Skip to Content

Do rabbits sleep a lot?

Quick Answer

Rabbits do sleep a lot! On average, rabbits sleep 8-12 hours per day. Wild rabbits tend to sleep more than domesticated rabbits. Baby rabbits, called kits, sleep even longer – up to 16 hours per day.

How much do rabbits sleep?

The amount of sleep a rabbit gets can vary based on factors like age, environment, and breed. Here’s an overview:

  • Wild rabbits: 10-12 hours per day
  • Domesticated rabbits: 8-10 hours per day
  • Baby rabbits: 14-16 hours per day

Newborn kits will sleep for around 90% of the day in their first week of life. As they grow older and become more active, their total sleep will reduce to the averages outlined above.

Domestic rabbits kept indoors tend to be more active and sleep less than outdoor rabbits. Wild rabbits need to conserve energy and avoid predators, so they spend more time resting.

Some rabbit breeds, like the Netherland Dwarf, are known to be more energetic and sleep less. Larger breeds like the Flemish Giant tend to sleep longer.

Rabbit sleep cycles

Rabbits, like humans, have different stages of sleep:

Non-REM sleep

Non-REM sleep is light sleep. The rabbit’s eyes may stay partially open, and they can be easily awakened. Breathing, heart rate, and temperature decrease during this stage. Non-REM makes up about 80% of a rabbit’s sleep time.

REM sleep

REM (rapid eye movement) is deep, restorative sleep. The rabbit’s eyes will fully close, and their ears will relax. REM sleep is critical for memory, learning, and rest. A rabbit in REM sleep may twitch or move as they dream. REM makes up about 20% of rabbit sleep.

Rabbits typically have short sleep cycles, meaning they alternate between Non-REM and REM frequently. An average rabbit sleep cycle may last just 5-10 minutes. Since their sleep is so light, rabbits need to sleep often to get enough REM sleep.

When do rabbits sleep?

Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk, which are their natural feeding times. They tend to sleep most during:

  • Mid-day
  • Overnight
  • After eating

You may notice your rabbit taking frequent short naps rather than one long sleep. Indoor rabbits kept on a 12-hour light/dark cycle will often sleep at night when the lights are out.

Rabbit sleeping habits

Here are some quirks around how rabbits sleep:

  • Rabbits sleep with their eyes open. The transparent third eyelid called the nictitating membrane protects their eyes.
  • They sleep curled up tightly or stretched out. Curled up helps conserve body heat.
  • Ears are usually erect while sleeping to monitor sounds.
  • Tooth grinding or gentle moans are normal during sleep.
  • It’s common for bonded pairs of rabbits to sleep snuggled together.

If you notice any signs of abnormal sleep like screaming or falling over, consult your vet immediately.

Tips for healthy rabbit sleep

You can support your rabbit’s natural sleep patterns by:

  • Keeping food available at dawn and dusk.
  • Letting them sleep undisturbed during mid-day.
  • Providing a quiet, dark, and cozy place to sleep.
  • Giving them places to hide like cardboard boxes or tunnels.
  • Using consistent lighting schedules for indoor rabbits.
  • Making sure they get lots of active playtime when awake.

Getting adequate high-quality sleep is vital for a rabbit’s health and wellbeing. Pay attention to your rabbit’s sleep habits to ensure they are getting enough rest. If you have any concerns about changes in sleep patterns, consult your veterinarian. With proper care, your rabbit can lead an active, engaged life and get all the sleep they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do rabbits sleep with their eyes open?

Rabbits sleep with eyes open so they can stay alert to potential dangers. Their eyes have a third transparent eyelid called the nictitating membrane that protects their eyes while asleep.

What’s the best bedding for a rabbit to sleep on?

Soft bedding like fleece blankets, shredded paper, or straw is ideal. Avoid wood shavings or litter. Provide a hideaway spot like a box with bedding for security.

Do rabbits cuddle when they sleep?

Bonded rabbits will often sleep together curled up in a ball or side-by-side. Singles rabbits prefer to sleep alone. Rabbits only cuddle when they feel completely secure.

How can you tell if a rabbit is asleep?

Signs a rabbit is sleeping include closed or half-closed eyes, floppy ears, relaxed posture, regular breathing, and lack of response to stimuli. Tooth grinding or snoring may occur.

Is it normal for rabbits to twitch in their sleep?

Yes, twitching, kicking, and rapid breathing are common during REM sleep and dream phases. As long as they are breathing normally, there is no cause for concern.


In conclusion, rabbits are natural sleepers, needing 8-12 hours of sleep per day on average. Quality sleep is vital for a rabbit’s health. Rabbit sleep cycles and habits differ from human sleep patterns but allow them to get both light and deep restorative sleep. Pay attention to your rabbit’s routine and make sure to support healthy sleep habits. A well-rested rabbit will be an active and happy member of your family.