Rabbits can sleep for almost 12 hours a day. Despite this, making your rabbit sleep throughout the night can be difficult. So how do you make a rabbit sleep at night?
Rabbits can be sensitive to small lights and sounds that make it hard for them to stay asleep. Making their area cool, dark, and quiet is key to helping your rabbit sleep through most of the night.
Keep reading to learn what may be keeping your rabbit up at night and how to keep them quiet when you are trying to sleep.
Five reasons why your rabbit isn’t sleeping at night
Rabbits need a fair amount of space. If they are comfortable enough to sleep, they tend to sprawl out and need the space to do so.
A small cage that you can buy at an average pet store generally does not offer the room to stretch out and may make your rabbit uncomfortable as they try to find an area to sleep.
Another reason your rabbit may be too uncomfortable to sleep is that their area is too hard.
Hard surfaces might be alright to walk around or lie down on, but too long and they may start to get sore, which will make them unable to sleep.
Just like any other animal, rabbits can grow bored. This boredom could lead them to sleep more throughout the day and keep them awake at night. Or they might not sleep much at all.
It is essential to give your rabbit plenty of mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. Toys, hay, exercise, and games are all great ways to tire your rabbit out.
Rabbits are very social creatures. It is usually recommended you get rabbits in pairs so that they have company all the time.
However, if you are your bunny’s sole source of companionship, your rabbit may get lonely throughout the night.
They may toss toys, chew on their cage bars, or even thump repeatedly to get your attention when they feel the need for companionship.
The worst part of this is, if you do get up to give your rabbit attention, they may come to expect attention at night.
It’s better to give them lots of love during the day, so they don’t feel lonely and can make it through the night.
Rabbits have sensitive hearing and are nervous creatures by habit. Any noise might cause them to wake up from their sleep.
This could be the sound of a heater, AC turning on, someone rifling through the fridge, or another animal moving around.
Once your rabbit wakes, it may not be able or willing to go back to sleep.
If your rabbit is woken up from a deep sleep, it may get angry and start making noise to express that anger.
Shaking their cages, throwing items, thumping, and chewing on their cage may be a sign they are protesting being woken up from their sleep.
On top of having sensitive hearing, rabbits also can see better in the dark than humans. Lights that might not bother us at night may be too bright for your rabbit and may keep them awake.
Nightlights, red power lights such as those on TVs, and even small LEDs can keep your rabbit awake and irritated throughout the night.
Eight ways to help your rabbit sleep at night
Keeping your rabbit to a schedule will help them learn when it is time to sleep or be quiet, and when to be active and play.
It doesn’t have to be a schedule that is down to the minute.
But giving your rabbit a general idea of when you get up, when it is time for them to eat, and when to play will help your rabbit learn when it is quiet time.
Activity before bed
Like with children, the best way to get an animal to sleep is to wear them out shortly before.
Before bed, give them plenty of time to play around, jump, and enjoy their noisy toys. This will wear them out and help them sleep through the night.
Lots of hay
Even if your rabbit doesn’t sleep throughout the night, it can learn to be quiet during this time. One way to help them stay silent is to give them plenty of hay.
Rabbits need to eat a lot. Feeding them hay will help them wear down their teeth and fight boredom.
It also will stop them from waking you up by throwing their bowl when they are hungry, as they have something to eat.
Just place a pile of hay in their cage before bed, and they should be entertained for the rest of the night.
If your rabbit does sleep at night, they can easily be woken up by noises. This can cause them to struggle to go back to sleep and even become noisy to release their aggravation.
To prevent them from waking up with every noise, try and keep their area as quiet as possible.
Either keep them in a separate room from items and people that can make noise, or cover their cage in a thick blanket to muffle sounds.
This serves two purposes: they will be able to feel safe and relax more, letting them sleep longer, and block any noises that might wake your bunny up and irritate them.
Like sounds, lights can keep your rabbit up or make it hard for them to stay asleep.
If you go into a nearby room to open a fridge or a red power light is on, they may struggle to sleep and be very aggravated.
This, in turn, may keep you awake as they throw things and thump to show their annoyance.
Similar to keeping the area quiet, you can put your rabbit in a separate room with no lights, or you can cover the cage with a thick blanket to block any unwanted lights.
Sometimes, your rabbit may just not sleep.
Whether it is because it slept too much during the day or just doesn’t want to sleep through the entire night, your rabbit may have times when they get up.
This is perfectly normal; however, it can be difficult for you if they decide to use this time to play.
There are a few ways to keep your rabbit quiet, even if they are sleeping. The first is to pad their cages, so they don’t make a lot of noise as they move around the cage.
The second is to give them quiet toys.
Similar to dogs, there are snuffle mats for rabbits, which are quiet, offer food, and provide enrichment.
There are also chew toys that can be quiet, allowing rabbits to wear down their teeth to keep entertained.
This provides a win for both you and the rabbit, as they have enrichment and entertainment throughout the night, and you can sleep without having to listen to your bunny.
Rabbits tend to enjoy colder temperatures than most humans. Around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 18 degrees Celsius) is a rabbit’s preferred temperature zone for sleeping.
If your home is warmer than this, it may be too hot for them to get comfortable and sleep. Try to keep your rabbit in a room that runs a little colder so that they feel cool enough to sleep.
Rabbits need a wide space to sleep. When a rabbit gets comfortable, they tend to sprawl out.
For their sleeping area, if it is separate from the rest of their play areas, such as with a little hutch or cute mini home, you want to make sure they have enough space to stretch out.
If the cage and their sleeping area are the same, you want a cage that is at least 4 times the size of your rabbit. However, 24 square feet is the amount most recommended.
Giving your rabbit enough space to sleep will allow them to get comfortable and rest throughout the night.
When do rabbits usually sleep
Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are most awake during dawn and dusk. Because of this, they have stronger senses than people.
Lights and sounds may impact them greater than they do us, and make it harder for them to sleep throughout the night.
How long do rabbits usually sleep
Rabbits can generally sleep anywhere between 8 and 12 hours a day. The average is about 10 hours a day. This means rabbits have plenty of hours to sleep during the day and at night.
They usually take smaller naps, waking up to eat fairly often, so a rabbit sleeping throughout the whole night isn’t likely, but they can learn to sleep throughout most of the night and be quiet.
Rabbits need proper stimulation to be able to sleep throughout the night, as well as a comfortable sleeping area.
By keeping your rabbit active, giving them lots of attention, and making an ideal cage for them, you can help your rabbit sleep through the night.