Nocturnal rabbits? Rabbit guardians know better.
February 3, 2020
When I brought my first rabbit, I always wondered when do my rabbits sleep?
Reading this article, you will get the most comprehensive answer to the question:
Are rabbits nocturnal or not.
In this post, you will learn when not to disturb your rabbit’s peaceful sleep.
I have clearly explained the difference between nocturnal animals and crepuscular animals, which I believe confuses rabbit owners very often.
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Rabbit lovers need to learn from my mistakes.
In the beginning, when I brought my first pet rabbit home, I did not know much about any rabbits’ behavior.
I never thought of my bunnies sleeping time or rest time.
All I did is I bothered my bunny whenever I wanted to.
The truth is I did not know when the rabbit is sleeping, and when I can play with her.
Usually, I noticed she is calmly sitting in a corner and not moving at all. Without thinking twice, I would go close to my bunny and give her a pet.
I believed My rabbit loved it; however, my bunny never liked it much.
YES, I gave her a pet because she is so adorable but who likes to wake up for a pet when he or she is deep asleep?
I did that many times, and fortunately, another of my rabbit guardian friend noticed that.
AND what happened next is she gave me a long lesson about rabbit sleeping habits and schedule.
Are rabbits nocturnal?
The answer to the question are rabbits nocturnal is NO.
Rabbits are not nocturnal. Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are most active during the dawn and dusk. To keep them safe from predators, rabbits prefer to hide and sleep during the most productive hours of predators.
What is the meaning of crepuscular animals?
Crepuscular in zoology refers to animals that are commonly active during twilight hours.
Crepuscular animals may sleep during the daytime and wake at dusk to forage and drink.
These animals will go back to sleep in the evening and wake up early in the morning and stay awake until dawn.
So probably when you are at home in the evening watching your favorite TV show and decide to play with your rabbit while watching is not the best of ideas at all.
That may be the time when your rabbit is trying to relax.
When you are finally free after a long tiring day, it might be the time when your rabbit is deep asleep.
Willing to engage with your rabbit throughout that time will not create the best impression.
Trying to be friendly with your rabbit while it is dreaming, you will unintentionally upset your rabbit’s sleep.
That may result in an unhappy rabbit.
Wretched rabbits can get sick and become grumpy.
Today I avoid disturbing my rabbits during the evening or day time. Specifically, during the afternoon hours, rabbits will sleep.
Once I realized that all rabbits are crepuscular, I figured out why my rabbit use to stay close to me during the day time.
As my rabbit had access to my working area, she would always sit close to my foot. And go to deep sleep.
Luckily while I am working on my desk during the daytime, I never bothered much about her.
I was busy with my work, and she was sleeping next to my foot peacefully.
What are nocturnal animals?
Nocturnal animals are those who stay awake at night and sleep during the daytime.
Most predators are nocturnal. Predators tend to stay awake at night because, during those dark hours, it is easy to look for prey.
Not all but many prey animals are active during the night time.
It is easier for predators to hunt when their preys are active and roaming around.
Sometimes rabbits are confused as nocturnal animals. This ideology is entirely wrong.
Because rabbits usually sleep throughout the evening and tend to stay active after midnight.
From midnight until the twilight hours of dawn, you can see your pet rabbits awake.
It does not mean they are nocturnal.
Rabbits will only remain active during the twilight hours; thus, they are crepuscular animals.
On the contrary nocturnal animals stay awake during the night and sleep during the daytime only.
Know when your rabbits are sleeping, and you will not wake them up.
As I have demonstrated the differences between nocturnal and crepuscular animals, you may have an idea by now when your pet rabbits usually go to bed.
Your rabbits are not nocturnal, and they will sleep throughout the afternoon and in the evening.
After midnight you will probably see your rabbits are actively roaming around or doing binkies.
Similarly, after midday, it is possible to see your bunnies fresh and running until dusk.
Once it is dark, you will notice your pet rabbits are going to sleeping positions.
They will sleep somewhere they feel safe.
Suggestion for new rabbit owners.
If you bring your new pet rabbit home and tend to play with your rabbit more often, please resist from doing so.
First, understand your rabbit’s behavior. Most importantly, recognize your new bunny friends’ sleeping schedule.
Look at them and figure out what they like and what they don’t.
If your bunny likes to be held and petted, it is okay.
If they don’t like to be petted, give them some time, and allow them to get close to you.
Notice your rabbits sleeping behavior. If you think your rabbit’s sleeping habit is similar to human beings, then you got it all wrong.
Your rabbits are neither nocturnal nor diurnal. All human beings are active during the day time, but your rabbits are not.
Your rabbits are crepuscular.
Knowing this simple difference will stop you from interrupting your fluffy friends while they are sleeping peacefully.
Allowing your rabbits to sleep in peace and on their chosen time will keep your rabbits healthy and happy.
A lively rabbit is what any responsible rabbit guardian want.
I love seeing my rabbits hopping around and doing binkies in front of me. You as a rabbit guardian, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your rabbit’s good health.
Please provide them with adequate hay and the appropriate nap time. In return, your rabbits will love you more than you can imagine.
Rabbits usually need only 8 hours of sleep daily, which leaves them with plenty of time to stay active. Therefore make your time and attend to your rabbits when they are fresh and avoid bothering them during their rest time.
Do rabbits need light at night?
It is a common question asked by rabbit owners. As rabbits are crepuscular and not nocturnal, the common understanding is that rabbits must need light during the night.
Rabbits are animals that prefer being active in mid-light conditions.
Being in mid-light condition means rabbits will not be so comfortable in too bright light or very dark circumstances.
Too much bright light and too much darkness can cause serious health issues in rabbits by causing them to stress.
Rabbits are delicate and, in every way, must be restrained from being stressed.
I was a fool not to understand my rabbit’s sleeping schedule initially. Unintentionally I have created stress for my pet rabbit as I kept playing while my bunny was snoozing.
I trust for all rabbit owners to remember that your rabbits are crepuscular. They are awake during dawn and dusk only.
Similarly, they don’t sleep at night and stay awake during the day like human beings.
Observe your pet rabbits when you bring them home and understand their rest routine.
Once you get a hold of their sleeping schedule, do not pet them or try to be cute with your rabbits during their dream time.
That way, you will keep your bunnies safe and livelier.