naturally recurring resting state of mind and body
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Sleep is a naturally recurring state of bodily rest involving altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and it is more easily reversible than being in hibernation or a coma.

Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace, surpassing this—
"He giveth His beloved sleep." ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I can sleep, when I die. ~ Jay Wayne Jenkins


  • Eight female subjects underwent vaginal photoplethysmographic recordings while asleep. Results demonstrated consistent findings of decreases in relative blood volume and increases in relative pulse pressure within the vagina during REM periods. These vascular changes indicate that females undergo phasic shifts in vascular blood flow in the vagina during REM sleep, similar to the phasic shifts of blood flow in the male's penis during REM sleep.
  • What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
    This lethargy that creeps through all my senses?
    Nature, oppress'd and harrass'd out with care,
    Sinks down to rest.
  • R. Hanina said: One may not sleep in a house alone [in a lonely house], and whoever sleeps in a house alone is seized by Lilith.
    • Babylonian Talmud on Tractate Shabbath 151b
  • Still believe that ever round you
    Spirits float who watch and wait;
    Nor forget the twain who found you
    Sleeping nigh the Golden Gate.
  • Since the Brother of Death daily haunts us with dying mementoes.
    • Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial (1658). Same idea in Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), p. 107. (Ed. 1849). Also in an old French poet Racan.
  • Sleep is a death, O make me try,
    By sleeping, what it is to die:
    And as gently lay my head
    On my grave, as now my bed.
  • The husband snores. The wife nudges him to flip over. Both wake up feeling grouchy the next morning. It’s a common occurrence that may have more of an impact on the marriage than most couples think.
    The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center is conducting a scientific sleep study to evaluate how a husband’s sleep apnea impacts the wife’s quality of sleep and the couple’s marital satisfaction.
    “This is a frequent problem within marriages that nobody is paying enough attention to,” said Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, founder of the Sleep Disorders Center at Rush. “Couples who struggle with sleep apnea have a high-divorce rate. Can we save marriages by treating sleep apnea? It’s a question we hope to answer.”
  • "Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone."
    • Mrs. Patrick (Beatrice Stella Tanner Campbell) Campbell, letter to George Bernard Shaw (August 13, 1912), Alan Dent, ed., Bernard Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell: Their Correspondence (1952), p. 32. Since this was in quotation marks in the letter, it may have been her own version of the familiar lines, "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; / Weep, and you weep alone." These are the first two lines of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem, "Solitude," first published in 1883 in her Poems of Passion and widely reprinted in newspapers, often without attribution.—Burton Stevenson, Famous Single Poems, p. 223–242 (1935).
  • Now, blessings light on him that first invented this same sleep! it covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a cloak; it is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the cold, and cold for the hot. It is the current coin that purchases all the pleasures of the world cheap; and the balance that sets the king and the shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even. There is only one thing, which somebody once put into my head, that I dislike in sleep; it is, that it resembles death; there is very little difference between a man in his first sleep, and a man in his last sleep.
  • Sleep, little Paul, what, crying, hush ! the night is very dark ;
    The wolves are near the rampart, the dogs begin to bark ;
    The bell has rung for slumber, and the guardian angel weeps
    When a little child beside the hearth so late a play-time keeps.
  • I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom. Seventy-five of us worked twenty hours every day and slept only four hours — and thrived on it.
    • Thomas Edison, diary entry quoted in Defending and Parenting Children Who Learn Differently : Lessons from Edison's Mother (2007) by Scott Teel, p. 12.
  • It's always possible to wake someone from sleep, but no amount of noise will wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.
  • It's not the sort of night for bed anyhow; and daybreak is not so very far off...
  • I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night, and then the nap takes me.
  • O magic sleep! O comfortable bird,
    That broodest o'er the troubled sea of the mind
    Till it is hush'd and smooth! O unconfined
    Restraint! imprisoned liberty! great key
    To golden palaces.
