Rabbits are “daytime” sleepers. Rabbits are crepuscular – they are most lively at dawn and dusk, and get their sleep (typically around 11 hours a day) during the middle of the day and also at night. This means that they are most active in the morning and during the evening.
Rabbits that are active when the sun is at its lowest can hide from predators easily. Though domesticated rabbits aren’t at risk of being eaten by predators, this instinct remains present.
Usually, rabbits are most alert between 4-9 am and 5-11 pm. This is when they have the most energy. The precise times can vary based on the time of year, your location, and the rabbit’s personality.
Rabbits also sleep in two main phases. The first snooze occurs from late morning to afternoon, and the second is in the middle of the night. The rest of the time, your bun will be nibbling on food, napping, or relaxing.
So, do rabbits sleep at night? Yes, but not all night long. Like humans, rabbits sleep for an average of 8 hours per day. But rather than taking all their sleep at once, rabbits have two main snoozes and several short naps.
If you’re concerned that your rabbit is sleeping too much or too little, take it to a veterinarian. A checkup should reveal whether there are any medical problems to blame.
How do you know when a rabbit is sleeping?
It can be hard to tell if your rabbit is simply lying still, or actually asleep.
Here are five signs that your Rabbits are sleeping.
- They will be still. Rabbits don’t move around while asleep, though they can fall asleep in many different types of positions.
- The ears will be relaxed. This can be harder to tell if you have a lop – they can always look relaxed! But if your rabbit’s ears are pricked up, this is a sign that they are awake. When sleeping, the ears will be lying against the head.
- The nose won’t be twitching. Rabbits wiggle their noses all the time while they’re awake, but not when asleep.
- The breathing will be slower. You won’t be able to notice this unless you are close. Just like humans, rabbits breathe more slowly while asleep.
- Just like some humans, some rabbits snore while sleeping.
Most Common Rabbit Sleeping Positions
There are 3 main sleeping positions that rabbits usually choose. Which rabbit sleeping position is preferred will depend on both its personality and how safe it feels.
The three most common rabbit sleeping positions are as follows:
- Loaf. Your rabbit will resemble a loaf of bread. It will lie hunched up with its legs tucked underneath itself.
- Rug. Your rabbit will lie stretched out on its front. Its back legs will stick out behind it. The front paws may be stretched out or could be tucked up.
- Flop. Your rabbit rests on its side with its feet sticking out at the front.
Most rabbits choose to sleep in the loaf position. This helps it to feel more secure as it can quickly get up and run in the event of danger. It doesn’t mean that your rabbit is frightened of you, just that it’s on high alert.
A rabbit sleeping in the rug or flop position is relaxed. These are the positions in which your rabbit will likely close its eyes completely. Rabbits also like to stretch out when it’s hot as it helps them to cool down quicker.
Rabbits don’t sleep on their backs. Never lay your rabbit on its back as this will cause it to panic, thinking that it’s being attacked. It’s called “trancing.”