Sleeping and Dreaming in Rabbits: what we know about rabbit sleep

sommeil et rêves du lapin

Rabbits are known to sleep a lot, and dreams are thought to occupy much of their sleep. It remains largely mysterious and poorly understood. But what happens when our balls of fur dream? How is the sleep of the pet rabbits different from ours? How does it fit into their lifestyle? In this article, we will try to answer questions related to your rabbit’s sleep and dreams.

When does the rabbit sleep?

Rabbits are nocturnal animals, which means they sleep most of the time during the day and are active at night. Their lifestyle can be a little confusing for rabbit owners, as they may seem to sleep much more than other pets. But in reality, rabbits need it to rest and prepare for a night of activity.

They sleep about 12 to 14 hours a day, according to the Ohio State University website. The most active times for rabbits are early morning, night and dusk. The rabbit is quietest during the day, usually between noon and four in the afternoon.

Sleep is divided into two phases:

  • a light phase. Rabbits spend about 70% of their time sleeping in a light phase, which allows them to wake up quickly if necessary
  • a deep sleep phase. The other 30% is spent in a deep sleep phase, where they dream.

Deep phase

The life rhythm of the European Rabbit is very different from that of the pet rabbit. These animals are constantly on the alert, as they must be ready to flee at any moment. The European rabbit is wild and therefore sleeps much less than the pet rabbit.

Pet rabbits, on the other hand, are much more relaxed and do not have to fear predators. They are lucky because they can sleep longer and enjoy their dreams!

Rabbit’s Dreams:

Rabbit dreams are similar to our own since they are a way for the brain to process information and experiences from the day. Dreams can be disrupted if something wakes them up in the middle of the night, such as a noise or a change in light. Since dreams occur during the deep phase, it is important to favour this phase and not wake them up to allow them to dream.

Rabbit dreams can also be influenced by what they ate before bedtime. A high-protein meal may cause more vivid and active dreams, while a lighter meal may result in calmer dreams.

It’s hard to know exactly what rabbits dream about, because obviously they can’t tell us. But it is thought that, like humans, they dream about things that have disturbed or preoccupied them during the day. They may also dream of familiar places and experiences, such as their litter box or their space.

Rabbits are animals known to have intense dreams, as they are often seen trashing and fidgeting while sleeping. These rapid body movements are called sleepwalking, and are thought to be related to dreams.

Sleepwalking is most common in young rabbits, but it can occur at any age. Veterinarians believe it’s a way for the rabbit’s body to release excess energy it has gathered during the day.

This is important for a good physical and mental health. If you notice that your rabbit is having trouble sleeping or his dreams seem disturbed, consult a veterinarian to find out if something is wrong.

Rabbit Dreams

What might the rabbit be dreaming about?

In what positions does a rabbit sleep?

The 4 positions when the rabbit sleeps

  • Sitting
  • semi-sitting
  • on his side
  • on his stomach.

They can sleep in many positions, but they tend to prefer sitting or semi-sitting positions. This allows them to wake up quickly if something dangerous happens. Rabbits can also sleep on their sides or stomachs, but these positions make them more vulnerable to attack.

Does the rabbit sleep with his eyes open?

They don’t always sleep with their eyes open, but they often do. This allows them to stay alert and spot predators in case of danger. They can also close their eyes when they sleep, but it takes them a little longer to wake up.

Rabbits are nocturnal animals, so they sleep most of the time during the day. However, they can doze off at any time during the day if the mood strikes them, as they spend the majority of their time awake at night with sometimes significant activity.

Baloo and Bamboo resting with their eyes open

What time does a rabbit take a nap?

They can doze off at any time of the day if the mood strikes them.

They usually take one in the middle of the day, between noon and two. This is the time of day when they are most tired and need to rest. They may do longer or shorter ones depending on their activity level and what they have eaten.

Schedules are variable depending on each individual and the activities and also the owner’s pace.

Elvis napping in his Bunny TV

During these drowsy moments, do rabbits dream?