  • My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats That can come about, ’cause the tongue is mighty powerful And I can name a list of your favorites that probably vouch. Maybe 'cause I'm a dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death.
  • Dreams of the summer night!
    Tell her, her lover keeps
    Watch! while in slumbers light
    She sleeps!
    My lady sleeps!
  • Counterintuitively, not getting enough sleep can lead to more intense dreaming. A 2005 study found that when subjects didn’t get enough REM sleep one night, their brains tried to make up for it the next, by engaging in longer periods of REM. Sleep for sleep-deprived people also tends to be more extreme; neurologist Mark Mahowald of the University of Minnesota told Scientific American, “When someone is sleep deprived we see greater sleep intensity, meaning greater brain activity during sleep; dreaming is definitely increased and likely more vivid.” Scientific American terms this effect “REM rebound,” and it can occur in a variety of situations.
  • The timely dew of sleep
    Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight inclines
    Our eyelids.
  • You are the biggest enemy of your own sleep.
    • Pawan Mishra
  • Inhale deep like the words of my breath,
    I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death
    • Nas, "N.Y. State of Mind"
  • Sleep, baby, sleep!
    Thy father's watching the sheep.
    Thy mother's shaking the dreamland tree.
    And down drops a little dream for thee.
    Sleep, baby, sleep!
    • Elizabeth Prentiss, "Cradle Song" (From the German), Stanza 1, in Henry T. Coates ed., The Children's Book of Poetry (Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Co, 1879), p. 29.
  • Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
    Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
  • O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her
    And be her sense but as a monument.
  • To sleep! perchance to dream; ay, there's the rub;
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause.
  • On your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
    Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness:
    Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep,
    As is the difference betwixt day and night,
    The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
    Begins his golden progress in the east.
  • O sleep, O gentle sleep,
    Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
    That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
    And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
  • Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
    Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
    And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
    Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
    Under the canopies of costly state,
    And lull'd with sound of sweetest melody?
  • O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
    That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
    To many a watchful night! sleep with it now!
    Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
    As he whose brow with homely biggen bound
    Snores out the watch of night.
  • This sleep is sound indeed, this is a sleep
    That from this golden rigol hath divorc'd
    So many English kings.
  • Fast asleep? It is no matter;
    Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber;
    Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies,
    Which busy care draws in the brains of men;
    Therefore thou sleep'st so sound.
  • Bid them come forth and hear me,
    Or at their chamber-door I'll beat the drum
    Till it cry sleep to death.
  • Methought I heard a voice cry, "Sleep no more!
    Macbeth does murder sleep," the innocent sleep.
  • Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care,
    The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
    Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
    Chief nourisher in life's feast.
  • Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
    And look on death itself!
  • Not poppy, nor mandragora,
    Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
    Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
    Which thou ow'dst yesterday.
  • Thy eyes' windows fall,
    Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;
    Each part, depriv'd of supple government,
    Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death.
  • How wonderful is Death, Death and his brother Sleep!
  • For next to Death is Sleepe to be compared;
    Therefore his house is unto his annext:
    Here Sleepe, ther Richesse, and hel-gate them both betwext.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book II, Canto VII, Stanza 25.
  • For is there aught in Sleep can charm the wise?
    To lie in dead oblivion, loosing half
    The fleeting moments of too short a life—
    * * * * * *
    Who would in such a gloomy state remain
    Longer than Nature craves?
  • Evaluating sleep and sleep disorders from a dyadic perspective is important for several reasons. First, according to the 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll, 61% of adults sleep with a significant other, and one-quarter to one-third of married or cohabitating adults report that their intimate relationships are adversely affected by their own or their spouse's excessive sleepiness or sleep problems. Recent qualitative studies from interview data suggest that sleep problems in one or both partners, including insomnia symptoms and sleep-disordered breathing, contribute to marital problems. In addition, Ulfberg and colleagues found that women living with snorers were three times as likely to report symptoms of insomnia compared to women living with nonsnorers, suggesting that a sleep disorder in one spouse may increase risk for a sleep disorder in the other spouse, perhaps leading to additive or synergistic effects on the relationship quality.
