As adorable as rabbits are, their odd sleeping habits and constant energy at night can leave some owners feeling tired and frustrated. So what can you do to prevent your rabbit from making so much noise at night?
Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. If you provide your rabbit with a dependable routine, and make sure to play with it right before bed, your rabbit will be more likely to sleep quietly throughout the night. Providing an enriching, safe environment will also improve your rabbit’s sleeping habits.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to change a rabbit’s sleeping habits to match a human’s exactly, but there are a variety of ways to mitigate obnoxious nighttime behaviors, and even make your rabbit happier in the process. Read on to learn how your rabbit’s nighttime noise might actually be a sign of boredom or anxiety!
Why Are Rabbits so Loud at Night?
The first step to getting a good night’s rest is to understand your rabbit’s behavior. Rabbits and humans have very different needs; it’s not fair to expect your rabbit to adhere to the exact same schedule as you!
The reason rabbits are so loud at night is because they’re crepuscular. Crepuscular animals are most active during dawn and dusk. Furthermore, instead of sleeping for a long period of time, rabbits take naps with periods of activity in between.
How to Make Your Rabbit to Sleep at Night
While you can’t force a rabbit to sleep eight hours every night, there are ways you can teach your rabbit to be quieter at night. Here are the steps you should take to change your rabbit’s sleeping schedule.
1. Stick to a Routine
The most important step in getting your rabbit to sleep at night is to provide a firm routine. Many rabbits become excitable at night because they want food, treats, or attention.
By providing a stable routine, your rabbit will learn what to expect throughout the day. Over time, your rabbit’s desire to eat, play, and sleep will line up with the schedule you created.
2. Provide a Secure Environment
Rabbits are prey animals, and they’re some of the highest-anxiety pets out there. Unfortunately, when rabbits don’t feel safe in their home, it affects their sleeping schedule. Rabbits that feel unsafe and anxious are unlikely to sleep for long periods of time.
To help your rabbit feel more safe in its enclosure, be sure to provide plenty of spaces to hide. Rabbits prefer hides that have two holes, so they can escape whenever they need to. Covering part of the enclosure with a blanket will also make your rabbit feel more secure.
If you have other pets in the house, make sure that your rabbits are shut in a separate room. Noise from other animals (particularly predators like dogs and cats) can cause severe anxiety, and will affect your rabbit’s ability to sleep peacefully.
3. Give Your Rabbit Lots of Enrichment
Another common reason rabbits are loud at night is because they don’t have enough enrichment. Rabbits should never be kept in small cages without space to run or toys to play with. All rabbits need spacious enclosures with plenty of enriching toys and places to dig. It’s also important to give your rabbit time out of the enclosure every day, so it can explore.
Rabbits that don’t have enough enrichment become hyperactive. In order to stay occupied, they will chew, thump, and run around at night to get rid of all their pent up energy.
4. Play with Your Rabbit Before Bed
A great way to get your rabbit to sleep well at night is to play with your rabbit right before bed. You should establish an hour or two every night before bedtime where you play with your rabbit and allow it to run around the house.
This will wear your rabbit out, and get rid of any pent up energy right before bedtime. That way, when you finally do go to bed, your rabbit will be ready for a nice, long sleep!
5. Provide Plenty of Food
Rabbits always require lots of fresh hay, so it’s a good idea to refill your rabbit’s food right before bed. If your rabbit doesn’t get enough hay to last it through the night, it’s more likely to be noisy.
Tips to Keep Your Rabbit Quiet at Night
Have you tried everything to get your rabbit to sleep at night, but nothing seems to work? Unfortunately, some rabbits refuse to change their sleeping schedules, but don’t give up hope yet! Even if you can’t get your rabbit to sleep while you’re sleeping, there are still ways to keep your rabbit from waking you up.
1. Keep Your Rabbit in a Separate Room
If your rabbit is keeping you awake at night, consider moving it’s enclosure to a room away from your own. You might even want to wear earplugs or play white noise while you’re sleeping, so that any nighttime noise is less likely to wake you up.
2. Provide Quiet Toys
You might want to switch out your rabbit’s toys at night, and provide it with only soft toys while you’re trying to sleep. Stuffed animals, fabric tubes, and other soft toys will allow your rabbit to play without waking you up!
3. Make Sure the Floor Is Soft
Covering the floor of your rabbit’s enclosure with a blanket or some soft material, so that your rabbit is less likely to wake you up if it runs around.
4. Ignore Bad Behavior
Rabbits can be quite demanding at times, and many learn that by thumping or causing destruction, they can get attention from their owners. If your rabbit thumps at night, make sure to ignore it, so your rabbit learns that its behavior won’t be rewarded.
Rabbits are loving, adorable pets, but their constant noise at night can be extremely bothersome. While you can’t change the fact that rabbits are crepuscular, you can provide them with a firm schedule that will make them more likely to sleep throughout most of the night. Making sure your rabbit has plenty of enrichment and feels secure in its environment will also help to minimize nighttime noise.
Finally, even if your rabbit refuses to adhere to a new sleeping schedule, you can still mitigate noise by providing quiet toys and a soft floor.