The Quote Garden ™
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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
You lose such a lot of time just sleeping!... when you might be just living, you know. It seems such a pity we can't live nights, too. ~Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna, 1912
[S]leep, and enough of it, is the prime necessity. Enough exercise, and good food and enough, are other necessities. But sleep—good sleep, and enough of it—this is a necessity without which you cannot have the exercise of use, nor the food. ~Edward Everett Hale, "How to Get the Best of It," c.1892
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 advising,
That artificial cut-off,—Early Rising.
~John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish proverb
Somnus lets her poppies fall most plentifully on those having a cool head, an empty stomach, tired muscles, a quiet conscience, and warm feet. ~Author unknown, quoted by Rachel Brooks Gleason, "Sleep," 1867
...the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve 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, c.1605 [II, 2, Macbeth]
Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care, but it doesn't sew on buttons. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
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 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
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
There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author unknown
Sleep is not a tyrant to be resisted, as by a child afraid of missing something if he goes to bed, or a wraith to be hopelessly pursued, as by an insomniac, but a lovely being, lingering near, but not intrusive. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Sleeping Out," From a Southern Porch, 1919
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 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
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, n. The time when men of reason go to bed. ~Ambrose Bierce
I lay down in bed, feeling that my body was an enormous weight, one I had been carrying far too long. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016
Now, in a word, the day is ended,
And a little sleep would be simply splendid.
But sleep is perverse as human nature,
Sleep is perverse as legislature,
And holds that people who wish to sleep
Are people from whom away to keep...
Sleep is as shy as a maiden sprite,
And where it is most desired, takes flight...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Read This Vibrant Exposé"
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 (1902–1971), "Read This Vibrant Exposé"
YAWNS The air-breaks on a sleeper. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
Sleep was like a phantom I was too tired to chase. ~Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 2008
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep! ~Rumi: Night & Sleep, versions by Coleman Barks & Robert Bly, 1981
If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters. ~I'd Like Mornings Better If They Started Later, created by Jim Davis, written by Jim Kraft and Mark Acey, 1996
SLEEP... Take it in abundance. The great conservator of nervous force, and recuperator of animal machinery... Do not overtax yourself so the nervous system refuses to let you sleep. ~F. J. Groner, M.D., "Health Hints," 1889
Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation. ~Author unknown
SNORE An unfavorable report from headquarters. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
Sleeping on a country porch is so delightful an experience that one really should stay awake all night to get the full pleasure of it. One realizes the world and feels the sensuous magic of it more when one is half asleep than when fully awake. Perhaps then the intellect, the cold mechanism of logic, is disregarded, and one merely feels, but feels in a sublimated way... On a country porch one does not feel the bitterness of waking up as in the inside of a house, especially in the city, where one feels that one has not slept enough, yet must arise to work. Sleep in the open is much more restorative, so that one needs less of it and hence can give a portion of the night to pure enjoyment of his sensations. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Sleeping Out," From a Southern Porch, 1919
People who snore always fall asleep first. ~Author unknown
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
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"
There was something important in this idea — Darlene was almost sure — unless it was the kind of half-formed, ethereal insight that sometimes came on the verge of dreaming. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between two. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was not exactly sleepy, somewhere between alertness and a kind of delirium. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
I ran in the house and I fell in a heap.
I needed my rest, but I just couldn't sleep...
I tossed and I flipped and I flopped and I flepped.
It was quarter past five when I finally slept...
~Dr. Seuss, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965
How little sleep one got at a slumber party is a matter of great pride and an index of the success of the party. ~Elizabeth Radin Simons, The Slumber Party as Folk Ritual, 1980
Sometimes I sit up late with my thoughts, reluctant to fall asleep and leave my thoughts alone by themselves. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
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"
And I hate when my foot falls asleep during the day because that means it's going to be up all night. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com
There is nothing so asleep as a kitten. ~Pam Brown, Utterly Gorgeous Cats, 2006, helenexley.com
The little Plumpuppets are fairies of beds:
They have nothing to do but watch sleepy heads;
They turn down the sheets and they tuck you in tight,
And they dance on your pillow to wish you good night!
~Christopher Morley, "The Plumpuppets," The Rocking Horse, 1919
At midnight, Darlene was... too tired to sleep. She had been awake so long that her muscles would not uncoil. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018 [Been there, done that. –tg]
Every shut-eye ain't sleep and every good-bye ain't gone. ~African-American proverb
Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sleep doesn't help if it's your soul that's tired. ~Author unknown
"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
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"
Even at night her life had been entirely Edwin's, and not her own, in the large double bed where his unfortunate habit of snoring shook even her dreams into his pattern. ~R. A. Dick (Josephine A. Campbell Leslie, 1898–1979), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1945
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
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 Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "My Nightly Affirmation"
What hath night to do with sleep? ~John Milton
I felt the necessity of getting to bed, but I loathed the idea of going through the horrible duties of undressing and washing and brushing my teeth. I wished, as I do every night, and I suppose everyone wishes it with me, that some miracle would happen, and I would find myself in bed, all my clothes off, and my pajamas on, in a twinkling of an eye. ~Theodore Spencer, "On Reading in Bed," 1923
Sleep: a poor substitute for caffeine. ~Author unknown
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. At such times, a mortal knows just enough of what his mind is doing, to form some glimmering conception of its mighty powers, its bounding from earth and spurning time and space, when freed from the restraint of its corporeal associate. ~Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
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. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Many things — such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly — are done worst when we try hardest to do them. ~C. S. Lewis, 1954
"Time is money" — and eight hours' sleep is a mighty good investment. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1907, George Horace Lorimer, editor
If your bedroom is arranged so there is but one window, have it slightly open during the night. Do not be afraid of night air. ~F. J. Groner, M.D., "Health Hints," 1889
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
I wish you quiet sleep, good dreams, happy awakenings. ~Pam Brown, To Someone Special, Wishing You Happiness, 2008, helenexley.com
The feeling of sleepiness when you are not in bed, and can't get there, is the meanest feeling in the world. ~E.W. Howe
Last saved 2021 Apr 29 Thu 12:43 PDT