  • And to tired limbs and over-busy thoughts,
    Inviting sleep and soft forgetfulness.
  • Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
    He, like the world, his ready visit pays
    Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes.
  • Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
    Of life stood still, and nature made a pause.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 716-21.
  • But I, in the chilling twilight stand and wait
    At the portcullis, at thy castle gate,
    Longing to see the charmèd door of dreams
    Turn on its noiseless hinges, delicate sleep!
  • Come to me now! O, come! benignest sleep!
    And fold me up, as evening doth a flower,
    From my vain self, and vain things which have power
    Upon my soul to make me smile or weep,
    And when thou comest, oh, like Death be deep.
  • How happy he whose toil
    Has o'er his languid pow'rless limbs diffus'd
    A pleasing lassitude; he not in vain
    Invokes the gentle Deity of dreams.
    His pow'rs the most voluptuously dissolve
    In soft repose; on him the balmy dews
    Of Sleep with double nutriment descend.
    • John Armstrong, The Art of Preserving Health (1744), Book III, line 385.
  • When the sheep are in the fauld, and a' the kye at hame,
    And all the weary world to sleep are gane.
  • How he sleepeth! having drunken
    Weary childhood's mandragore,
    From his pretty eyes have sunken
    Pleasures to make room for more—
    Sleeping near the withered nosegay which he pulled the day before.
  • Of all the thoughts of God that are
    Borne inward unto souls afar,
    Along the Psalmist's music deep,
    Now tell me if that any is,
    For gift or grace, surpassing this—
    "He giveth His beloved sleep."
  • Steep on, Baby, on the floor,
    Tired of all the playing,
    Sleep with smile the sweeter for
    That you dropped away in!
    On your curls' full roundness stand
    Golden lights serenely—
    One cheek, pushed out by the hand,
    Folds the dimple inly.
  • Sleep hath its own world,
    A boundary between the things misnamed
    Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
    And a wide realm of wild reality,
    And dreams in their development have breath,
    And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy.
  • It is not good a sleping hound to wake.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus, I, 640. Compare: "Wake not a sleeping lion", The Countryman's New Commonwealth (1647); "Esveiller le chat qui dort", Rabelais, Pantagruel; "Wake not a sleeping wolf", William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II.
  • O sleep! it is a gentle thing,
    Beloved from pole to pole!
    To Mary Queen the praise be given!
    She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven
    That slid into my soul.
  • Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of healing,
    And may this storm be but a mountain-birth,
    May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,
    Silent as though they watched the sleeping Earth!
  • Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
    Brother to Death, in silent darkness born;
    Relieve my languish, and restore the light.
  • Awake thee, my Lady-Love!
    Wake thee, and rise!
    The sun through the bower peeps
    Into thine eyes.
  • Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
    Smiles awake you when you rise.
    • Thomas Dekker, The Comedy of Patient Grissil. (Play written by Dekker, Henry Chettle, William Houghton).
  • Sister Simplicitie!
    Sing, sing a song to me,—
    Sing me to sleep!
    Some legend low and long,
    Slow as the summer song
    Of the dull Deep.
  • Two gates the silent house of Sleep adorn:
    Of polished ivory this, that of transparent horn:
    True visions through transparent horn arise;
    Through polished ivory pass deluding lies.
    • John Dryden, translation of Virgil's Æneid (29-19 BC), Book VI. 894. Same in Pope's translation. of Odyssey, Book XIX. 562.
  • The sleep of a labouring man is sweet.
    • Ecclesiastes. V. 12.
  • She took the cup of life to sip,
    Too bitter 'twas to drain;
    She meekly put it from her lip,
    And went to sleep again.
    • Epitaph in Meole Churchyard. Found in Sabrinæ Corolla, p. 246 of third ed.
  • If thou wilt close thy drowsy eyes,
    My mulberry one, my golden son,
    The rose shall sing thee lullabies,
    My pretty cosset lambkin!
  • The mill goes toiling slowly round
    With steady and solemn creak,
    And my little one hears in the kindly sound
    The voice of the old mill speak;
    While round and round those big white wings
    Grimly and ghostlike creep,
    My little one hears that the old mill sings,
    Sleep, little tulip, sleep.
  • Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
    Brother to Death … thou son of Night.
  • O sleep! in pity thou art made
    A double boon to such as we;
    Beneath closed lids and folds of deepest shade
    We think we see.
  • Sleep sweet within this quiet room,
    O thou! whoe'er thou art;
    And let no mournful Yesterday,
    Disturb thy peaceful heart.
  • Oh! lightly, lightly tread!
    A holy thing is sleep,
    On the worn spirit shed,
    And eyes that wake to weep.
  • One hour's sleep before midnight is worth three after.
  • Then Sleep and Death, two twins of winged race,
    Of matchless swiftness, but of silent pace.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XVI, line 831. Pope's translation.
  • * Et idem
    Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus;
    Verum opere longo fas est obrepere somnum.
    • I, too, am indignant when the worthy Homer nods; yet in a long work it is allowable for sleep to creep over the writer.
    • Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), 358.
  • I lay me down to sleep,
    With little thought or care
    Whether my waking find
    Me here, or there.
    • Mrs. R. S. Howland (Miss Woolsey)—Rest. Found under the pillow of a soldier who, in the War of the Rebellion, died in the hospital at Port Royal. For a time attributed to this unknown soldier.
  • O sleep, we are beholden to thee, sleep;
    Thou bearest angels to us in the night,
    Saints out of heaven with palms.
    Seen by thy light
    Sorrow is some old tale that goeth not deep;
    Love is a pouting child.
  • Over the edge of the purple down,
    Where the single lamplight gleams,
    Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
    That is hard by the Sea of Dreams—
    Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
    And the sick may forget to weep?
    But we—pity us! Oh pity us!
    We wakeful; Ah, pity us!—
  • But who will reveal to our waiting ken
    The forms that swim and the shapes that creep under the waters of sleep?
    And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in
    On the length and the breadth of the marvelous Marches of Glynn.
  • Breathe thy balm upon the lonely,
    * Gentle Sleep!
    As the twilight breezes bless
    With sweet scents the wilderness,
    Ah, let warm white dove-wings only
    ** Round them sweep!
  • For I am weary, and am overwrought
    With too much toil, with too much care distraught,
    And with the iron crown of anguish crowned.
    Lay thy soft hand upon my brow and cheek,
    * O peaceful Sleep!
  • While the bee with honied thigh,
    That at her flowery work doth sing,
    And the waters murmuring
    With such a consort as they keep,
    Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep.
  • Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,
    Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?
    Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme
    Beat with light wing against the ivory gate,
    Telling a tale not too importunate
    To those who in the sleepy region stay,
    Lulled by the singer of an empty day.
  • Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidæ nisi mortis imago?
    Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt.
    • Fool, what is sleep but the likeness of icy death? The fates shall give us a long period of rest.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), Book II. 10. 40.
  • Alliciunt somnos tempus motusque merumque.
    • Time, motion and wine cause sleep.
    • Ovid, Fasti, VI. 681.
  • Somne, quies rerum, placidissime, somne, Deorum,
    Pax animi, quem cura fugit, qui corda diurnis
    Fessa ministeriis mulces, reparasque labori!
    • Sleep, rest of nature, O sleep, most gentle of the divinities, peace of the soul, thou at whose presence care disappears, who soothest hearts wearied with daily employments, and makest them strong again for labour!
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, XI. 624.
  • Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
    • Proverbs, XXIII. 21.
  • I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
    • Psalms, IV. 8.
  • He giveth his beloved sleep.
    • Psalms. CXXVII. 2.
  • I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids.
    • Psalms. CXXXII. 4; Proverbs, VI. 4.
  • Je ne dors jamais bien à mon aise sinon quand je suis au sermon, ou quand je prie Dieu.
