Rabbits sleep a lot during the day, but they are not nocturnal. They are crepuscular, which means that they are the most active at dawn and dusk, but not very active during the day.
Baby rabbits, or kits, sleep a lot, but they do not sleep more than adult rabbits do. They tend to play, nap, and then play again. As they become adults, rabbits will begin sleeping an average of eight hours a day, a lot more than baby bunnies do.
While rabbits do sleep a lot, it is sometimes hard to tell whether or not your rabbit is actually sleeping, or just relaxing. Bunnies do like to relax, but it might look like they are sleeping, even if they are not. If they are relaxing, then that’s great, because that means that they feel safe and are comfortable in the environment that they are in.
How to Tell if a Rabbit Is Sleeping
The easiest way to tell if a rabbit is sleeping is to look at its nose. If it is twitching, then they are just relaxing. If their nose is not twitching, then they are most likely sleeping.
You can also look at your rabbit and see what kind of position they are in. If they are splayed out with their legs behind them or in a loaf-looking kind of position, they might be asleep. However, they might just be relaxing, which is good because that means that they are comfortable.
Can Rabbits Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
Yes, rabbits can, and often do, sleep with their eyes open. They can even sleep with their head up, instead of laying on their paws as many animals do. They sleep with their eyes open and their heads up so that they can be aware of any danger that might come their way. This allows them to be safer in the wild and can be useful to them if there are other animals, such as cats or dogs, in the home.
For more information about a rabbit’s sleeping position, watch the video below:
TIP: Find out how much sleep the average adult pet rabbit gets, when they sleep, and a typical daily hour-by-hour sleep schedule so you know what to expect in my article How Much Sleep Pet Rabbits Need (with Sleep Schedule).
Do Rabbits Dream?
Yes, rabbits do dream. They go through a REM sleep cycle, just like humans do. When they are dreaming, their legs tend to move and twitch, just like dogs do when they are in a deep sleep. However, this only happens when they are deeply asleep. If your rabbit is deeply asleep and dreaming, then they are very comfortable in their environment. You might think that your rabbit is awake, but they might not awake be if they are moving during the day.
Can Rabbits Change Sleeping Patterns to Match a Human’s?
It is very hard to change a rabbit’s sleeping habits. Since they are crepuscular, they tend to sleep while humans are awake, which isn’t very fun for the human when they really want to play with their fluffy bunny companion. Bunnies sleep during the day and at night,
If you want your rabbit to sleep at night so that you can play with them more frequently during the day, you can try to make your rabbits sleep at night by covering their cage and giving them a safe, and comfortable, place to sleep. However, this will most likely be hard to enforce because a rabbit’s instincts are strong, and their instinct is that they should sleep during the day and at night, not just at night when it is dark.
TIP: Keeping your rabbit’s cage clean is one of the best ways to keep them happy and healthy, but it can also be a lot of work. Luckily I’ve learned a few tricks over the years for doing this. See my list of tricks for keeping a rabbit’s cage clean here. They’ll save you a lot of time and headache!
There are a lot of other ways you can help to urge your rabbit to sleep at night so they can be more awake and energized throughout the day see Helping Your Rabbit Sleep at Night: A Simple Guide for some simple ways you can do this starting tonight!
What Kind of Bedding Should Rabbits Have?
Rabbits love to sleep on comfortable and soft items, so pillows and blankets are great things for them to sleep on. However, you should make sure that the blankets are made out of non-toxic material. If your rabbit begins to eat its pillow or blanket, try using straw or hay as bedding instead. Straw or hay is a good alternative for bedding, but they might eat the hay, and it can become expensive if your rabbit is eating all of its bedding.
Baby Rabbit General Information
Baby rabbits, commonly called kits, eat a lot, play a lot, and then sleep a lot. They are similar to puppies and kittens in that way. But don’t worry, they will start to sleep more when they get older, so if you have young rabbits and are worried about their sleeping habits, don’t be. They are young and hyper, and they will calm down soon.
When people find kits alone in the wild, they tend to take them in and bring them to a place that can take care of them, like a rescue. However, this is not always the best thing for those rabbits. While baby rabbits are adorable, they should not be touched by humans unless they are sure that the mother rabbit is not coming back to their burrow.
Adult rabbits do not stay with their kits during the day because the baby rabbits only need to be fed once a day, unlike cats or dogs. They tend to be fed either early in the morning, or late at night when humans and predators are sleeping. By staying away from their burrow, they prevent predators from picking up the scent of rabbits. This helps keep their burrow, and their babies, safe.
Rabbits do not stay with their burrow during the day because this will very likely attract predators. Rabbits will roam and search for food away from their litter, and then come back. However, if the kits have been weaned and can find food outside of the burrow by themselves, the mother rabbit might not come back to the burrow.
If you find a burrow filled with rabbits, do not remove them immediately. Wait until the next day and check in periodically. If they are being fed regularly, then the kits will be warm and seem well-fed.
If you find a burrow and the kits are not warm or well-fed, contact your local veterinarian or shelter for instructions on what to do next. However, kits can be fully weaned at 4 weeks old, so they may not need to be fed every day by their mother.