Your rabbit loves to sleep, but where do they prefer to do this?
Well, it may seem they enjoy sleeping anywhere they can, but the answer is bigger than you would expect.
A rabbit loves to primarily sleep somewhere that resembles some kind of burrow, even if it’s just the sensation that they feel. This can take the form of any enclosed space, such as under a chair, behind a couch, in a hutch, or anywhere else that provides the feeling of safety.
So, that probably goes against what you would have expected us to say, especially when you think about where your favorite bunny likes to lie down for a nap. So, we will explain everything you need to know about not only where they like to sleep, but also how they like to sleep.
You see, your rabbit may be cute while sleeping, but a whole lot is going on. Also, we are about to show that a rabbit hutch is not the only option out there when it comes to their sleeping quarters.
The Sleeping Habits of Your Rabbit
But first, let’s address one rather important factor, and that’s the sleeping habits of your rabbit. They are going to enjoy a nap during our daytime, and they tend to like getting in the region of 6 to 8 hours. [Source] Yep, they are pretty much like us.
They prefer to be active at night, which isn’t a surprise for any bunny owner, so getting them to awaken from their slumber during the day is never going to be an easy thing. Actually, just let them wake up naturally or you may end up with a rather grumpy bunny on your hands.
In general, and not because they are great time-keepers, your rabbit will start to really come alive and ready to play in our early evening. By the time it gets to 8pm, then they are ready for action and a whole lot of fun, so it can be confusing for them to then realize we are in the process of winding down for the day.
Now, you could try to train them to stay awake during the day and sleep at night to be like you, but there’s a problem with that. The problem is you will be going against their natural instincts, and that’s never a good thing to do. Also, that will be one heck of a tough task to try to master, so we would recommend not doing it.
Also, just a quick point. When we say they will sleep for 6 to 8 hours, we don’t mean in the one go. They will have various naps and then wake up for short periods, but they will quickly go back to bed to catch up on their beauty sleep once more.
At these times, don’t expect them to be too interested in you or what you are doing. They are more concerned about getting some additional shuteye.
But sleeping habits aside, what about the places where your rabbit prefers to sleep? Well, you have a few options available, and your rabbit should love each and every one.
The Burrow Idea
We stated that a rabbit does prefer to have something that resembles a burrow, and that’s why a rabbit hutch is so popular. But having a hutch for them is the easy way out.
In saying that, the rabbit is quite content in a hutch. They have a space all hidden away where they can sleep for hours while also feeling safe there. It has certain things that resemble a burrow, and that is going to be cool for your rabbit.
The most important thing for the rabbit is for them to feel as if they have some kind of roof over their head and a way in and a way out. This sense of recreating their natural home will help them to settle and enjoy a good sleep.
But a hutch isn’t always necessary. After all, what about a house rabbit?
Well, in those cases, there are a number of other places where your rabbit may sleep that helps them to feel safe and secure enough to doze off.
Oh, and it doesn’t have to involve you getting some kind of cage for them to walk into and then have a sleep. Instead, this is your chance to get a bit creative.
Alternative Sleeping Places
We could spend this entire post writing about different sleeping places, but that’s kind of pointless as your rabbit will tend to find their favorite spots all on their own. However, here are a few ideas to think about.
First, behind the couch may prove to be their favorite spot. The way the back of the couch leans back and creates some cover is perfect for them. Also, we tend to push the couch back close to the wall, so there’s only a small space to get in and out.
Basically, that’s nirvana for a bunny! They will feel as if they can hide away and before you know it, they will be sleeping their heads off.
But that’s not the only place.
Under tables, especially if they are in a corner and out of the main sightline, could also become a sleeping spot. If they can get under your bed, then don’t be surprised to find them having a nap there as well. What you can start to see is a trend whereby if they can effectively feel as if they are hiding under something, then it could be turned into a sleeping spot.
However, there’s one other option, and that’s to potentially make a den for them. Yes, it’s easy to do, can be fun, and it’s also very rewarding when you see how comfortable your rabbit has become.
