In total, we spend around 25 years of our life asleep. It’s something we all need, but opinions about sleep differ. Some love it, others hate it. Some can sleep well while others can’t. People approach the subject of sleep in different ways.
In this article we’ll take a look at famous sleep quotes categorised into the following areas:
- Attitudes towards Sleep
- Insomnia Quotes
- Quotes for Better Sleep
Attitudes towards Sleep
Not everyone views sleep in the same way. For some people it’s the most pleasurable time of the day, while others would rather do without it.
Sleep as an Escape and Retreat
Trials and tribulations are an undeniable part of the life experience. Some people value sleep a nourishing gap in their reality. A time where they can lie down in a comfortable bed and disengage from the world during those few hours. Some value sleep for its regenerative properties. You can go to sleep after a physically and mentally hard day’s work and awake refreshed, physically healed, and with new perspective.
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
~ Ernest Hemingway
The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.
~ E. Joseph Cossman
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
~ Thomas Aquinas
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
~ John Steinbeck
Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher’s the poet’s equal there.
~ Emile M. Cioran
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
~ Astrophel and Stella (Certain Sonnets, Sonnet XXXIIX)
No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.
~ Carrie Snow
And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.
~ D.H. Lawrence
Sleep that knits up the ravelled 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.
~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Living is a sickness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. It’s a palliative. The remedy is death.
~ Nicolas Chamfort
Sleep as a Pleasure
For many of the reasons stated above, sleep is seen by many as a highly pleasurable experience. Something to look forward after a tiring day. A reward for all that hard work. A solid section of time dedicated to complete relaxation, providing valuable time away from the world or with a loving partner. In our always on the go society, it is little wonder why this moment of detachment is held with such high regard.
Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.
~ Leonardo da Vinci
Sleep is the best meditation.
~ Dalai Lama
I count it as a certainty that in paradise, everyone naps.
~ Tom Hodgkinson
True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
~ William Penn
Leisure time is that five or six hours when you sleep at night.
~ George Allen, Sr.
Sleep – the most beautiful experience in life – except drink.
~ W. C. Fields
There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.
~ Edward Lucas
I love to sleep. I’d sleep all day if I could.
~ Miley Cyrus
Now, blessings light on him that first invented 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.
~ Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605
O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
~ Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg – Her Dream
Sleep, rest of things, O pleasing Deity,
Peace of the soul, which cares dost crucify,
Weary bodies refresh and mollify.
~ Ovid, attributed
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 sense in forgetfulness?
~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I
A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting.
~ Terri Guillemets
Sleep as a Necessity
As anyone would understand after dealing with the effects of sleep deprivation for any given period of time, sleep is something to be respected simply out of what it provides us. Not sleeping can cause all sorts of problems, affecting so many areas of our lives. Just the act of going to the shops or even staying sane throughout the day is made immeasurably harder without a solid base of sleep.
Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.
~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.
~ JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002
In the past, when I’d recorded during a break in a tour, it was so easy to sing, because I felt strong. Also, like so many new mothers, I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep, and sleeping is such a huge part of being able to sing.
~ Amy Grant
There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.
The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, You must eat and you must sleep. They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life. ~ Francesca Annis
Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.
~ Thomas Dekker
I think sleep’s really important. I value it as much as waking up and having a full day.
~ Jena Malone
I’m always on the go. I love doing things until I hit rock bottom. Then I need my 12 hours of sleep, and I’m on the go again.
~ Maria Sharapova
I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of “work,” because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.
~ Andy Warhol
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
~ Irish Proverb
Sleep as a Waste of Time
Moving now to the polar opposite of the belief spectrum, to the people who believe sleep is a waste of time. We live in an increasingly 24/7 society. While we sleep, there’s a still a large portion of society still at work. For many cities, life never stops. Particularly for productivity enthusiasts, sleep can be regarded as an unnecessary diversion of time that could be better spent elsewhere.
