Rabbits are cute and small animals. Watching a bunny sleep is a calming experience. There may be times when you wonder why your pet rabbit never sleeps because whenever you notice them, they look wide awake.
These little guys are unique and fascinating creatures. Knowing about them is an enjoyable task. So, when and how long does a rabbit sleep?
Rabbits are crepuscular animals. They thrive during twilight and sunrise hours. That is why you rarely see your bunny sleeping. A rabbit sleeps for 8 to 11 hours in small naps day and night. Bunnies are light sleepers and can sleep with their eyes open.
As rabbits can sleep with their eyes open, there is a high chance you never see your bunny sleep and misunderstand it as a nocturnal animal. Bunnies only close their eyes while sleeping if they feel safe and protected in their environment. Keep reading more to know plenty of fun things about your precious rabbit and its sleep cycle!
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The Reason Behind A Rabbit’s Crepuscular Sleeping Cycle
When it comes to animals, everything is about the survival of the fittest. Rabbits are prey animals, and their small size makes them easier to hunt. However, rabbits have evolved over the years and adopted extraordinary ways to ensure their existence.
Rabbits are most active during the twilight and sunrise hours. They have adopted this sleeping cycle because most predators, like owls and hawks that love to eat rabbits, cannot see very well during these dimly lit times. Furthermore, rabbits rarely sleep with their eyes closed.
While sleeping, the light can signal their brain if a predator approaches them. Plus, predators tend to go for animals that are sleeping. A bunny with open eyes is hardly considered a sleeping creature by hunter animals.
How Many Hours Do Rabbits Need To Sleep?
On average, a rabbit needs to sleep 8 to 11 hours daily. Unlike us, rabbits do not need to take their sleep in one go. As prey animals, they are light sleepers. That is why you rarely see your bunny sleeping because the slightest movement can make your bunny jolt right up.
According to some studies, rabbits do deep sleep for about 7 hours a day, followed by 2 to 3 hours of light sleeping. Furthermore, researchers also found bunnies experiencing paradoxical sleep, similar to REM sleep.
It means that bunnies can dream! The sequence of these sleeping patterns varies from bunny to bunny, depending on the environment.
Another cool thing about rabbits is their eye function when they sleep. Bunnies do not close their eyes when they are always sleeping. They have a third eyelid that helps rabbits keep their eyes moist and safe from predators.
If you have gotten a new rabbit, you must have noticed that it does not sleep for 8 to 11 hours, as mentioned in this article. Well, it does. When your rabbit is still and has its eyes fixated on one spot or half open, chances are your precious pet has fallen asleep.
Furthermore, it will instantly come into motion if you go near a rabbit in such a state. That is due to its survival instinct and not because it was wide awake.
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What Positions Do Rabbits Like To Take When Sleeping?
Every living thing has individual differences, as each is a being on its own. Whether human or animal, we all have our preferences, dislikes, and favorites. There are three standard positions your rabbit might adopt while sleeping. As a rabbit’s eyes can often be deceiving, you can judge whether your rabbit is asleep or awake by these positions.
The Mighty Loaf
It must be a sight to see a furry little loaf snoring away! The loaf is the most comforting position for a bunny rabbit to adopt for sleeping. It is when a rabbit tucks all its paws under its body and rests its ears on its back.
You must have observed your furry friend cozily sitting with its eyes open. The chances are high that your bunny was sleeping at that moment without you knowing. This position is the safest for your bunny as it gives it the ability to run if it needs to instantly.
The Sprawled Bunny
You should feel blessed when a bunny is in a sprawled position next to you or your home. If your bunny is sleeping in a laid-out position on its side or belly, with its legs fanned out and your bunny’s head between its front paws, it is comfortable with you. A rabbit sleeps in a sprawled way when it feels safe in its environment.
The Flopped Rabbit
It is one of the scariest positions, as it seems your bunny has fallen and injured itself. When your bunny feels sleepy, it will jump and land on its side as if falling. It will close its beautiful beady eyes and start snoring.
The flopped position is the most significant sign of your bunny’s comfort level. Rabbits only sleep in this position if they feel safe and protected.
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Signs That Tell Your Precious Rabbit is Asleep
As rabbits do not close their eyes every time they sleep, it can be difficult to tell when they are asleep. Your precious furry friend can be resting in the positions mentioned above, and you might take it as sleeping.
If you are worried if your bunny is sleeping the adequate amount it needs to, you can look for the following sure signs of a little sleeping rabbit:
No Nose Twitching
Rabbits constantly twitch their nose when they are awake. It helps them stay alert and smell any threat or predator before it is too late. A sleeping rabbit would have a resting nose.
Bunnies rarely twitch their nose in sleeping mode. Keep an eye on that little bean to calculate your bunny’s sleeping hours.
People tend to breathe calmly and slowly when they are in a deep sleep. Bunnies exhibit similar behavior. If you get curious to see your bunny lying down and want to confirm if it is sleeping, notice your rabbit’s breathing. Rabbits start to breathing rate slows down when they are asleep.
As kids, bunnies tend to play out their dreams in their sleep. If you observe your bunny twitching its leg, ears, mouth, or tail frantically, your bunny is in a deep sleep and enjoying a dream.
There are chances that your bunny does not snore, as not every rabbit does. However, if you notice your rabbit is making raspy noise or grunting with its eyes closed in a comfy position, your precious bunny is sleeping.
Rabbit’s ears play a vital role in exhibiting its emotions. An alert rabbit would have straight and erect ears to hear any sounds of threat or an approaching predator.
However, when a bunny is relaxed and sleeping, its ears will be floppy and resting on its head or sides. It is one of the things that can indicate that your precious furry friend is sleeping.
Cats make a purring sound when you pet them to show that they enjoy your company. A sleeping bunny grinding its teeth when you touch them tells you the same. Those grinding teeth are an alternative to purring for your precious bunny rabbit.
Rabbits are fascinating creatures. It is fun to raise one as you get to learn so many things about animals and nature. For instance, it is such a cool thing that there are some animals, like rabbits and deer, that are neither nocturnal nor diurnal.
These cuties are crepuscular animals that are hyperactive during dusk and dawn times. Furthermore, pets that sleep with their eyes open or partially closed are curious creatures, as their minds are constantly working to keep them safe.
Your bunny will sleep deep only if it feels safe in its home. As a pet owner, you are responsible for providing the best cozy, safe, and comfortable environment for your poor voiceless pet.