits, make sure you buy a rabbit bed that is big enough for all of them to share at the same time.
  • Ask another rabbit owner what kind of bed they use for their bunny, and if they have any brand recommendations.
  • Research some different kinds of beds, and read the reviews from current rabbit owners. You may be able to get a high-quality rabbit bed that comes with a glowing review.
  • Make sure the bed is the right size for your rabbit. After all, bunnies come in many shapes and sizes; you wouldn’t want to get a bed sized for a dwarf rabbit when yours is a Flemish Giant, or another large breed.

Your rabbit depends on you for a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Make sure that you make a good choice when picking out a bed for them.

Rabbit Bed Alternatives?

As I mentioned above, it is generally okay for your rabbit to sleep in a bed that is not especially made for rabbits. Beds made for similar pet animals may be completely satisfactory. However, you should make sure that the bed is safe for your rabbit. And remember, just because you buy your rabbit a bed does not mean that that is where it will choose to sleep.

Grass huts and toy bridges especially made for rabbits may also make good places for your bunny to sleep. Rabbits love to crawl under and sleep inside of little bridges and caves, but you must pick ones that are safe for bunnies.

Can I Interrupt Sleeping Rabbits?

If possible, you should try not to interrupt your rabbit’s sleep. This is because rabbits need sleep for their physical and mental well-being. Interrupting a bunny that is in the middle of sleeping will also scare and startle it, which can lead to your rabbit associating negative emotions with the person who interrupted it. Over the long term, your rabbit could learn to dislike you if you are interrupting its’ sleep too often.

Interrupting your rabbits sleep cycle is not only bad for your rabbit, but it can be hazardous for you. If startled, rabbits may have a range of negative reactions. This means that interrupting your bunny’s sleep cycle could lead to them biting or scratching you. This will only lead to your rabbit further distrusting you over the long run.

Fun Facts About Rabbit Sleep

Now, let’s talk about some fun facts related to rabbit sleep cycles, and how your bunnies sleep. Some of these rabbit sleep facts you may know, and some you may not know! However, these facts will give you something to look out for the next time you see your rabbit sleeping. You will also have more general insight into your rabbit’s health and sleeping habits.

  • Rabbits sleep with their eyes open most of the time. If they are not sleeping with their eyes open, they may be doing the “dead bunny flop pose”. Don’t be alarmed, since it is normal for a rabbit to sometimes look like it is playing dead while really just sleeping.
  • Rabbits are usually most active at both dawn and dusk. This means your bunny is more likely to be ready to play first thing in the morning, and right before your bed time.
  • A rabbit’s sleeping habits were first developed in their wild ancestors as a means to stay safe from oncoming predators.
  • Bunnies sometimes sleep upright, and you may not even know they are sleeping during this time! That is totally normal.
  • If you interrupt your rabbit’s sleep cycle and you aren’t careful, they may become timid and bite you. This doesn’t make your rabbit mean! It just means that your pet was startled enough to use a method of self-defense.
  • Did you know that wild rabbits often sleep in burrows dug down deep into the ground? This is generally where wild rabbits make their homes.

So, did you learn something today about rabbit sleep cycles that you didn’t know before?

Conclusion

Today, we went in-depth about the topic of whether rabbits sleep or not. While your rabbit does sleep, you may not ever notice it because of their natural instinct to protect themselves at all times. If you have any more thoughts about rabbit’s and their sleep, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Questions

What rabbits need the most sleep? Very young and very old rabbits may sleep the most. Young rabbits will sleep a lot, especially after short, active bursts of energy. Very old rabbits will sleep a lot and get very tired out by the smallest things. However, this is also true for very old mammals of any species. Rabbits are most likely to sleep during the day and be awake at night, unlike the sleeping schedule of human beings.

Will a rabbit get sick if it doesn’t sleep enough? A rabbit may not specifically get very sick from not getting enough sleep. However, not getting enough sleep may worsen an existing health condition that your rabbit already has. And if they are starting to get sick, not getting enough sleep may not help their immune system prevent them from getting ill.

How can I keep my rabbit as healthy as possible? Choose to feed your rabbit only the best food. Make sure that your rabbit has adequate cage space, and plenty of time every day to exercise outside of their cage. Give your rabbit plenty of attention and affection. Make sure your rabbit has the proper toys, bedding, water bottle, and necessary accessories.