Sleeping is one of the most important things in life. Sleep helps us recover from the day, and feels really good, too! That’s why having some vocabulary for sleeping is important! It’s good to have the right words to talk about important things in life. If you love to sleep, or even if you don’t think you have enough time for sleep, learning vocabulary for sleep will be helpful if you want to improve your English.

With this in mind, here is some helpful vocabulary for sleeping in English. We hope that this not only improves your English, but may improve your sleep, too!

Sleep hygiene (ˈsliːp ˈhaɪˌdʒiːn)

Having good sleep hygiene is just as important as having good bodily hygiene (cleanliness)! Sleep hygiene is actually a vocabulary word that I only learned a few years ago, and it changed the way I look at sleep. Sleep hygiene is the term (word) for habits and setups that help you to have restful, uninterrupted sleep. Sleep hygiene includes: going to bed at the same time every night, following a pre-bed routine, making your sleeping area quiet, calm, and relaxing, and is also building healthy habits throughout the day. If you have trouble sleeping, working on your sleep hygiene may help you sleep better!

For example:

  • Part of her sleep hygiene is to not look at her phone two hours before she goes to bed. She finds that reading a book and not looking at screens for a time before she goes to sleep helps her to sleep better.
  • When he was in college, his sleep hygiene was terrible, and he wondered why he never seemed to sleep well. Once he started having a bedtime routine and making his bedroom a calm place, he started sleeping better.

To fall asleep (ˈtuː ˈfɔːl əˈsliːp)

What do you call it when you start to sleep? In English, we call this falling asleep. Sometimes it’s not so easy to fall asleep quickly. It can be hard to fall asleep, but if you have trouble sleeping, you can use some of your new vocabulary for sleeping to help you out! If you improve your sleep hygiene, maybe you’ll sleep better! Or maybe all you need is a bit of quiet to help you fall asleep.

For example:

  • She always falls asleep very quickly. I have no idea how she does it!
  • He had trouble falling asleep for a long time, but he started counting backwards from 200 and fell asleep shortly afterwards.

Sleep in (ˈsliːp ˈɪn)

Do you like to sleep in on the weekends, or do you get up at the same time every day? If you sleep in, you sleep past the normal time you wake up on purpose (you mean to do something). Sleeping in can be really nice on the weekend or on days you don’t have to work. It just feels nice to get a little extra sleep sometimes!

For example:

  • We can sleep in tomorrow before getting up and going on a hike. Does that sound good?
  • I haven’t been able to sleep in the past few weekends. I can’t wait until next weekend when I don’t have to wake up at any certain time.

Oversleep (ˌoʊvɚˈsliːp)

If you sleep in on days when you should get up at a certain time, this is called oversleeping. If you oversleep, you sleep past an alarm (a clock to wake you up) and don’t get up when you were supposed to. Oversleeping isn’t fun, because it makes you late for work or other responsibilities. We hope you haven’t overslept lately!

For example:

  • He overslept on Tuesday and was an hour late for work. His boss understood, however, which was good.
  • She doesn’t oversleep that often, but when she does, she always feels terrible about it.

To take a nap (ˈtuː ˈteɪk ə ˈnæp)

Sometimes you get tired in the afternoon, and you end up falling asleep for an hour or two. This is called taking a nap. Taking a nap when you’re very tired can be really refreshing (feeling fresh, awake again)! Taking a nap on the weekend can be nice on days where you don’t have a lot to be doing and want to catch up on (recover, get back) some sleep. Taking naps is great for little kids and for adults, too!

  • She took a nap on Saturday afternoon before going out with some friends. She knew she would be able to stay awake longer, if she slept a little bit beforehand.
  • Their kid likes to take a nap every day around 2pm. They always feel refreshed afterwards!

Is your sleep important to you? Do you know of any other vocabulary for sleeping in English? Share with us in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, thinks vocabulary for sleeping is very important, and loves sleeping in on the weekends! 

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