Sleep is a crucial aspect of our lives, as it is essential to our physical and mental well-being. It is the time when our bodies rest and repair, and our minds process the events of the day.
Given its importance, it is no surprise that sleep has become a popular topic of discussion in many cultures and languages, resulting in the creation of numerous idioms related to sleep. These idioms offer a fascinating insight into how different cultures view sleep and its role in our lives.
In this post, we will explore some of the most interesting and widely used sleep idioms, shedding light on their meanings and origins.
47 Sleep Idioms & Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
1. Deep Sleep
- Meaning: to sleep really well.
- Example in a sentence: When David is in deep sleep it is nearly impossible to wake him up.
2. To Get Off To Sleep
- Meaning: to finally begin to sleep after initially being difficult.
- Example in a sentence: If I drink coffee after 5 p.m. it is difficult for me to get off to sleep.
3. To Lose Sleep Over Someone Or Something
- Meaning: to be worried about something so much that you can’t sleep.
- Example in a sentence: Don’t lose any sleep over it. I am sure everything will be fine.
4. To Not Sleep A Wink
- Meaning: to not get any sleep even though you try to.
- Example in a sentence: I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
5. To Put Someone/Something To Sleep
- Meaning #1: to be so bored to the point that you begin to sleep
- Example in a sentence: What did you think of the movie? It was so boring it put me to sleep.
- Meaning #2: to euthanize an animal.
- Example in a sentence: Daisy was so sick the vet recommended that we put her to sleep.
6. To Rock To Sleep
- Meaning: to help someone fall asleep by making a back-and-forth motion much like that of a rocking chair.
- Example in a sentence: Jessica’s mother rocked her baby to sleep.
- Meaning: another word for sleep.
- Example in a sentence: I am going to go home and get some shut-eye.
8. To Sleep Something Away
- Meaning: to spend a lot of time sleeping.
- Example in a sentence: He was so sick that he slept the whole day away.
9. To Burn The Candle At Both Ends
- Meaning: to be exhausted because you are working too much at night and early in the morning
- Example in a sentence: She is burning the candle at both ends. If she doesn’t get some rest she is going to get sick.
10. To Sleep It Off
- Meaning: trying to get out of an uncomfortable situation by sleeping; usually by sleeping more than normal.
- Example in a sentence: I have such a headache. I am going to go to bed early and try to sleep it off.
11. To Sleep Like A Log
- Meaning: to get a very deep sleep; to sleep very soundly.
- Example in a sentence: After playing football this weekend, I slept like a log.
12. To Nod Off
- Meaning: to fall asleep usually unintentionally.
- Example in a sentence: The lecture was so boring I couldn’t help but nod off a little bit.
13. To Sleep On Something
- Meaning: not making a decision until the following day so that the person has extra time to think about it.
- Example in a sentence: Thank you for the offer. Before accepting the offer I’d just like to sleep on it.
- Meaning: to sleep in somebody else’s house
- Example in a sentence: My daughter is going to have a sleepover this weekend and she is inviting all her little friends over to the house.
15. A Cat Nap
- Meaning: a quick but restful nap.
- Example in a sentence: I am going to try to take a cat nap before we go over to their house.
16. To Sleep With One Eye Open
- Meaning: to sleep lightly so that you are aware of what is happening around you.
- Example in a sentence: You better start sleeping with one eye open because George is seeking revenge.
17. To Go Out Like A Light
- Meaning: to fall asleep really quickly.
- Example in a sentence: As soon as I got into bed, I was out like a light.
18. To Sob Oneself To Sleep
- Meaning: to cry until one falls asleep.
- Example in a sentence: She sobbed herself to sleep for days after her mother died.
19. To Be Between The Sheets
- Meaning: to get into bed.
- Example in a sentence: I am so tired I can’t wait to get between the sheets.
20. To Get Your Beauty Sleep
- Meaning: to get a good night’s rest so that a person looks refreshed and attractive. Usually, it is said in a funny way.
- Example in a sentence: Shh! Ryan is in the other room trying to get his beauty sleep.
21. To Be Able To Do Something In One’s Sleep
- Meaning: something a person has done so often that now it is extremely easy to do.
- Example in a sentence: Making cookies is so easy for her that she could do it in her sleep.
22. To Oversleep
- Meaning: to sleep longer than normal. Usually, it is not intentional.
- Example in a sentence: He was late for school because he overslept.
23. To Be Sleeping At The Wheel
- Meaning: not caring about one’s responsibilities or not paying attention to something.
