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If your rabbit is acting abnormally and you have concerns please take them to a vet immediately.
Rabbits, like ourselves need around 8 hours of sleep per day, Luckily, they can sleep on and off throughout the day, whether they lie whilst being splooted, loafed, flopped or sitting up.
Rabbits are known for being crepuscular which means that they’re mostly active at dawn and dusk (Between Civil, Nautical, Astronomical Twilight in the morning and evening). During Dawn and Dusk your rabbit will typically want to hide in a burrow/box, anywhere it’s dark and tucked away.
During these times your rabbit will often sleep, nap, eat their caecotrophs and simply relax whilst flopping. The perfect relaxation after a hard day of being a rabbit!
Once a domesticated rabbit settles in to their new home, you’ll find that they follow a specific pattern and they will be most active in the early hours of the morning (5AM) and later in the evening (For us, around 11pm).
Many rabbits do sleep with their eyes open, if your rabbit is asleep with their eyes open they will often rock back and forth slowly. Other rabbits sleep quite heavily to the point where they cannot hold their head up and will occasionally fall over.
There are advantages to sleeping with your eyes open as a rabbit and it’s quite a genius part of evolution:
You’ll often find with domesticated rabbits that sleep with their eyes open that they will be extremely jumpy during this time. If you’re able to, call out their name softly and slowly wave to avoid scaring them.
Rabbits will go into a state of deep sleep during noon and around midnight, before becoming extremely active around 4am-6am.
You’ll often find that their state of deep sleep won’t be a solid 8 hours as it’s actually spread across a few deep sleeps and multiple naps throughout the day.
Luckily, you don’t need to keep your rabbits in the dark as they will sleep during the night and day.
However, Rabbits do rely on the sunlight to tell their body clock whens best to sleep and wake up, as such they’ll try to nap through the darkest parts of the night and if possible during the brightest parts of the day.
There’s a huge variety of places and objects your rabbit will sleep, from miniature beds (All the rage) to carpet mats, grass mats and cardboard boxes.
If your rabbit sleeps in their cage, typically any safe bedding will be perfectly fine, however, the best option on the market is typically CareFresh Natural Paper Fibre Bedding.
If you have an indoor rabbit, you may want to splash out on something a little more comforting for their run area.
There’s no all in one solution for your rabbit, it’s all a matter of testing what suits their personality, but here’s some things that your rabbit might like:
There’s a multitude of ways your rabbit will sleep, from loafing to flopping to splooting and even simply sitting up right. Rabbits like to nap a lot during the day so it’s not uncommon to catch them drifting off as they do.
It shouldn’t really matter how your rabbit sleeps, but if you do see them nodding off whilst on the edge of a surface, you should gently wake them to get them to readjust
Link is an incredibly spoilt rabbit who lives completely free roam. When he's not jumping on his owners heads at 5am or digging at carpet he can often be seen loafed or eating copious amounts of hay.