UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/əˈsliːp/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/əˈslip/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ə slēp)

WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
sleep - asleep
Sleep can be a noun or a verb. The past tense and -ed participle of the verb is slept.
Sleep is the natural state of rest in which you are unconscious with your eyes closed.
I haven't been getting enough sleep recently.
To sleep means to be in this state of rest.
He was so excited he could hardly sleep.
I had not slept for three days.
If someone is in this state, you can use the progressive form and say they are sleeping, but it is more common to say that they are asleep. Don't say, for example, ‘He sleeps’.
She was asleep when we walked in.
I thought someone had been in the house while I was sleeping.
To say how long someone was in this state, or to talk about where or how someone usually sleeps, use sleep rather than asleep.
She slept for almost ten hours.
Where does the baby sleep?
Be careful
Asleep is only used after a verb. Don't use it in front of a noun. Don't, for example, say ‘an asleep child’. Instead use sleeping.
I glanced down at the sleeping figure.
She was carrying a sleeping baby.
Don't say that someone is ‘very asleep’ or ‘completely asleep’. Instead say that they are sound asleep or fast asleep.
The baby is still sound asleep.
You were fast asleep when I left.
‘go to sleep’
When someone changes from being awake to being asleep, you say that they go to sleep.
Both the children had gone to sleep.
Go to sleep and stop worrying about it.
‘fall asleep’
When someone goes to sleep suddenly or unexpectedly, you say that they fall asleep.
The moment my head touched the pillow I fell asleep.
Marco fell asleep watching TV.
‘get to sleep’
When someone goes to sleep with difficulty, for example because of noise or worries, you say that they get to sleep.
Could you turn that radio down – I'm trying to get to sleep.
I didn't get to sleep until four in the morning.
‘go back to sleep’
When someone goes to sleep again after being woken up, you say that they go back to sleep.
She rolled over and went back to sleep.
Go back to sleep, it's only five a.m.
‘send someone to sleep’
If something causes you to sleep, you say that it sends you to sleep.
I brought him a hot drink, hoping it would send him to sleep.
I tried to read the books but they sent me to sleep.
'asleep' also found in these entries:

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