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Quotations about Sleep
A sleepy man's eyes generally go to bed some time before he does. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882
Whelk was not sleeping.... [H]e rarely closed his eyes for longer than a few hours at a stretch. He rolled in his bedsheets. He sat bolt upright, woken by whispers.... His sleep patterns and energy seemed dictated by something larger and more powerful than himself, ebbing and flowing like an uneven tide.... Sleep deprivation made his life an imaginary thing, his days a ribbon floating aimlessly in water. ~Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys, 2012
Sleep... Oh! how I loathe those little slices of death. ~Author unknown, various wordings commonly attributed to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, and Journey to the Center of the Earth
I retired to my inn, determined to enjoy the luxury of a bed and a long night in. It really was a lovely bed, just like bathing in feathers. My thoughts were soon wandering into visions all jumbled together in a ghostly medley, which floated off into misty indistinctness and I subsided into the land of dreams. ~John Keast Lord, 1860 May 15th [a little altered
There is nothing like a sleepless couch for a clear vision of one's environment. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)
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.
May sleep envelop you as a bed sheet floating gently down, tickling your skin and removing every worry. Reminding you to consider only this moment. ~Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps. ~Author unknown
There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author unknown
Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids:
So I love to wake ere break of day:
For though my sleep be gone,
Yet while 'tis dark, one shuts one's lids,
And still dreams on.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Something Childish, But Very Natural" ["This poem also first appeared in The Annual Anthology, under the signature Cordomi, 'the heart at home.' It was sent to Mrs. Coleridge in a letter from Gottingen, April 23, 1799. It is partly imitated from the German popular song, 'Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär.'" ~Richard Garnett, 1897
Day, dawn slowly,
Stay, faint starlight;
Sleep lets the lover be hopeful and bold.
Hush, fond dreamer,
Crush thy fantasies;
These vain thoughts must be left untold.
~William Johnson Cory (1823–1892), "Rhymes at the Wrong End"
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed. ~Ambrose Bierce
I've had such bad insomnia the sleep cops have issued a warrant for my rest. ~Terri Guillemets
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
Sleep is perverse as human nature,
Sleep is perverse as legislature....
So people who go to bed to sleep
Must count French premiers or sheep,
And people who ought to arise from bed
Yawn and go back to sleep instead.
~Ogden Nash, Read This Vibrant Exposé
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Do not go back to sleep. ~Rumi
If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters. ~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis
Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation. ~Author Unknown
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
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
[S]leep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. ~Thomas Dekker
People who snore always fall asleep first. ~Author Unknown
Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002
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
Judith slept far into the morning the sound, deep sleep of exhaustion; that sleep of the heavy-hearted from which, almost by an effort of will, the dreams are banished. ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888
The best cure for insomnia is a Monday morning. ~Author Unknown
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
Life is in short cycles or periods; we are quickly tired, but we have rapid rallies. A man is spent by his work, starved, prostrate; he will not lift his hand to save his life; he can never think more. He sinks into deep sleep and wakes with renewed youth, with hope, courage, fertile in resources, and keen for daring adventure. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims, "Inspiration"
And is thy soul so wrapt in sleep?
Thy senses, thy affections, fled?
No play of fancy thine, to keep
Oblivion from that grave, thy bed?
Then art thou but the breathing dead...
~George Crabbe (1754–1832), "The World of Dreams"
The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
~Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg — Her Dream
There is no hope for a civilization which starts each day to the sound of an alarm clock. ~Author Unknown
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
Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown
Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sleep, rest of things, O pleasing Deity,
Peace of the soul, which cares dost crucify,
Weary bodies refresh and mollify.
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
Sometimes I sit up late with my thoughts, reluctant to fall asleep and leave my thoughts alone by themselves. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Don't fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~Edmund Vance Cooke
All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. ~Plutarch
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
~Rupert Brooke, "The Great Lover"
...rousing himself from a reverie, which had degenerated into an absolute snooze. ~Thomas Ingoldsby, "The Spectre of Tappington," 1837
Ten hours of drowsiness are plenty,
For any man, in four and twenty.
~James Montgomery (1771–1854), "The Pleasures of Imprisonment: In Two Epistles to a Friend"
I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day, because that means it's going to be up all night. ~Steven Wright
I'm an insomniacaholic,
If there is such a thing;
Well, I know there is—
I am one, and their king!
~Terri Guillemets, "Insomniacaholic," 1989
The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep. ~E. Joseph Cossman
Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You'll realize this as soon as they're born and they start using sleep deprivation to break you. ~Ray Romano, "The Baby," Everything and a Kite, 1998
Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"But how shall we wakeful ones find the way to sleep?" asks one—yes, many, I fear. First, let us remember the lesson of our youth, which said that "the day was for labor, and the night for sleep and repose." When the open fire, a pine knot, or a tallow candle were the only facilities for a nightly illumination, the temptation to late sitting up was much less than now, when the brilliancy of gas or kerosene invites us to sit up at night that we may enjoy its exhilarating splendor. I have been interested to notice how music, gay colors, beautiful pictures, and bright lights keep us wide awake. Place the same persons in a room of dim light, and with but little about it to attract the eye, and they fall into easy, quiet chit-chat, and soon begin to yawn, and by mutual consent retire early... ~Rachel Brooks Gleason, M.D. (1820—1905), "Sleep," Elmira Water Cure, November 1867
Fatigue is the best pillow. ~Benjamin Franklin
[H]e had been unable to drive away the gloomy thoughts which kept sleep from his eyes for a long hour.... He had solved any number of difficult arithmetical problems, and mentally repeated the same prayer at least twenty times; but the sleep which he obtained after waiting so long and making so many efforts, brought neither rest nor comfort, and the old man struggled all night in the fiery embrace of the fever-god.