- Example in a sentence: David was supposed to be preparing for the presentation tomorrow, but it seems like he is sleeping at the wheel.
24. A Night Owl
- Meaning: someone who often stays up late because they function better at night than in the morning.
- Example in a sentence: When I was young, I was a night owl, but now I like to go to bed early.
25. To Hit The Sack
- Meaning: to go to bed.
- Example in a sentence: I am going to hit the sack early tonight. I am so tired.
26. To Sleep Like A Top
- Meaning: to sleep very well; to sleep soundly.
- Example in a sentence: After all the running today, you are going to sleep like a top tonight.
27. Sleep Tight
- Meaning: a saying to tell someone before going to bed meaning to sleep well.
- Example in a sentence: Sleep tight. We will talk more about this in the morning.
28. Sleep Fest
- Meaning: an event that is so boring that you can’t help but fall asleep.
- Example in a sentence: Today’s meeting was a sleep fest. I couldn’t stay awake.
29. To Sing Oneself/Someone To Sleep
- Meaning: to sing until one falls asleep. Usually, it is done to help someone fall asleep.
- Example in a sentence: The baby cried until her mother sang her to sleep.
30. To Drift Off To Sleep
- Meaning: to slowly fall asleep.
- Example in a sentence: No one even noticed that she drifted off to sleep.
31. Eternal Sleep
- Meaning: A way to say someone had died.
- Example in a sentence: After 99 good years, Grandma entered her eternal sleep last night.
32. To be Sleeping On The Job
- Meaning: not paying attention to one’s duties or responsibilities.
- Example in a sentence: Tom didn’t get anything done this week. What was he doing all week long? Was he sleeping on the job?
33. To Drink Oneself To Sleep
- Meaning: to drink alcohol to the point where one is unconscious.
- Example in a sentence: After work, he came home and drank himself to sleep.
34. To Turn In
- Meaning: to go to bed.
- Example in a sentence: Good Night. I am going to turn in.
35. To Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
- Meaning: to leave a situation alone so as not to cause more problems. It can also mean not talking about problems that happened in the past.
- Example in a sentence: Andrea started talking about him again. Why can’t she just let sleeping dogs lie?
36. To Go To Bed With The Chickens
- Meaning: to go to bed early.
- Example in a sentence: He always goes to bed with the chickens even on the weekends.
37. To Sleep Like A Rock
- Meaning: to sleep soundly.
- Example in a sentence: I didn’t hear my cellphone ring last night. I have been sleeping like a rock.
38. To Lull One To Sleep
- Meaning: to cause a person to feel so relaxed that they fall asleep.
- Example in a sentence: The music lulled her to sleep.
39. To Sleep Around The Cock
- Meaning: to sleep constantly. To sleep for a long time.
- Example in a sentence: After working a double shift, he came home and slept around the clock.
40. To Sleep In
- Meaning: to sleep later than normal, either intentionally or unintentionally.
- Example in a sentence: I am going to sleep in tomorrow because I am exhausted.
41. To Sleep Like A Baby
- Meaning: to sleep soundly.
- Example in a sentence: I feel great! I slept like a baby last night.
42. To Sleep With The Fishes
- Meaning: to murder someone and then put the body in a lake, river, or ocean.
- Example in a sentence: The gangsters said he will be sleeping with the fishes in no time.
43. Twenty Winks
- Meaning: a quick nap.
- Example in a sentence: I went home to go grab twenty winks before returning back to work.
44. To Hit The Hay
- Meaning: to go to bed.
- Example in a sentence: You should hit the hay, you look tired.
45. To Catch Some Z’s
- Meaning: to get some rest or to get some sleep.
- Example in a sentence: Where is Ethan? He is in the other room catching some z’s.
46. Pass out
- Meaning: to fall asleep
- Example in a sentence: He came home and passed out on the couch.
47. To Be Put To Rest
- Meaning: to be buried.
- Example in a sentence: My grandfather was put to rest after fighting cancer for so many years.
In conclusion, sleep idioms offer a fascinating glimpse into how different cultures perceive and value sleep. These idioms not only convey wisdom and life lessons but also reveal the unique ways in which language and culture intertwine.
Whether it is emphasizing the importance of rest, warning against procrastination, or commenting on life’s unpredictability, sleep idioms have a timeless quality that continues to resonate with people from all walks of life.
By understanding and appreciating these idioms, we can gain a deeper appreciation of sleep and its role in our lives, and perhaps even find some useful insights to help us get a better night’s rest.
There you have it! 47 idioms about sleep. Which one is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.