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Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming

Published by My Lingua Academy on

Hi dear English learners. 😀 Here is another lesson to teach you natural English expressions. In today’s lesson, we will be learning collocations related to sleeping and dreaming. 

Have a bad dream/good dream

Dreams are pictures and stories created by our minds while we’re sleeping. As you know, dreams can be good or bad, pleasant or disturbing, recurrent (the ones that are repeating), vivid, etc.

For example:

  • John had a disturbing dream about sharks chasing him in the water. 
  • I had the most romantic dream last night. Jason proposed to me and we went to Italy on a honeymoon. I didn’t want to wake up!

Have a nightmare

Sometimes we have disturbing and frightening dreams. They are called nightmares. We can also use this phrase to refer to all kinds of unpleasant and frightening experiences in our daily life.

For example:

  • I shouldn’t have watched that horror movie last night. I had a horrible nightmare!
  • No wonder I’m late for dinner. The traffic was a nightmare!

Fall asleep

Fall asleep means to begin to sleep.

For example:

  • Greg fell asleep while watching a movie.
  • After dinner, we went straight to bed and fell asleep after a while.

Wake up

If you wake up, then you stop sleeping.

  • Wake up, you sleepyhead; it’s time for school!
  • We went to bed early because we had to wake up early for the flight.

Get/go back to  sleep

Sleep again after being woken up.

For example:

  • The alarm clock went off at 7, but Brian just turned it off and went back to sleep.
  • After some tossing and turning, he managed to get back to sleep.

Fast asleep/wide awake

These two collocations are opposites. If you’re fast asleep, you are in a deep sleep. On the contrary, if you’re wide awake, you are fully awake.

For example:

  • I checked on the children. They are fast asleep.
  • The noise from the neighbour’s apartment woke me up at 2 a.m. I tried to get back to sleep, but half an hour later, I was wide awake.
 Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming
Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming

Turn in for the night

When you turn in for the night, then you go to bed.

For example:

  • Tomorrow is Monday, so I’ll turn in for the night. Good night.
  • Sean was exhausted, so he turned in for the night right after dinner.

Go straight to bed

The meaning of the collocation ‘go straight to bed’ is obvious.

For example:

  • I’m dead tired. I’m going straight to bed.
  • Eat your dinner and go straight to bed!

Deep sleep/light sleep

When you first fall asleep, you probably sleep light, which means that you can be easily awakened. But later on, as the sleeping goes on, you get into a deep sleep.

  • The Taylors didn’t hear the burglar because they were in deep sleep.
  • Be quiet, my mother is sleeping. She is a light sleeper, we don’t want to wake her up.

Drop off/doze off/nod off

These phrasal verbs mean to begin to sleep, maybe unintentionally or during the day, or in some situations when it is not appropriate to fall asleep.

  • Jill was so tired that she dropped off at her desk while working.
  • Celia dozed off while sunbathing on the beach.
  • Simon nodded off at the meeting yesterday. Can you believe it?

Have/take a nap/catnap

A nap is a short sleep of an hour to two during the day, usually after lunch.

  • Our grandparents always take a nap after lunch.
  • After a short catnap, Brenda was ready for the party.
Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming
Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming

Have insomnia

People who have insomnia have difficulties with their sleep.

For example:

  • She had been suffering from insomnia before she started working in an outside sports centre.
  • Yoga does wonders for people who suffer from insomnia.

Have a sleepless night

If you have a sleepless night, then you don’t sleep all night.

For example:

  • Anna spent another sleepless night worrying about her divorce.
  • No wonder you spent a sleepless night. You drank a ton of coffee.

Sleep-deprived

People who are sleep deprived suffer from a lack of sleep.

For example:

  • Sara is a sleep-deprived person who dozes off pretty much anywhere.
  • Ryan was sleep-deprived for a week after his flight to Australia.

Have trouble sleeping

Here is another natural expression you can use to say that you’re unable to sleep.

For example:

  • Although he’s been taking some medications, Greg still has trouble sleeping.
  • I don’t have trouble sleeping ever since I changed jobs.

Not sleep a wink

If you don’t sleep a wink, then you spend a sleepless night.

For example:

  • I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
  • My neighbours threw a party last night. I couldn’t sleep a wink.
 Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming
Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming

Toss and turn

You toss and turn in bed (change positions) when you can’t sleep.

For example:

  • I was tossing and turning all night before I finally fell asleep at dawn.
  • My wife usually tosses and turns for half an hour before she gets comfortable in bed.

Take a sleeping pill

Some people are sometimes not able to fall asleep and they may have an important meeting in the morning, so they take a sleeping pill in order to obtain some sleep.

For example:

  • I couldn’t sleep last night. At about 2 a.m. I took a sleeping pill and got it over with.
  • When April became an insomniac, she started taking sleeping pills. 

Early bird/night owl

These expressions describe people’s habits and characters. An early bird is a person who wakes up early and a night owl is someone who enjoys staying up late.

  • Megan got up at 6 and prepared breakfast for us. She’s such an early bird!
  • Stephen is a night owl. He never goes to bed before midnight.

Get/have an early night / a late night

If you have an early night, you go to bed early. Or, the opposite, if you have a late night, you go to bed late.

For example:

  • It’s been a long day. I think I’ll have an early night.
  • Fiona must’ve had a late night yesterday because I caught her nod off a few times at the meeting.

Have a lie in (lie-in)

If you have a lie in, then you sleep longer in the morning.

For example:

  • We always have a lie in on Sundays. I never get up before noon.
  • As a police officer who sometimes works night shifts, Justin enjoys having a lie-in the next morning.
Collocations Related to Sleeping and Dreaming

Sleep like a log/rock/baby

If you sleep like a log or like a baby, then you are in a deep sleep and nothing can wake you up.

For example:

  • I was so tired last night, I slept like a log.
  • With all that fresh air, I am going to sleep like a baby tonight.

To yawn

When you are sleepy or tired or bored you open your mouth widely and take a deep breath in and out. That’s yawning.

For example:

  • Colin was so tired, he couldn’t help yawning.

To snore

When you make a very noisy sound as you breathe while sleeping.

For example:

  • My husband was snoring so loudly that I had to go and sleep in the living room.

Sleep safe and sound

If you sleep safe and sound, then you are safe from any danger.

For example:

  • Although there was a horrible storm last night, we were sleeping safe and sound.
  • The baby was sleeping safe and sound while her parents were working in the other room.

Hit the hay/sack

This is a funny expression which means ‘to go to bed’.

For example:

  • I’m setting off early tomorrow morning so I’d better hit the hay.

Sleep on it

If you sleep on something, then you postpone decision making for some later time.

For example:

  • I can’t decide whether to buy the car. I’ll sleep on it and let you know tomorrow.
  • Your proposal sounds like a good idea but I’ll sleep on it before giving it a serious thought.

Lose sleep over something

If you lose your sleep over something then you worry too much about it.

For example:

  • I understand that you’ve made a bad decision, but please don’t lose your sleep over it.

Finally, don’t lose your sleep over English. I wish you all to sleep well and have sweet dreams! 😀

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