When Do Rabbits Sleep? (All You Need To Know)

With their twitching noses and elegant hops, those cute and interesting creatures known as rabbits have won our hearts. However, do you often wonder when these cuddly buddies go to sleep? When do rabbits sleep? How many hours do they sleep? What is their sleeping pattern? Do they sleep at night? It’s not as simple as you might believe to understand their sleeping routines. So, let’s find out all of these answers in this article.

Rabbits take small naps between the late morning and the afternoon and in the middle of the night because they are mostly active during dawn and dusk. However, sudden noise or excess light could disturb their sleep. Consider providing a quiet and safe environment for their short naps during the day.

This article will briefly discuss the sleeping pattern of rabbits, what they do at night, whether can they sleep with their eyes open, how to identify that a rabbit is sleeping, does baby rabbits and adult rabbits’ sleeping patterns are the same and many more. So, let’s get into it.

When do rabbits sleep the most?

As crepuscular creatures, rabbits spend the majority of their time sleeping during the day and at night and are mostly active at dawn and dusk. 

This sleeping habit not only helps them to avoid predators but also lets them make use of available food sources and the cover of the night.

Usually, rabbits find a safe and secure place during the day to avoid potential threats.

In addition, they mostly find this place under a couch, bed, or dining table.

These naps during the day provide them with a chance to rest and preserve energy after their active hours in the early morning and late afternoon.

A rabbit’s propensity to take naps during the day in the wild can be seen in its behaviour. 

For example, you might see rabbits tucked up to minimize visibility in the underbrush or within thick grasses. 

They typically pick areas that offer both cover and camouflage so they can stay effectively hidden from predators.

Because their primary predators, including foxes, coyotes and hawks, are typically more active in the morning or late at night, rabbits benefit greatly from this sleeping pattern. 

Rabbits can lower their likelihood of coming into contact with these dangers by being less active during these periods.

On the other hand, around dawn and dusk, when rabbits are most active, they come out from their hiding place to search for food. 

They are more prone to find new plants and flora during this time, as well as get involved in social interactions and grooming habits.

How many hours does a rabbit sleep?

Rabbits generally sleep 8 hours a day depending on their living environment, age and individual characteristics.

However, their sleeping pattern is not continuous as they take small naps during the day and night.

Being light sleepers, rabbits frequently take quick naps that last only a few minutes. 

These naps provide them with a chance to recover and conserve energy while keeping them aware of any potential threats. 

Rabbits may relax their body, close their eyes, and appear to be sleeping during these brief naps.

Rabbits are more prone to sleep through the day, frequently in hidden and safe places, and for longer periods. 

For them to recover from their activity in the early morning and late afternoon, they need to relax during the day. 

Even though rabbits also sleep at night, they may be more vigilant because there may be nocturnal predators around. 

To stay awake at night, they could take shorter naps.

When taking a nap during the day, a wild rabbit may be more careful and seek cover under a shrub to avoid hawks and foxes. 

They might take smaller naps at night while keeping watch for potential nocturnal predators.

Whereas a pet rabbit may modify its sleep schedule in response to the daily routine and any sources of noise or activity. 

In addition, domestic rabbits may be more likely to prefer taking longer naps during the day if they live in a peaceful and secure environment.

What do rabbits do at night?

Rabbits are mostly active during dawn and dusk hours which means they are crepuscular animals.

Although they are not exclusively nocturnal, they do have several nighttime behaviours that are different from their daylight habits.

The following is a thorough explanation of what rabbits do at night:

1) Grooming:

A rabbit’s daily routine includes grooming, and they may do it at night while engaging with other rabbits or themselves. 

This action keeps their fur clean, gets rid of parasites, and keeps social ties strong.

2) Short Naps: 

Rabbits may take brief naps to stay awake throughout the night because they still need to rest. 

Compared to the long naps that your rabbit takes throughout the day, these are frequently shorter.

3) Feeding: 

Rabbits seek food under the cover of night. They hunt for new greenery, grasses, and other edible plants at night because they are herbivores and eat mostly plant material. 

They can find food due to this activity without being as vulnerable to predators as they would be during the day.

