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Do Rabbits Sleep At Night

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Do rabbits sleep at night? The short answer is nope they do not. This is one reason why they do not make good indoor pets. They are going to make a good amount of noise at night while you are trying to sleep.

Even domestic rabbits are nocturnal animals, not just wild rabbits.

If you have to do something around their cage or pen after dark be careful and be noisy long before you get to them. Rabbits are prey animals so naturally, they are very skittish at night because that is when other predators are also EVERY active. 

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Even if you have indoor rabbits they don’t know that there aren’t predators. It’s how they were wired. You could put in a low light source close by if you think you will make a habit of getting home after dark or doing chores after dark.

If the day has run late and I have a chore to do past dark. Or I want to go check on a new rabbit litter I will start talking before I even get close to the rabbitry. If I don’t they will freak out and start running laps around their pen. This can cause them to hurt themselves. 

Hearing my voice is the best thing that gets them to calm down and realize it’s me.

I will also keep a flashlight on close to me so they can see that it is me. 

How To Tell If A Rabbit Is Asleep

A rabbit should get about eight hours of sleep each 24hrs period. They don’t sleep the full eight hours in one sleep cycle though.

Sometimes rabbits will sleep with their eyes open and it can be hard to tell if they are sleeping or not. Oftentimes their body position will tell you if they are asleep.

French lops are very dramatic sleepers and will often lay on their side or completely on their back.

If they are just taking a quick cat nap they can often lay down while staying in the upright position. This usually happens if the direct sunlight is feeling good and they are feeling relaxed. 

You will see very little movement at first and then when they are in a deep sleep they will breathe very heavily from the belly. 

Believe it or not, a rabbit will dream sometimes. Their legs, ears, and eyelids will twitch if they get to dreaming really well. 

It can take a while for a rabbit to sleep around humans unless they are not a very high-strung breed. 

Do Rabbits Sleep in the Dark?

Rabbits will sleep both at night and mid-day. So they don’t have to always have a dark environment to sleep.

While your rabbits don’t need a light you don’t want to block the light completely from your rabbit either. The daylight hours tell them what is going on and the natural light keeps them in natural sleep schedules. If they don’t have that it could cause stress.

Most Common Rabbit Sleeping Positions

One of the most common sleeping positions are upright with its hind legs tucked up underneath. Some call it a Loaf position because they resemble a loaf of bread.

But this is more of a resting position. The rabbit is not likely in a deep sleep when laying like that. 

Some rabbits will “flop” down on their side and sleep. This can cause even the most experienced rabbit raiser to think their rabbit is dead. They often are sleeping REALLY hard. 

male rabbit sleeping on his side during the day.

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.

Then last but not least the rabbit will stretch out completely with its legs stretched out behind them. This is the most vulnerable position for them to be in and you can tell your pet rabbit is relaxed if they are willing to do that around you.

Rabbits will sleep at random times so don’t worry if it seems like an odd time of day.

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