You may have heard that bunnies or rabbits are nocturnal, meaning they like to sleep during the day and are active at night, but did you know scientists aren't really sure?

Digging into this topic, I found plenty of research and studies, and scientists have been studying it for decades. This is because the circadian rhythm of bunnies is more complex than it seems.

Stop Googling - Ask a Real Vet


  1. Are Rabbits and Bunnies Nocturnal
  2. Can Rabbits and Bunnies See in the Dark
  3. When Do Rabbits and Bunnies Sleep
  4. FAQs
  5. Conclusion

Are Rabbits and Bunnies Nocturnal

The short answer is they are most active at dawn and dusk, which means that rabbits are crepuscular. But it’s a little more complicated than that. This kind of activity is most common in wild rabbits, like cottontails, and European rabbits are most active at this time to avoid predators. However, domestic rabbits can be more active during the day to match the daily activities of their owners, like feeding time.

According to Prof. Raul Aguilar-Roblero, “While they are most active around the twilight hours, their internal clocks and environment can affect their behavior, making them adaptable rather than strictly nocturnal.”

The time when bunnies are most busy can also depend on the seasons and change with the environment they are in. For example, if there are more predators around at night, they may prefer to come out during the day.

If you're wondering when your pet bunny is most active, you can watch them with a Pet Cam and see if they prefer running around during the day or the night.

Read more: Bunny Diet: What Foods Can Your Pet Rabbit Eat?

Can Rabbits and Bunnies See in the Dark

Bunnies have more rod cells in their irises than humans, which makes their eyes more sensitive to light, and they also have huge eyes made for taking in as much light as possible. This means they can see pretty well in low-light conditions, but their eyesight is still kinda grainy.

However, unlike animals like cats, rabbits do not have a tapetum lucidum, the reflective layer of cells that makes eyes glow in the dark, so their night vision is not as good as other animals, including dogs and cats.

Read more: Rabbit & Bunny Vaccines: Everything You Need to Know

When Do Rabbits and Bunnies Sleep

They tend to nap or sleep in short bursts (called polyphasic sleep) instead of sleeping for long stretches like humans do throughout the day and night. This helps them keep an eye out for predators. But they generally sleep much sounder during the day.

If you're curious about your bunny's nap time, remember they probably won't sleep when you're around. Setting up a pet cam in their cage is the best way to see a sleepy bunny!

Read more: Rabbits and Bunnies: Do They Lick and Bite?


Do Rabbits And Bunnies Sleep At Night?

Yes, rabbits do sleep at night. However, they sleep as deeply or have as much REM sleep as they do when they sleep during the day.

How Long Do Bunnies And Rabbits Sleep?

Rabbits sleep for an average of 11.4 hours a day. But they only sleep in short naps spread over a 24-hour period.


Rabbits are generally most active at dawn and dusk, and surprisingly, they can't see as well at night as most animals. So, the short answer is that the idea that our big-eared friends are night owls is really a myth.

Was this article helpful?

Help us make our articles even better

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback