Talking about SLEEP in English

Talking about SLEEP in English

Did you “doze off” last night or “pass out”? Learn the difference between these phrasal verbs, as well as lots more sleep-related vocabulary and expressions in this English lesson. You might not realize it, but we talk about sleep a lot! It makes sense if you think about it — a large portion of our lives are taken up with sleep. In this lesson, you will learn common vocabulary, expressions, and phrasal verbs related to sleep, like “insomnia”, “nightmare”, “doze off”, “pass out”, and many more. If your DREAM is to speak English like a native speaker, this lesson will help you get there!
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When am I going to have time for sleep? Hi. James from engVid. New Orleans, it’s a city of the United States. It’s known for Mardi Gras in February. The town never sleeps. People are doing stuff all the time. And today’s lesson is on, believe it or not, not New Orleans, but sleep. A lot of you guys, it’s something… It’s something we do, if you think about it. You’re awake and one-third of your life is spent sleeping. And in your own language you have many words for “sleep”, and we do, too. And some of these words I don’t think you’ve ever been taught. If so, I’m going to try and help you remember them, and go through a couple phrasal verbs and good and bad words. So let’s go to the board, shall we?

Sweet dreams are made of these. “Sweet dreams”, what does that mean? It means… Depending. If I say to you: “Sweet dreams”, I want you to dream, have a good night’s sleep and dream or “sweet dreams”, I’m having a good one. In this case, look at Mr. E. How are you…? Oh. He’s fast asleep, so he can’t hear me. But you’ll notice he’s sleeping, he’s got some zzz’ up here, and he’s sweet dreams. Cake, ice cream, and engVid. Okay? If you think about our site, you’ll have good dreams.

So let’s start on the good side, shall we? Because that’s where we should have a good night’s sleep. Right? That’s easy enough. “Good night’s sleep”, you sleep all the way through the night and you feel fantastic. If you have a little sleep, let’s just say you’ve had a really busy day and you’re a little bit tired. When I was a little boy we used to call it a “nap”. So for 20 minutes or maybe 30, 40 minutes you’d go upstairs quietly, go into a little ball and go to sleep for 20 minutes and you’d take a nap. Well, now it’s the 21st century and everything’s more aggressive, so you don’t have a nap, you have a “power nap”. 20 minutes, total relaxation, total focus. So today it’s gone from “nap” to a “power nap”. And when you tell people you’re having a power nap, you’re going to sleep like a kitten and coming out like Batman. Okay? That’s what they say now, so I’m power napping. It’s a way of making it sound more important than: “I’m tired. I need to sleep.” Okay?

Number two: “dream”. A dream is basically pleasant thoughts while you’re sleeping. That’s what it is. You’re travelling, having fun with your friends, kissing your favourite person. [Kisses] That’s me. And that’s a dream. You’re having pleasant thoughts as you’re sleeping. Okay?

What about “bedroom eyes”? If you like those movie stars and that, do you look in their eyes? Yes, and you go: “Oh my gosh, he’s so sexy. He’s so lovely. I love his eyes.” Bedroom eyes are sexy eyes. People have bedroom eyes.

Now, there’s another one for you: “Catch some zzz'” See up here? Mr. E is going: “[Snores]. Zzzzzz. [Snores] Zzzzzz.” Catching zzz’ is get some sleep. You’ll often hear people say: “Man, I got to catch some zzz’ before my airplane. I need to get some sleep.” Why we pick “z”, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the last letter of the alphabet and by the time you get there you’re tired.

And finally let’s talk about “pillow talk”. What is “pillow talk”? Pillow talk. No, you don’t go: “Yo, pillow, you are so sexy. Look at your bedroom eyes. You’re beautiful.” No. When we talk about “pillow talk” it’s actually when you’re in bed with your partner or lover, and you talk about things, intimate things like how you like their hair and their eyes, or what a good day you’ve had, and it’s really kind of romantic, and it’s quiet and it’s nice, and then it ends in cuddling, which is another word for hugging in the bed and mmm. It’s not necessarily sex. It’s the nice thing after. Right? Sexual talk and cuddling, ladies, holding and touching after the big event. Yeah? Yeah. Tell your husband or your significant other person: “I like a little pillow talk when we’re done, and we’ll have it more often.” Guys, listen carefully when you hear that one. Okay? Because your bedroom eyes won’t always get you there.

That’s the good, and I’m sure you’re all smiling, going: “I like these. I get to nap, a little sleep. I get to have pleasant thoughts. I have… Use my eyes to make myself look much more attractive. I get to relax by getting some good sleep in there. And finally, if I talk and cuddle everything’s good.” Right?