The only time I have problems is when I sleep.
~ Tupac Shakur
Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.
~ Virginia Woolf
But you can’t focus on things that matter if all you’ve been is asleep for forty years. Funny how sleep rhymes with sheep. You know.
~ Charlie Sheen
We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work.
~ Doug Larson
I don’t even like to sleep – I feel as if there’s too much to do.
~ James Franco
Sleep is the most moronic fraternity in the world, with the heaviest dues and the crudest rituals.
~ Vladimir Nabokov
The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows.
~ Gaston Bachelard
Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, well nobody likes their job, nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life, but you know, there’s no escape, there’s no excuse, so just suck up and be nice.
~ Ani DiFranco
No man can become a saint in his sleep.
~ Henry Drummond
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
~ Robert Frost
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
~ Macbeth, III, ii, 45
Sleep… Oh! how I loathe those little slices of death.
~ Author unknown
Just as people have always slept, there has always been those who have had difficulty falling asleep. While electric lighting, bright screens, and the 24/7 society may be modern developments that can contribute to problems sleeping, insomnia is an age old problem.
The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can’t get there, is the meanest feeling in the world.
~ Edgar Watson Howe
I haven’t been to sleep for over a year. That’s why I go to bed early. One needs more rest if one doesn’t sleep.
~ Evelyn Waugh
I was so obsessed by this problem that I was thinking about it all the time – when I woke up in the morning, when I went to sleep at night – and that went on for eight years.
~ Andrew Wiles
There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night.
~ Marie de Rabutin-Chantal
Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The hardest thing is to go to sleep at night, when there are so many urgent things needing to be done.
~ Donald Knuth
I have a problem with cabinets being messy and people just shoving things in and closing the door. I will lie in bed and not be able to sleep because I’ll say to myself: ‘I think I saw something in that cabinet that just shouldn’t be there.’
~ Charlize Theron
It appears that every man’s insomnia is as different from his neighbour’s as are their daytime hopes and aspirations.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
At the end of the day, sleep is a barometer of your emotional health. And so if you’re not in the right place where you need to be, then you’re going to have voices keeping you up at night because you have to work through those issues.
~ Mehmet Oz
A flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky –
I’ve thought of all by turns, and still I lie
~ William Wordsworth, “To Sleep”
If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he’d make a fortune.
~ Griff Niblack
A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.
~ Charlotte Brontë
When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep, and you’re never really awake.
~ From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk
In its early stages, insomnia is almost an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge.
The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night… without the satisfaction.
~ Lynn Johnston
The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.
~ Wilson Mizener
Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away.
Without thee what is all the morning’s wealth?
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
~ William Wordsworth, “To Sleep”
A little insomnia is not without its value in making us appreciate sleep, in throwing a ray of light upon that darkness.
~ Marcel Proust
The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.
~ Leonard Cohen
How do people go to sleep? I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.
~ Dorothy Parker
Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants.
~ Jessamyn West
Quotes for Better Sleep
Just as people have always had difficulty sleeping, there have always been people willing to chip in with advice on how you can get better sleep. Here’re some timeless sleep wisdom from the ages.
Fatigue is the best pillow.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
When I want to go to sleep, I must first get a whole menagerie of voices to shut up. You wouldn’t believe what a racket they make in my room. ~ Karl Kraus, translated from German by Harry Zohn
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
~ Dale Carnegie
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.
~ Henny Youngman
Time, motion and wine cause sleep.
Many things – such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly – are done worst when we try hardest to do them.
~ C.S. Lewis
Even where sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing.
For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Turn resolutely to work, to recreation, or in any case to physical exercise till you are so tired you can’t help going to sleep, and when you wake up you won’t want to worry.
~ B. C. Forbes
A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.
~ Stewart Alsop
Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.
~ Clifton Fadiman
Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it’s time to get up.
~ Author Unknown
Don’t fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~ Edmund Vance Cooke