14 Common English Expressions for Sleep or Feeling Sleepy

14 Common English Expressions for Sleep or Feeling Sleepy

Welcome to our Daily English Listening Practice with this week’s series:

14 Common English Expressions
For Sleep and Feeling Sleepy

Today we talk about Common English Expressions for Sleep and Feeling Sleepy. We include 14 common words and phrases that we use a lot in everyday conversation, plus we’ve listed some uncommon or cliche phrases you might find in old English textbooks!

Listen to the audio clips for information and pronunciation.

Knackered/Shattered/Exhausted


Notes: incredibly tired; knackered / shattered: very British; shattered for physically tired as well as mentally tired

Nod Off


Notes: when you start to fall asleep, maybe on the couch or at your desk because you’re quite tired; “he just nodded off for a second”

Barely Keep My Eyes Open


Notes: incredibly tired, could also be used if something is boring and you’re tired of it

Nap / CatNap


Notes: nap is very common for a short amount of sleep during the day; a catnap is a very quick little nap, sometimes used for kids or something cute

Turn in (early)


Notes: going to bed; often used with early for going to bed early, not usually used with late; “I think I need to turn in early tonight.”

I passed out


Notes: pretty informal, going to sleep very quickly after a long or tiring day; not remembering when you fell asleep; “I came home and just passed out.”

Tuck You In


Notes: usually with children, when you put the blankets around them in bed so that they’ll go to sleep faster; it’s time to get “tucked in”; do you want me to tuck you in?

Went Straight to Sleep


Notes: when you fall asleep immediately, not remembering when you fell asleep; “I must’ve gone straight to sleep, because I didn’t even set my alarm.”

Tossing and Turning


Notes: not sleeping peacefully, often moving around in your sleep which causes you to wake up or sleep very poorly

Night Owl / Early Bird


Notes: night owl: a person who enjoys the evening or has the most energy at night; an early bird enjoys the morningtime or has the most energy in the morning

Sleep in / Have a Lie In


Notes: USA: I slept in, I like to sleep in, I slept in ‘til 12, I accidentally slept in (slept too late); UK: choose to have a lie in, have a nice lie in

Crack of Dawn


Notes: the crack of dawn is when the sun starts to rise; 4, 5, 6 in the morning can all be the crack of dawn as it usually means “very early”; very, very informally: the butt crack of dawn (hehe)

Hit Snooze a Few Times


Notes: hit snooze: to press a button for a small delay for a certain amount of time before your alarm rings again; the verb ‘to snooze’ is an informal word for ‘to sleep’

Won’t Lose Any Sleep Over It


Notes: *not actually about sleep* I don’t care about it, it won’t stress me out; “She’s mad at me, but I know I’m right so I won’t lose any sleep over it.”

Cliches

Some phrases and expressions you learn at school or in old English textbooks include boring and overused phrases called cliches. You probably won’t sound like a native speaker if you use these phrases:

Get some shut eye: said sarcastically
Hit the hay/sack: overused
Sleep like a log:  instead, sleep like a baby
40 winks: we don’t even know what this means
Catch some Z’s: very American, but we don’t usually say it
Don’t let the bedbugs bite: Sleep tight! Can be condescending, usually said to children


Thanks,

Kat and Mark

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