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How To Say Sleep In Spanish

Are you learning Spanish and wondering how to say "sleep"? Or maybe you are planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and want to be able to communicate your sleeping needs. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say "sleep" in Spanish, including regional differences and the meaning behind the word.

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What is "Sleep" in Spanish?

The Spanish word for "sleep" is "dormir" (IPA: /doɾˈmiɾ/). This word is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. Dormir is a regular verb that belongs to the first group of verbs (-ir verbs). This verb is conjugated according to the subject pronoun, tense, and mood of the sentence. Here are some examples of how "dormir" can be conjugated in different forms:

  • Yo duermo (IPA: /'ʝo 'dweɾ.mo/): "I sleep".
  • Tú duermes (IPA: /'tu 'dweɾ.mes/): "You sleep" (singular, informal).
  • Él/Ella/Usted duerme (IPA: /'el/ 'e.ʎa/ us'ted 'dweɾ.me/): "He/She/You (singular, formal) sleep".
  • Nosotros/as dormimos (IPA: no'so.tɾos/ noso'tɾas doɾ'mi.mos): "We sleep".
  • Vosotros/as dormís (IPA: bo'so.tɾos/ bo'so.tɾas doɾ'mis): "You all sleep" (plural, informal, Spain).
  • Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes duermen (IPA: "'e.ʎos/ 'e.ʎas/ us'te.des 'dweɾ.men"): "They/You all (plural, formal) sleep".

In addition to the verb forms of "dormir" there are also other words and phrases in Spanish that can express the idea of sleep, such as:

  • Sueño (IPA: /'swe.ɲo/): This is the noun for "sleep", as in "Tengo sueño" (I am sleepy.).
  • Dormida (IPA: /doɾ'mi.da/): This is the feminine noun for "sleep", as in "Mi hermana está en su dormida" (My sister is in her sleep.)
  • Descansar (IPA: /des.kan'saɾ/): This is a verb that means "to rest", which is often used in the context of sleeping, as in "Necesito descansar" (I need to rest.)
  • Siesta (IPA: /'sjes.ta/): This is a noun that refers to a nap or midday rest, which is common in many Spanish-speaking countries.

Meaning of "Sleep" in Spanish

In Spanish, "dormir" refers to the act of sleeping or resting. However, there are a few different ways to use this verb in Spanish, depending on the context:

  • Dormirse (IPA: /doɾˈmiɾse/): This is the reflexive form of "dormir," which means to fall asleep. For example, "Me dormí en el sofá" means "I fell asleep on the couch".
  • Dormido/a (IPA: /doɾˈmiðo/ or /doɾˈmiða/): This is the past participle form of "dormir", which is used to describe someone who is sleeping. For example, "Mi hijo está dormido" means "My son is sleeping".

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Translating "Sleep" to Spanish

If you want to translate the word "sleep" to Spanish, the translation is "dormir". Here are a few different ways you might see the word used in Spanish:

  • Quiero dormir más.

(I want to sleep more.)

  • Me gusta dormir en una cama cómoda.

(I like to sleep in a comfortable bed.)

  • Necesito dormir al menos ocho horas cada noche.

(I need to sleep at least eight hours every night.)

Regional Differences 

As with any language, there are regional differences in how the word "dormir" is used and perceived in different Spanish-speaking countries. Here are a few examples:

  • In Spain, it is common to use the phrase "echar una siesta" to refer to taking a nap during the day.
  • In Mexico, "dormir" is often used to describe someone who is unconscious or passed out from drinking too much alcohol.
  • In Argentina, it is common to use the word "dormilón" as a playful way to describe someone who likes to sleep a lot.

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How to Say Sleep in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences on how to say "sleep" in Spanish:

  • Ella durmió como un ángel el martes.

(She slept like an angel on Tuesday.)

  • Me encanta dormir hasta tarde los fines de semana.

(I love to sleep in on weekends.)

  • Tengo problemas para dormir cuando estoy nervioso. 

(I have trouble sleeping when I'm nervous.)

  • Necesito dormir bien para tener energía durante el día.

(I need to sleep well to have energy during the day.)

  • Mi bebé está durmiendo en su cuna.

    (My baby is sleeping in his crib.)


In conclusion, "dormir" is an essential word to know if you want to talk about sleeping or resting in Spanish. Whether you are trying to communicate your sleeping preferences or describe someone who is sleeping, "dormir" is a versatile verb that you are sure to encounter in your Spanish language journey. Just remember to be aware of any regional differences in how the word is used and perceived, and you will be well on your way to mastering the language.

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