After an exhausting day at work, doing house chores, and playing happily with your rabbit, it’s night-time and you want to get some sleep. However, your rabbit has some other plans and wants to continue playing all night. How do you make a rabbit sleep at night?
Rabbits can sleep at any time of the day. They don’t recognize night-time as a time to sleep. At the same time, you want to find out how to make a rabbit sleep at night so you can have a restful sleep as well.
There are some instances when rabbits find it difficult to sleep. While rabbits, by nature, have irregular sleeping patterns, not unlike us, they can act wild and cranky if they lack sleep.
How to Make a Rabbit Sleep at Night
Your rabbit’s needs are not unlike a child’s needs to sleep at night. It needs enough space with a warm, comfortable bed. No noise, no lights, no disturbances in general. Give it some soft soundless toys and make sure you’ve played with it sufficiently to make it tired. Now, if it feels safe and it’s left in peace, it will sleep soundly!
A comfortable home is not the only thing a rabbit needs to sleep well. Whether they are in a cozy home or the wild, rabbits need the right sleeping environment so they can sleep calmly.
Here are some tips on how to make a rabbit sleep at night.
1. Give your Rabbit Enough Space to Sleep
If your rabbit has a cage that’s too small for it, chances are, it will not be comfortable and will make a lot of noise. A small cage will make it hard for your rabbit to continuously dig in the bottom. Furthermore, a confined space will make them irritated and awake all night.
The right sized cage for your rabbit should at least be 8 square feet (enclosure space) and about 24 square feet (running space). This size allows your rabbit sufficient space for playing and exercising.
If your house cannot accommodate this size of cage, an alternative is to choose a cage that is at least four times bigger than your rabbit.
2. Provide your Rabbit with a Warm and Comfortable Bed
Rabbits are soft so they also prefer soft beds. Many rabbits love sleeping in hutch-styled beds or paper bags because they find it comfortable. It is, therefore, important to give priority to your rabbit’s bed.
Rabbits are spoiled animals and want warm and comfortable beds that are plush and soft. To create a soft bed for your rabbit you can place straw, newspaper, softwood litters, and hay in the bottom of its cage. Make sure the cage has proper ventilation.
How to make your rabbit sleep at night? Give it a plush, cozy, and soft bed!
3. Avoid any Noise Disturbance
Rabbits have sensitive ears. Your rabbit’s long ears allow them to hear a noise even from a great distance. They can sense even the drop of a pin. The hearing range of rabbits is from 360 Hz to 42,000 Hz, which is double the hearing range of humans!
Rabbits are also irritated by noise when they are trying to sleep.
Noise is one of the major reasons that keep rabbits awake at night. Since they cannot do anything about the noise, they lose sleep. Make sure there is no noise that can disturb your rabbit when it’s asleep at night.
4. Keep Lights Out in the Room
Rabbits are also sensitive to disturbing lights. If you open the lights and your rabbit is sleeping, your rabbit will wake up and be in their worst mood. Rabbits need a dark room to release their sleep hormones.
Turn the lights off a few minutes before your rabbit’s bedtime to get it ready for sleep. A soft bed, as well as a quiet and dark room will make your rabbit sleep through the night.
5. Provide your Rabbit with Some Quiet Toys
Rabbits easily get bored. If it’s not keen on sleeping at night-time, give it some quiet toys to kill its boredom. If it doesn’t like to sleep, it should at least allow you to sleep. If it cannot sleep and becomes bored, it will be thumping loud enough to bother your sleep.
Remove all rattle toys from the cage of your rabbit in the night-time so everyone can have a better sleep.
6. Tire your Rabbit During the Day
An exhausted rabbit will sleep through the night. Play with your rabbit during the day. Anyone who is tired and exhausted will want to have a good night’s sleep. Your rabbit is not an exception. It will also get tired and want to have a soundless sleep.
Play with your rabbit more in the evening to tire it more. This will allow it to prepare for bed at the same time as you do.
7. Feed your Rabbit Enough Hay
Hay is a staple to the diet of your rabbit. Leave some hay in its cage at night so when it cannot sleep and gets bored, it can prevent boredom by eating hay. Hay is good for the digestive system of your rabbit. It prevents it from getting gastrointestinal problems that can cause it sleepless nights.
Hay not only allows your rabbit to have a midnight snack, but hay also helps create a comfortable bed.
8. Make your Rabbit Feel Safe at Night
If you have other pets, there is a big possibility that your rabbit will feel unsafe with their presence at night. When it feels unsafe about the other animals nearby, or of the environment in general, it will thump at night.