It was only in the morning, after awaking and happily falling off into a second sleep, that he enjoyed the peace and repose of both body and soul, which usually characterized his rest. When he again opened his eyes after this delightful morning's nap, a joyous ray, cast by the rising sun through the bed curtains, danced on the counterpane like a streak of gold, and gave a marvellous brilliancy to its variegated embroideries.
~Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), The Watchmaker, 1859
Sleep doesn't help if it's your soul that's tired. ~Author unknown
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
In bed, I can go for hours. Oh yes, I love naps. ~Jarod Kintz, Love quotes for the ages. Specifically ages 18-81.
Come, then, I woo thee, sacred Sleep!
Vain troubles of the world, farewell!
Spirits of Ill! your distance keep—
And in your own dominions dwell...
~George Crabbe (1754–1832), "The World of Dreams"
I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake. ~Author Unknown
Sleep is the most moronic fraternity in the world, with the heaviest dues and the crudest rituals. ~Vladimir Nabokov
I count it as a certainty that in paradise, everyone naps. ~Tom Hodgkinson
A little insomnia is not without its value in making us appreciate sleep, in throwing a ray of light upon that darkness. ~Marcel Proust
It's at night, when perhaps we should be dreaming, that the mind is most clear, that we are most able to hold all our life in the palm of our skull. I don't know if anyone has ever pointed out that great attraction of insomnia before, but it is so; the night seems to release a little more of our vast backward inheritance of instincts and feelings; as with the dawn, a little honey is allowed to ooze between the lips of the sandwich, a little of the stuff of dreams to drip into the waking mind. I wish I believed, as J. B. Priestley did, that consciousness continues after disembodiment or death, not forever, but for a long while. Three score years and ten is such a stingy ration of time, when there is so much time around. Perhaps that's why some of us are insomniacs; night is so precious that it would be pusillanimous to sleep all through it! A "bad night" is not always a bad thing. ~Brian W. Aldiss
Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life. ~Virginia Woolf
The days are cold, the nights are long,
The North wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty love!
~Dorothy Wordsworth, "The Cottager to Her Infant"
Three o'clock in the morning. The soft April night is looking in at my windows and caressingly winking at me with its stars. I can't sleep, I am so happy! ~Anton Chekhov (1860–1904), "Love," translated by Constance Garnett, 1931
Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night... without the satisfaction. ~Lynn Johnston
Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy. ~Author Unknown
In God's care and in His keeping
I now place myself ere sleeping;
And, as stars and moon shine brightly,
Spirit loved ones guard me nightly.
~Gertrude Buckingham, "My Nightly Affirmation"
What hath night to do with sleep? ~John Milton
Sleep: a poor substitute for caffeine. ~Author Unknown
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"
The reasons we can't sleep at night are usually the same reasons we don't truly live during the day. ~Michael Xavier
The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more. ~Wilson Mizner
There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness. ~Charles Dickens
In its early stages, insomnia is almost an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge. ~Colette #infj
Oh, sleep, blessed sleep! I woo thee each night;
Kiss gently each eyelid; blot out the light.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Sleep" (1940s)
Many seek good nights and lose good days. ~Dutch Proverb [Quoted in P.J. Harrebomée, Spreekwoordenboek der Nederlandsche taal, c.1853, and in English: Henry G. Bohn, A Polyglot of Foreign Proverbs comprising French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Danish, with English Translations, 1857.
It seemed almost impossible for him to rouse himself out of the delicious depths of his first sleep. ~Rev. G. Despard, M.A., Trinity Church, Kilburn, "Peace in the Heart," in The Sunday at Home: A Family Magazine for Sabbath Reading, No. 1373, 1880 August 21st
Many things — such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly — are done worst when we try hardest to do them. ~C.S. Lewis
Leisure time is that five or six hours when you sleep at night. ~George Allen
The last refuge of the insomniac is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world. ~Leonard Cohen
But no one ever is allowed in Sleepytown, unless
He goes to bed in time to take the Sleepytown Express!
~James Jackson Montague, The Sleepytown Express
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. ~Anthony Burgess
A nap on a warm day, in the shade, with a breeze, is one of the great pleasures of being. ~Terri Guillemets, "Siesta," 2007
Early to rise and early to bed
Makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.
~James Thurber, Fables for Our Times, 1940
It appears that every man's insomnia is as different from his neighbour's as are their daytime hopes and aspirations. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
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"
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
For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into; daylight is too shallow, it will not cover one. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Cut if you will with sleep's dull knife
The years from off your life, my friend!
The years that death takes off my life,
He'll take from off the other end!
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
Don Quixote followed nature, and being satisfied with his first sleep, did not solicit more. As for Sancho, he never wanted a second, for the first lasted him from night to morning, indicating a sound body and a mind free from care; but his master, being unable to sleep himself awakened him, saying, "I am amazed, Sancho, at the torpor of thy soul; it seems as if thou wert made of marble or brass, insensible of emotion or sentiment!..." ~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra , Don Quixote de la Mancha, Chapter LXVIII, translated from Spanish
Heartbreak is not lessened by the day. Nor is sorrow diminished when washed by night. Sleep will not visit the incomplete soul. ~My FGR friend for life, Tim Irwin, 2013
A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting. ~Terri Guillemets
There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night. ~Marie de Rabutin-Chantal
Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants. ~Jessamyn West
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