Japanese vocabulary list: words about sleep

By | December 10, 2018

When I couldn’t sleep the other day, I got an idea for a new Japanese vocab list about, well, sleep. Without enough sleep it’s hard to function in daily life, let alone study Japanese effectively.

As with my other vocabulary lists, a majority of the words are those I have heard used by native speakers and/or used myself.

  • 寝る (neru): to sleep (also to lay down or to have sex)
  • 眠る (nemuru): to sleep
  • 寝られない (nerarenai): to be unable to sleep
  • 寝かせる (nekaseru): to put someone to bed (like a child)
  • 眠い (nemui): sleepy
  • 眠たい (nemutai): sleepy
  • ねんね (nenne): sleep (baby talk)
  • ねむねむ (nemu nemu): sleepy (sounds cutsey to me)
  • おねしょする (onesho suru): to wet the bed (used used for children)
  • ぐっすり寝る (gussuri neru): to sleep well / soundly   (also よく寝る [yoku neru])
  • 睡眠 (suimin): sleep (noun, sounds a little more formal)
  • 睡眠をとる (suimin wo toru): to get sleep
  • 睡眠不足 (suimin busoku): inadequate sleep
  • 睡眠薬 (suiminyaku): sleeping pill / sleeping medication.
  • 睡眠妨害 (suimin bougai): sleeping distraction
  • 睡眠障害 (suimin shougai): sleeping disorder
  • 居眠り病 (inemuribyou): narcolepsy
  • 昼寝をする (hirune wo suru): to take a nap
  • 寝ぼける (nebokeru): to be half asleep (sometimes used to insult someone to did something stupid)
  • 寝過ごす (nesugosu): to sleep late
  • 寝坊する (nebou suru): to sleep late
  • 助 (nebousuke): sleepy-head (way of joking about or insulting someone who sleeps late)
  • 寝直す (nenaosu): to go back to sleep
  • 寝付く (netsuku): to fall asleep
  • 横になる (yoko ni naru): [literally: ‘to become sideways’] to lay down (but not necessarily sleep)
  • 横たわる (yokotawaru): to lay down (sounds more formal than “yoko ni naru”)
  • 起きる (okiru): to get up (more of an emphasis of getting up and out of bed)
  • 起こす (okosu): to wake up (someone)
  • 覚める (sameru): to wake up  (more of an emphasis of becoming conscious)
  • 早寝 (hayane): going to sleep early
  • 早起き (hayaoki): waking up early
  • 夢を見る (yume wo miru): to have a dream
  • 悪夢 (akumu): bad dream / nightmare (also 悪い夢 [warui yume])
  • 魘される (unasareru): have a nightmare
  • レム睡眠 (remu suimin): REM sleep
  • 寝返りをする (negaeri wo suru): to turn over in bed
  • 寝込む (nekomu): to be sick in bed or bedridden
  • 食っちゃ寝 (kucchane): always going to bed right after sleeping. Also used in a more broad sense to refer to someone who is lazy.
  • 眠りが浅い (nemuri ga asai): light sleep (can be used to refer to a person who is a light sleeper, meaning they wake up easily, ex: 眠りが浅い人 [nemuri ga asai hito])
  • 眠りが深い (nemuri ga fukai): deep sleep
  • 意識不明 (ishiki fumei): unconscious (in sense of being asleep, not referring to unconscious thoughts when awake)
  • 寝ても覚めても (nete mo samete mo): [literally, “even when asleep or awake”] Refers to doing something all the time, for example thinking of another person.
  • 寝心地 (negokochi): how comfortable something is to lay down or sleep on
    • 寝心地がいい (negokochi ga ii):  comfortable (to sleep on)
    • 寝心地が悪い (negokochi ga warui):  uncomfortable (to sleep on)

(Note: featured image of an alarm clock taken from Pexels.com)

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