What Are Rabbits' Sleeping Habits?

Updated April 17, 2017

Rabbit sleep patterns are the opposite of humans. For this reason, many rabbit owners have difficulty knowing whether or not their pets are getting enough rest. Sleeping with open eyes while appearing to be awake is a common trait in rabbits. Understanding your rabbit's sleeping patterns may help to rule out any illness scares or unnecessary emergency phone calls.


Although their behaviour in the evening may appear as though they skip sleep entirely, it is normal for rabbits to take their rest in the daylight hours. Rabbits are crepuscular -- they are active in the evening and early morning. During the afternoon, you may catch a glimpse of your rabbit huddled up and catching some sleep.


When rabbits are asleep, they often have their eyes open. This is a normal and healthy way for rabbits to sleep. If you've never seen a rabbit sleep with its eyes open before, it may be a frightening sight. Rest assured that everything is perfectly normal and your rabbit is not dead or ill if its eyes remain open while sleeping.


Your rabbit's temperament may be judged by its behaviour during sleep. Lying with its feet tucked underneath it is one way your rabbit displays contentment. This relaxed position is often referred to as "meat loaf," due to the rabbit's shape resembling a baking pan. Resting on its side or rolling over onto its back is another way your rabbit shows it is happy and relaxed while sleeping.


It is possible to adjust your rabbit's sleeping cycle to be in sync with yours. This may be done a variety of ways, perhaps the easiest of which is simply distracting your rabbit during its usual sleeping hours. As each animal is different, some rabbits may take to this training more readily than others.

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About the Author

Kaylee Sauvey has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes entertainment articles for "University Link Magazine" and Dream Row, and also contributes to several online publications. Sauvey is pursuing her Associate of Arts in English from Fullerton College.