Image of stars and a moon plus rabbits. The caption reads "Are Rabbits Nocturnal."

No, rabbits are not nocturnal. Rabbits are “crepuscular” which means to be active in the evening and early morning. Evolution has taught rabbits that this is the safest time to be most active since predators are less active during this time.

Are rabbits nocturnal?

As stated above, rabbits are not nocturnal and are crepuscular. In layman’s terms this means they are a hybrid of between being awake at night and during the day.

Why are rabbits crepuscular?

Rabbits are the breadbasket for predators. There must be a about a zillion rabbits killed every day in the world. Owls, hawks, racoons, foxes, coyotes, people and other predators rely on rabbits for food. Therefore, rabbits reproduce like… Well, like rabbits do.

Here is my amazing info-graphic…

Info-graphic showing how fast pet rabbits reproduce.

Even with these astonishing numbers rabbits often live a much short life in the wild than our domesticated pet rabbits do (pet rabbit lifespan). One of the other ways rabbits survive other than in sheer numbers is by being active when the two “shift” changes occur from nighttime (nocturnal) predators to daytime (Diurnal) predators.

Here is an example. Owls have huge eyes that see in the dark well but as the sun comes up their vision gets much worse, so they do not like to hunt currently. Hawks have excellent eyesight in broad daylight but don’t see well in lower light situations therefore they do not hunt until they can see well. Rabbits are more active during this time between day and night so they can take advantage of this time when there is less danger.

With all this being said it is important to keep in mind that rabbits will move, feed and play at anytime day or night sometimes. Just like you they may go off their schedule at times for reasons we may not understand.

Sometimes when I am working in my downstairs office I can here my pet rabbit, Mr. Bunny racing around upstairs at random times in the afternoon. We call this the “bunny 500.”

Rabbits sleep schedule

Here are some general guidelines that all pet rabbits as well as wild rabbits will follow under most circumstances. This schedule can help you know when to feed your rabbit.

  • Early morning – This is when rabbits start moving for the day. They will eat, play, run and dig.
  • Morning – Rabbits may continue eating but will eventually bed down somewhere and rest.
  • Noon – Rabbits are least active currently and probably in and out of deep sleep.
  • Afternoon – Most rabbits will still be sleeping at this time still. Some may get up and poop or eat a snack.
  • Evening – Rabbits start moving around, eating and pooping.
  • Night – Some rabbits will stay awake later into the night but by midnight most rabbits are not overactive.

How much do rabbits sleep?

Rabbits do not sleep like we do. Their sleep is often split up into segments rather than sleeping straight through the day. Most rabbits sleep 6 to 8 hours, but it will be split up over the 24-hour period. There is not a lot of scientific data about rabbit’s sleep cycle, so a lot of this information is from owning rabbits for a number of years. Ever wonder if rabbits sleep with their eyes open?

Do rabbits dream?

Yes, I can tell you as fact that rabbits do dream, just like dogs do. You may notice that your rabbit is passed out in a deep sleep and all the sudden he or she starts shaking, twitching or kicking. This means they are dreaming.

What do rabbits dream about?

I am guessing food and the opposite sex, but I can’t give you a definitive answer on this! Maybe they have weird dreams like us? Who knows? Maybe this article about what animals dream about can shed some light in this subject.

Where do rabbits like to sleep?

Best answer is under something or anything. I rarely see my current pet bunny, Mr. Bunny sleeping in the open, sometimes but not very often. They like to be protected from above, camouflaged but still able to see all around them. Rabbits have excellent, almost 360-degree vision. They use this to their advantage to stay alive and do not like their vision blocked.

Rabbits will sleep under your bed, under a couch, table or chair. They prefer the opening above their head to be about 6 inches in height. This allows them to move quickly if they wake up to a threat. Sleeping in a small area also allows them to stay safe from predator birds and large predators that can get into the small space.

Scaring rabbits while asleep

Sometimes you may scare the ?#*& out of your rabbit while he is sleeping. Rabbits will wake up if the here something out of the ordinary or you get to close to them.

About the Author

My name is Vanessa and I love my buns. My current house rabbit is Mr. Bunny, he is a black and white Dutch that just turned 9 years old.

I believe that rabbits are a magnificent animal that make great pets for SOME people. My mission is to share what I have learned about rabbits over the past 20 years to improve the relationship between our pets and us. Please contact me or comment if you have any questions or comments.