Ever wondered how rabbits sleep or do bunnies sleep at all? Wondering whether a rabbit sleeps with its eyes open? Well, if you read on, we have answers to all of these questions (and a few more to boot!). In fact, we are going to tell you everything that you really need to know about rabbit sleeping.
How Long Rabbit is Sleeping Each Day?
Rabbits are not that much different from humans. Your average rabbit should be sleeping about 8-hours each and every day. Although, there is no real ‘set’ time that they will do this.
Although, you will likely find that your bunnies are less active during the day than they are in the evening and in the early hours of the morning.
Your rabbit will sleep at various times throughout the day. They aren’t like humans where all they need is one long sleep and then they are done.
Instead, the rabbit will break everything down into smaller periods of sleep of a few hours, with a small amount of napping here and there to make up the rest of their hours.
There is an evolutionary reason for this. If a rabbit was sleeping for eight hours per day in the wild, then they would probably be munched on by a predator if they were doing this all in one go.
Sleeping in smaller chunks throughout the day means that the rabbit is able to accomplish a whole lot more than they normally would.
Do Rabbits Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
This is dependent on the rabbit. Some rabbits will sleep with their eyes open. However, even then, there is still a chance that they will not. It is going to be dependent on how the rabbit actually ‘feels’.
If they are feeling safe, then the rabbit is able to relax a little bit more and close its eyes. This means that for domesticated rabbits, it will be rare to see them with their eyes open when they sleep.
That is not to say that they will not do it if they feel safe, it is just rarer for them to do so.
It is worth noting that even though rabbits may have their eyes open when they are sleeping, they are not going to be sleeping in the same way as a bird.
Many birds will actually have half of their brain awake when they are sleeping, hence their eyes being fully open. Rabbits will be fully asleep. However, they are still going to be fairly alert.
A rabbit that is asleep while their eyes are open will be more sensitive to light. If their eyes detect a change in light (and a big one), then the rabbit will likely wake up.
It is also worth noting that, technically, the bunny won’t actually be sleeping with their eyes open either. They will have an eyelid covering their eyes. It is just a ‘see-through’ one. This helps to ensure that the rabbit’s eyes do not completely dry out when they are sleeping.
How Do Rabbits Sleep?
If you have multiple bunnies, you will likely notice that the bunnies sleep at the same time. They will often huddle up quite close to one another too. Again, there is an evolutionary reason for this.
It helps to protect the rabbit from predators. Even if you have a domesticated rabbit that is unlikely to ever come into contact with predators, they are still going to have these natural instincts.
Ideally, you will not want to disturb the rabbit when they are sleeping. After all, a sleeping rabbit is likely to be quite jumpy.
Again, this is a natural instinct. Sure, they know that you are their owner (hopefully), but you do not want to scare them.
The problem is that it can be dreadfully difficult to spot when a rabbit is actually asleep, particularly if they have their eyes open at the same time.
So, how do you tell when rabbits are sleeping? The trick is to look at their breathing patterns. Just like you and I, when a rabbit sleeps, their breathing is going to slow down.
It may be a bit deeper. In some bunnies, you may even notice that they start to snore a little bit. Although, you may need to get up close to your rabbit to notice this. It can be touch to see when rabbits are breathing at the best of times.
A sleepy rabbit will also look a little bit more relaxed. When they are sleeping, they are going to be more sprawled out. Their eyes are going to rest on their head too (i.e. they are not going to be sticking straight up).
When a bunny is sleeping you will also likely notice that their nose and feet stop twitching. They look incredibly tranquil!
Remember; it won’t take much to actually wake up a sleeping rabbit, and if there are constant disturbances, then it may leave them on edge. If you are raising a rabbit in your home, then you may want to provide a quiet place where they can rest.
This means out of the way of other pets and family members.
When Does Rabbit Sleep? Are They Nocturnal?
A common misconception is that rabbits are nocturnal creatures. While you may find that your bunny is a bit more active during the evening hours, this is not always going to be the case.
Rabbits are most active when it is a little bit darker outside (this is to help protect them from predators), but this does not mean that the rabbit is going to be running around throughout the day either.
Because rabbits are not nocturnal (they are what is known as ‘crepuscular‘) they are going to be most active during the latter part of the evening, and early in the morning. This means that rabbits will sleep during the rest of the day.
Rabbit Sleeping – Conclusion
So, there you have it. Pretty much everything that you need to know about a rabbit and sleeping. One final point to mention, though.
If you believe that your rabbit sleeping habits are not normal (i.e. they seem to be sleeping too little or too much), then this could indicate a serious health issue. In that case, we believe that you should take the rabbit to the vet as soon as possible.
This will ensure that your rabbit can be treated for whatever ails them.