4) Exploration: 

Rabbits are naturally inquisitive creatures, and they may even go outside at night. 

Even though their activity levels may be lower than they are during their peak times, they might nonetheless go around their area to explore new odours or things.

5) Vigilance:

Rabbits need to exercise caution at night even if they are more active at dawn and twilight. 

Even now, nocturnal predators like foxes, owls, and coyotes could be dangerous. 

Rabbits are constantly on alert and prepared to run away from danger.

6) Social Interaction: 

Rabbits are social creatures, and they may communicate with one another at night. 

Even though they might not be as active as they are at sunrise and sunset, rabbits can still interact with one another by using body language and quiet vocalizations.

Can rabbits sleep with their eyes open?

Rabbits can sleep with their eyes open with their eyes partially covered by a unique eyelid termed a “nictitating membrane” or “haw”.

This membrane enables them to sleep while also protecting their eyes from dust and other pollutants.

Though they are capable of sleeping with their eyes open, rabbits frequently close one eye at a time. 

They can switch which eye is open in this way and still get some sleep without entirely exposing themselves to potential predators.

Rabbits are prey animals, and predators frequently hunt them. 

They have therefore created several safety measures. 

Being able to maintain a close check on their surroundings even when they’re sleeping is one of these tactics. 

Rabbits can immediately identify any movement or threats in their area by resting with their eyes open.

A sleeping rabbit with its eyes open can act quickly if it detects danger. 

This involves making a fast getaway to a more secure area, like a burrow or an area of dense forest, where it can better defend itself.

How do you know when a rabbit is sleeping?

Rabbits have an unusual sleeping cycle that includes short naps throughout the day and at night. 

Due to their capacity to sleep with one eye open or closed, they may seem awake and aware even when they are resting.

However, a rabbit is likely napping if you see it lying down, with its eyes closed or only partially open, and it isn’t reacting to sounds or activity outside of its immediate environment.

Here is a thorough explanation of how to determine a rabbit’s sleeping position:

  1. Relaxed Body: The physical appearance of a sleeping rabbit is frequently more relaxed or comfy than when it is awake. It may have less tensed muscles, and its limbs may be held more loosely, making it especially clear when someone is in a deep sleep phase.
  2. Closed Eyes: The eyes of a sleeping rabbit are usually closed. Remember, though, that rabbits can also alternately close one eye at a time as they sleep or leave their eyes partially open, particularly if they’re in a risky or strange situation.
  3. Lying Down: Rabbits frequently cuddle together or lie on their sides when they are sleeping. Depending on how comfortable they are, they might slightly curl up or extend out.
  4. Breathing Pattern: Keep an eye on the rabbit’s breath. During sleep, it usually becomes more regular and slower. Rabbits can, however, also go through REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, in which case their breathing may become irregular and rapid.
  5. Ear Position: While sleeping, rabbits’ ears may twitch or move somewhat, but you’ll probably notice that they don’t perk up as much as they do when they’re up and aware.
  6. Reduced Activity: Compared to while awaked rabbit, a sleeping rabbit is typically less active. You may observe a pause in the rabbit’s regular grooming, feeding, and jumping.
  7. Unresponsive to Stimuli: Rabbits may be less sensitive to noises or movements outside when they are sound asleep, which is a result of their relaxed and sleepy mood.
  8. Time of Day: Rabbits are crepuscular creatures, meaning they are most active at dawn and night. As a result, if you see a rabbit quite inactive during these periods of high activity, it’s probably sleeping.

When do rabbits sleep in the wild?

Rabbits in the wild keep a clever sleep cycle so they can avoid predators and obtain food quickly. 

The sun’s rising and sunset times are when they are most active. 

It indicates that they are awake in the morning and the late afternoon. They snooze the most at night and throughout the day.

Rabbits come out from their hiding places in search of tasty plants. 

They move quickly but cautiously to avoid being caught by hawks or foxes.

The sun rises, and rabbits seek cover in a warm, secure location. 

In addition, they occasionally take brief naps while keeping one eye awake in case a predator approaches, keeping them prepared to flee if danger approaches.

