It can be easy to think that rabbits have similar sleeping habits to us. But in fact the opposite is true, they in fact have very different habits.
Some think that rabbits are quite lazy creatures and sleep all day, but in fact it really depends on the rabbit as to how active they are. They are all different just like us humans.
How is a rabbit’s sleep different from humans?
Where as we tend to sleep during the night time hours, rabbits are known to be ‘crepuscular’. This means that they have the ability to sleep during the day time and are awake at night time between dawn and dusk. The word ‘crepuscular’ comes from the Latin word crepusculum, which means “twilight”.
Crepuscular animals are also known to be active on a bright moonlit night or on a dull day so it really depends.
But on the whole this is how rabbits tend to be
How do rabbits sleep?
They sleep in many different ways. But mostly they sleep with their eyes open. This is to protect themselves from predators out to get them.
Some rabbits will sleep in the same position they are in when they are awake with their eyes open. In fact the only way you can tell that they are asleep is that their nose isn’t twitching. This is a state that means that their brain goes into a half-sleep state when they are asleep but still partly awake.
This means that they can move quickly if they sense danger is coming their way.
Some rabbits will sleep with their eyes closed. This means that they are comfortable enough in their surroundings not to be on their guard against any danger.
Some rabbits will lie down either on their side or on their belly. This really depends on how tired they are and also how comfortable the feel in their environment. If they feel they aren’t going to be attacked or in any danger from predators then they will feel comfortable about doing this.
Occasionally you may see a rabbit flat on their side as if they were ‘dead’ and their eyes will be open wide. In fact, they only you may even only hear their breathing very subtly. Its only when they feel really safe that they sleep like this.
How long do rabbits sleep for?
Rabbits tend to sleep on average, between 6-8 hours a day, depending on how safe they feel and the exertions of the day. But some have been known to get by on less, some have been known to need more. Older rabbits tend to need more sleep that their younger counterparts.