    • I never sleep comfortably except when I am at sermon or when I pray to God.
    • François Rabelais, Gargantua, Book I, Chapter XLI.
  • Elle s'endormit du sommeil des justes.
    • She slept the sleep of the just.
    • Jean Racine, Abrégé de l'histoire de Port Royal, Volume IV. 517. Mesnard's ed.
  • When the Sleepy Man comes with the dust on his eyes
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    He shuts up the earth, and he opens the skies.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)
  • Yes; bless the man who first invented sleep
    (I really can't avoid the iteration):
    But blast the man with curses loud and deep,
    Whate'er the rascal's name or age or station,
    Who first invented, and went round advertising,
    That artificial cut-off—Early Rising.
  • "God bless the man who first invented sleep!"
    So Sancho Panza said and so say I;
    And bless him, also, that he didn't keep
    His great discovery to himself, nor try
    To make it,—as the lucky fellow might—
    A close monopoly by patent-right.
  • To all, to each, a fair good-night,
    And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.
  • Sleep, the fresh dew of languid love, the rain
    Whose drops quench kisses till they burn again.
  • Come, Sleep: O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,
    The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
    The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
    Th' indifferent judge between the high and low.
  • Take thou of me, sweet pillowes, sweetest bed;
    A chamber deafe of noise, and blind of light,
    A rosie garland and a weary hed.
  • Thou hast been called, O Sleep, the friend of Woe,
    But 'tis the happy who have called thee so.
  • All gifts but one the jealous God may keep
    From our soul's longing, one he cannot—sleep.
    This, though he grudge all other grace to prayer,
    This grace his closed hand cannot choose but spare.
  • She sleeps: her breathings are not heard
    In palace chambers far apart,
    The fragrant tresses are not stirr'd
    That lie upon her charmed heart.
    She sleeps: on either hand upswells
    The gold fringed pillow lightly prest:
    She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
    A perfect form in perfect rest.
  • The mystery
    Of folded sleep.
  • Notably, most studies concerned the effects of sleep apnea or snoring on relationship functioning. It seems plausible that relationship functioning would also suffer as a result of numerous other sleep disorders, including narcolepsy or insomnia. However, to our knowledge, most research concerning other sleep disorders beyond SDB and psychosocial functioning has not included a specific measure of close relationship functioning, or did not specifically address the association between sleep disturbance per se and relationship functioning.
  • Who can wrestle against Sleep?—Yet is that giant very gentleness.
  • Yet never sleep the sun up. Prayer shou'd
    Dawn with the day. There are set, awful hours
    'Twixt heaven and us. The manna was not good
    After sun-rising; far day sullies flowres.
    Rise to prevent the sun; sleep doth sin glut,
    And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.
  • Softly, O midnight hours!
    Move softly o'er the bowers
    Where lies in happy sleep a girl so fair:
    For ye have power, men say,
    Our hearts in sleep to sway
    And cage cold fancies in a moonlight snare.
  • Deep rest and sweet, most like indeed to death's own quietness.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), Book VI, line 522. William Morris' translation.
  • Tu dors, Brutus, et Rome est dans les fers.
    • Thou sleepest, Brutus, and yet Rome is in chains.
    • Voltaire, La Mort de César, II. 2.
  • Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber!
    Holy angels guard thy bed!
    Heavenly blessings without number
    Gently falling on thy head.
  • 'Tis the voice of the sluggard I hear him complain;
    "You've waked me too soon, I must slumber again.
    * * * * * *
    A little more sleep and a little more slumber."
  • Come, gentle sleep! attend thy votary's prayer,
    And, though death's image, to my couch repair;
    How sweet, though lifeless, yet with life to lie,
    And, without dying, O how sweet to die!
    • John Wolcot (Peter Pindar). Translation of Thomas Warton's Latin Epigram on Sleep for a statue of Somnus in the garden of Mr. Harris.
  •   Encyclopedic article on Sleep on Wikipedia