Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Sleep and Asleep

Sleep vs Asleep

Animals sleep, even shark varieties that need to be constantly in motion for respiration sleep in one cerebral hemisphere like all marine mammals do. It is a very important state wherein the animals can take a rest. Sleep is also found to aid in the restoration of tired and broken or wounded parts of the body because it affects the immune system. Growth hormones are secreted during sleep, and it affects the size of animals.

Sleep is a state characterized by the inactivity of voluntary muscles, a reduced state of consciousness or the absence thereof, and the cessation or suspension of the body’s sensory activities. When referring to sleep in a sentence, it can either be as a noun or as a verb. Here are some examples of it being used as a noun in a sentence:

“Jenny’s sleep is often disrupted by nightmares.”
“A good mood will usually follow a good night’s sleep.”
“Tranquility is essential for one to be able to get a good sleep.”

Examples of its use as a verb in a sentence are the following:

“I always sleep early.”
“Babies sleep erratically during the first six months.”
“The students usually sleep late during retreats because they have a lot of activities.”

The word “asleep,” on the other hand, is used either as an adverb or an adjective in a sentence. As an adverb it is used to refer to being in a sleeping state, and as an adjective it is used to refer to the lack of awareness or consciousness and in a state of sleep.

Examples are these sentences:

“She fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillows.” (As an adverb it is usually used with the verb “to fall.”)

“He was asleep when his friends came by to visit.” (Used as an adjective here. Note that as an adjective it is usually used with the verb “to be.”)

While the word “sleep” refers to the act of going to sleep, the word “asleep” refers to the state of already being in a state of sleep. Examples: “I will sleep later. I fell asleep while watching television. I get irritated and angry whenever I am disturbed while asleep.”

The word “sleep” comes from the Old English word “slaep” or “slaepan” from the Proto-Indo-European base “sleb” meaning “to be weak.” The word “asleep,” on the other hand, comes from the same base words and was first used in the 1200s.


1.“Sleep” is a state wherein the body is in a reduced consciousness with the muscles and sensory activities being inactive while “asleep” is being already in a state of sleep.
2.The word “sleep” is used as a noun or a verb in a sentence while the word “asleep” is used as an adverb or an adjective in a sentence.
3.The word “sleep” comes from the Old English word “slaep” which is derived from the PIE base word “sleb” while the word “asleep” is derived from the word “sleep.”

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  1. I couldn’t get it

  2. I couldn’t get it!

  3. I don’t understand the differences

    • The two terms definition are similar. This article defines when to use each word in a sentence or conversation.

  4. Thank you. It was very healpful.

  5. Both the explanations seem same.

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