If it’s not possible to keep your rabbit in a separate room from your other pets, cover its cage with a blanket so it does not see the other animals.
Your rabbit will also be scared of loud music and loud noises. Loud music and noises will stress out your rabbit. It will not be able to sleep if it’s mentally stressed.
9. Busy your Rabbit with Activities during the Day
More activities will keep your rabbit awake during the day. Remember that rabbits can sleep anytime but sleeping at night is more comfortable for them. You will be doing your rabbit a huge favor by keeping it active during the day so it can have a good night’s sleep.
10. Fulfil the Social Desires of your Rabbit
Rabbits are one of the friendliest pets. Playing with your rabbit provides it with exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure to fulfill the social desires of your rabbit before it sleeps at night. This is so it will not thump at midnight to get your attention because it wants to play with you.
11. Ignore your Rabbit’s Thumping
Thumping is your rabbit’s way of grabbing your attention. It is alright to calm it down when you notice that it feels unsafe and scared in the middle of the night. However, if your rabbit keeps making loud noises and thumping, it is for his own good that you ignore it. If you give in to its whims, it will not sleep till morning.
12. Maintain a Consistent Routine for your Rabbit
A consistent daytime routine is the most important part of helping your rabbit sleep through the night. With a consistent routine, your rabbit will know when it is going to be fed, when you are going to play with it, when it can be on its own, and when it is time to sleep.
A consistent routine will make it get into the habit of sleeping more at night because such is its daily routine. For example, if your rabbit is used to being fed at 7am, it will develop the habit of expecting to be fed at that time.
When it is used to its routine, it will not get over-excited and agitated in the middle of the night. It will tend to wait until the morning when it is time for its breakfast. Doing so will make it sleep through the night.
So remember, if your rabbit is not sleeping through the night, it may be because of one or a combination of these reasons:
• It does not feel safe
• It is not comfortable
• There is too much noise.
• There is too much light.
It may also mean that it is just not sleepy because it slept all day.
If your rabbit usually sleeps through the night but is starting to stay up at night, there is a possibility that it may not be feeling well. Rabbits will not sleep at night when they are not feeling well or are ill.
Issues with their digestive system (bloated abdomen, bowel disturbance, intestinal obstructions, and abdominal pain) are the most common illnesses that can hit your rabbit. These health issues can cause it to be irritated and uncomfortable preventing it from having a peaceful and restful sleep.
FAQs: Rabbits Sleeping Behavior
1. How much sleep does your Rabbit Need?
If humans need 8 hours of sleep to be healthy and ready for the next day’s activities, so do rabbits. Rabbits, however, due to their crepuscular sleeping rhythm, break the 8 hours into several sections.
2. When do Rabbits Typically Sleep?
Animals have three basic sleeping rhythms:
• Diurnal animals are alert during daytime
• Nocturnal animals are awake at night
• Crepuscular animals are most active at dusk and dawn.
Rabbits have a crepuscular sleeping cycle because they are prey animals. While they have developed many traits to avoid predators, being most active at dusk and dawn helps rabbits take advantage of the dim lights during these times to hide from predators.
Rabbits do not sleep continuously like humans do at night. They typically sleep in two tranches: in the middle of the day and in the middle of the night.
3. How do you know if your Rabbit is sleeping?
Your rabbit may look as though it is not sleeping because it can remain alert. It is, therefore, important to know when it is deep in sleep so you can leave it alone to rest.
You will know that your rabbit is sleeping when:
• It is breathing slowly
• It’s nose does not twitch
• It flops or “loafs” on its side
If you notice any of these with your rabbit, it means it is comfortable and feels safe enough to sleep.
Does a Rabbit Sleep with His Eyes Open?
Yes and this is the reason it can be difficult to tell if your rabbit is already sleeping. Your rabbit’s eyes are moist while it is sleeping because he has a third eyelid. With their eyes open, they can sense if there is a change in light that tells them there is an approaching danger (perhaps a predator).
As you already know, rabbits are prey animals, thus they should always be aware of what is going on in their surroundings. Their excellent sense of hearing and sight helps keep them safe from predators.
A rabbit has an almost 3600 vision because its eyes are on the high sides of its face. This leaves them with only a tiny blind spot. They sleep with their eyes open while blinking their clear third eyelids that keep their eyes moist.
It is important to know how to make a rabbit sleep at night because when it lacks sleep it will be stressed out. Follow the tips given above so you and your pet rabbit can have a restful sleep through the night.