Rabbits don’t always have real dreams while dozing because they don’t sleep deeply. However, it is thought that they can have microdreams, which are short periods of light sleep where they see brief, strange images or sensations.

Microdreams are important to them because they help them cope with new experiences and changes in their environment. Microdreams can help rabbits adapt to new situations and better understand the world around them.

Blue goes to sleep and dreams…

Alternative Medicine

There are many herbs in different forms that can have an effect on stress and thus relax, but it is important not to treat without medical advice from an exotic vet

If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll find a lot of interesting information about herbal treatments for rabbits, video made by an exotic vet, Dr. Mehdi Gharbi. You will find answers to your questions on this topics, as well as tips and tricks.

Here is the link: Natural Therapies and Medicines for the Rabbit

The Secure Bunny

This is a very interesting product that has proven to be a stress reliever. And indeed, the Secure Bunny from the SIGNS laboratory will mimic maternal pheromones providing your rabbit with a similar happiness.

You can find all the information about this product here on sale at Rabbits World.

Secure Bunny to relax your rabbit

Can a rabbit’s behavior be influenced by his sleep?

Yes, it can influence their behavior. Rabbits that don’t get enough sleep can be irritable and aggressive. They may also have trouble concentrating and learning new things. Conversely, rabbits that sleep too much can also be sleepy and lazy.

It’s important to make sure rabbits get enough sleep. so they can rest well and dream. Rabbits may need to sleep more if their environment is stressful or if they are sick. This is part of their life balance. They often form their habits by aligning with your rhythm.


How to provide your rabbit with the best sleeping conditions.

When your rabbit is sleeping, it is important to ensure that he has a calm and quiet environment to sleep in. As tips, we encourage you to provide them with a comfortable and safe place to rest.

Here are some product tips from one of our “environment” categories that rabbits love to nap or sleep on. These are either resting areas that are a little high up, like a hammock, or the roof of a house, or inside a shelter, with a cozy carpet. It should ideally have an entrance and an exit, this reassures the rabbit a lot, which always remains vigilant.

Softness and tranquility for a good sleep

The cozy hygienic mat

The hygienic mat provides undeniable comfort in your rabbit’s environment. It will be an extremely soft bedding, but it can also be used as a substitute litter box when your rabbit is not litter-trained. The fur of this mat is dense and does not fray.
On sale at Rabbits World: Hygienic Mat

Soft mat for rabbits

Soft mat for rabbits

The hammock for comfortable naps

A Rabbits World essential, the bunny hammock is slightly elevated, and they love it. Available in different sizes and colors

On sale at Rabbits World: Hammock

Sway soundly asleep on her cozy hammock

A house to have a roof and openings

This wooden house will be a must-have for your rabbit.
Indeed, having two openings, your rabbit will be able to take refuge in it or observe its territory on the roof that also serves as a resting and observation platform for the most curious.

On sale at Rabbits World: Helheim House

Helheim House for Rabbits

Helheim House for Rabbits

A real bed for your ball of fur

What’s better than a good bed to sleep in?

On sale at Rabbits World: Bunnynature wooden bed

Elvis taking a nap on his bed

The Spirit of the Burrow

With the Ornikar tunnel your rabbit will find a well-protected space to sleep and rest in safety.

On sale at Rabbits World: Ornikar tunnel

Tunnel to rediscover the burrow spirit

A good soft pillow

The Roll N Flop is an extremely comfortable cushion for our rabbits’ naps. In fact, the two flops on the sides protect and frame your bunny while he’s lying on it.

On sale at Rabbits World: Roll n flop cushion

Roll N Flop for Rabbits

Roll N Flop for Rabbits


You’ll find another full page of products for your rabbit’s rest and environment in the Essentials category of Rabbits World


Sleep and dreams are important for the physical and mental health of rabbits. Ultimately our pet is like us: a rabbit that sleeps well and dreams well is a happy rabbit!

Our articles on similar topics here is the link: magazine articles

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