Making a Sleeping Den For Your Rabbit
So, how do you go about making a sleeping den for your rabbit? Well, it’s a lot easier than you may think.
The main aim is to create that idea of a burrow, so remember the roof and both an entrance as well as an exit. In the wild, they will create a warren with various passages to run along, but clearly they are aware that they cannot do that here.
So, what do you do?
Find a space beneath a small table, or an area between two chairs where the objects can create that roof. Then, shield it off a bit to give them some privacy by potentially moving other objects. Finally, make it as comfortable as possible for your rabbit. Do this by adding in a nice sleeping blanket because your bunny will love you for doing that.
A soft blanket should be an integral part of their home sleeping quarters. They will not only sleep on it, but also nibble, dig, move it around, and generally seek to get as comfortable as possible.
Oh, but a nice added bonus if putting down a blanket. The place where your rabbit sleeps will end up being the main area where their hair is going to be collected. It makes life so much easier when you can simply swap out one blanket for another.
Getting Real Use Out Of Their Sleeping Area
If you wondered about why you should spend time trying to give your rabbit the perfect sleeping area, then there’s a very good reason as to why this is the case.
Your rabbit loves to sleep. They love to get comfortable and snooze throughout the day. So, surely you would want to give them the perfect sleeping situation to help them feel comfortable and rested?
This all works out in pretty much the same way as a dog having a dog bed or even a crate to sleep in. Remember that your rabbit is also very territorial, so they will go out of their way to make that space their own. So, you may build them a burrow, but they will quickly move to turn it into their own patch.
But there’s also yet another important point, and that’s how it helps their health to have a distinct sleeping area.
Sleeping and Health
Your rabbit loves to sleep, if you have owned a rabbit for any length of time, then you may have already noticed this fact.
But it’s also good for their health.
By providing your rabbit with a comfortable sleeping area, they can relax, feel less stressed, and basically just enjoy life. They need to feel secure in order to then fall asleep, pretty much like we do.
Their den becomes familiar to them. They know what to expect when trying to sleep, and that’s also why they need to have that sense of a roof. It means they believe nothing can come down on top of them and that they are effectively hidden from view.
After all, how could your rabbit ever hope to relax and sleep if they are on edge? They do tend to be light sleepers anyway, so any distraction could waken them.
How Your Rabbit Sleeps
So, let’s now look at how your rabbit sleeps, as they are very particular in how they go about this important task.
The most common way is for them to lie on their stomach. Their back legs will either be sticking out behind them, or they will be out to the side. But it’s possible your rabbit can also sleep upright.
Now, sleeping upright sounds strange, and it is, but they are quite comfortable in this position. If you see them like this and would like to know if they are indeed asleep, then look at their ears for a clue. If their ears are in a folded down position, then it means they are fast asleep.
Peculiar Sleeping Habits
The idea of a sleeping rabbit is cute, but they do tend to develop a few rather peculiar sleeping habits that you might want to look out for.
First, they can pretend they are asleep when they are actually fully aware of what’s going on. You will know this as they will instantly react when you move or do something. If they were truly asleep, then that reaction would not occur.
Also, the brain of your rabbit is continually sending messages to various parts of the body. Sometimes, it makes them breathe more heavily, they twitch, and then there’s this instance of instant awakeness. It’s all part of them being alert, but it is kind of spooky when they do it the first time. [Source]
But there’s something else to be aware of from a sleeping perspective, and that’s the movements they can make while sleeping. To get technical, they are known as Atonic and Myoclonic movements, but they are easier to understand than the name suggests.
Basically, a sleeping rabbit will make some pretty flexible moves even when asleep, and those light movements are known as atonic. However, they will also have other movements that are involuntary. Those are known as myoclonic.
Plus, your rabbit may sleep with their eyes open. Once again, this is something that can be strange at first, but you will get used to it all.
So, that’s everything you need to know about not only where your rabbit sleeps, but also how they sleep, when they sleep, and other strange or odd things connected to it. Now, all that’s left for you to do is to go ahead and make that burrow and check out how delighted your rabbit is when they realize you have made them a small place they can call their own.