As mentioned earlier, rabbits become more active as the sun sets and the day grows darker, which is the time for them to eat. 

They emerge to consume additional vegetation and spend time socializing with other rabbits. They have fun and explore their environment.

Rabbits continue to take a succession of short naps once it is completely dark. 

These naps aid in their ability to rest and stay awake at night in case any nocturnal predators like owls or coyotes are nearby.

Are baby rabbits’ sleep patterns different from adults?

Kits, or newborn rabbits, have slightly different sleeping habits from adult rabbits. 

Baby bunnies require more sleep to grow big and strong, much like newborn human babies sleep more than adults do.

Due to their rapid growth, young bunnies spend a lot of time sleeping. 

They may sleep for up to eight to ten hours each day, which is more than adult rabbits do because they need more sleep since their bodies are using a lot of energy to become bigger.

Compared to adult rabbits, young rabbits are more prone to light and noise. 

As a result, they might take several shorter naps rather than one lengthy one. 

They act like tiny power nappers, quickly waking up to have a nibble of their mother’s milk before falling back asleep.

Baby rabbits become increasingly active during their parents’ active periods as they grow bigger and open their eyes. 

This aids in their learning about their surroundings and where to find food. 

Their sleeping habits change when they become mature into adult rabbits, and they become more active in the morning and late in the day.

Also read: Should I Cover My Rabbit’s Cage At Night?

What factors can disturb a rabbit’s sleep?

Rabbits are sensitive animals and can have their sleep cycles disrupted by a variety of internal and environmental influences making them restless or agitated.

Here is a thorough explanation:

1) Noise:

Rabbits can be startled and woken up by loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or even everyday noises like vacuum cleaners. 

If a rabbit is sleeping, and then all of a sudden hears a big explosion, it can become aware and concerned, which would make it impossible for them to continue sleeping quietly.

2) Light: 

Rabbits react quickly to changes in light. They could feel uncomfortable and wake up if their sleeping place has too much light. 

A rabbit’s ability to obtain a decent night’s sleep may be hampered, for example, if its enclosure is situated near bright streetlights at night.

3) Temperature Fluctuations:

Extreme temperatures, whether they are too hot or too cold, can disturb a rabbit’s sleep and make them uncomfortable. 

Rabbits may become agitated if it’s too hot as they attempt to cool off. 

Similar to how people can struggle to stay warm and comfortable in extreme temperatures.

4) Predator Presence: 

Even if potential predators are not physically present, their scent or sound might cause a rabbit to become alert and ready to run away. 

For instance, a rabbit may feel anxious and have trouble falling asleep if it scents a dog or a cat in the area.

5) Pain or Discomfort: 

Finding a comfortable sleeping position might be challenging for rabbits with any physical discomfort, including wounds, intestinal disorders, or dental issues. 

Due to pain, they might move around or wake up repeatedly.

6) Unfamiliar Environments: 

Being creatures of habit, rabbits can become anxious when placed in strange or unfamiliar environments. 

They can be on edge and less likely to unwind and have a good night’s sleep if they are in a strange place.

7) Stress: 

A rabbit’s sleep can be disrupted by stressful conditions including changes to its habitat, the presence of unfamiliar animals, or even unfamiliar human interactions. 

Stress sets off the fight-or-flight reaction, which makes them more awake and less likely to get a good night’s sleep.

8) Diet Issues: 

Dietary issues in rabbits can result in discomfort and restlessness, which might interfere with their ability to sleep. 

They may get restless due to gas or bloating and find it difficult to relax and go to sleep.

Also read: Do Rabbits Need a Night Light?


  1. To coincide with the best feeding times, rabbits are most active at dawn and twilight.
  2. Rabbits seek out secret locations to relax and refuel after their morning and nighttime activities while still being secure throughout the day.
  3. Rabbits are awake at night and prepared to defend themselves against nocturnal predators.
  4. Their unusual sleeping habits, which balance eating, resting, and avoiding predators, are evidence of their evolutionary adaptations.
  5. Understanding rabbit sleep habits exposes their clever coping mechanism for surviving in their surroundings.

Reference: NCBI

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