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Spanish Vocabulary for Bedtime

Are you familiar with the word sueño in Spanish, whose meaning can change from "dream" to "sleepiness" depending upon whether it is used as a noun or within the verb tener sueño (to be sleepy)? Today's lesson will cover these terms as well as additional pertinent vocabulary for la hora de dormir or de acostarse (bedtime).


Spanish Bedtime Verbs

Let's explore some Spanish bedtime verbs, which we've broken down into several categories.


Feeling Bedtime Verbs

First, we'll look at some Spanish verb phrases that describe how you might feel at bedtime, listening to their pronunciation in clips from our Yabla Spanish video library.


Estar cansado/ato be tired

Bueno, yo también me voy a la cama, estoy muy cansado.

Well, I'm also going to bed, I'm very tired.

Caption 87, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Tener sueño: to be sleepy

siento que todavía tengo sueño,

I feel that I'm still sleepy,

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 6

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Estar agotado/a: to be exhausted

Tengo... Estoy agotado.

I have... I'm exhausted.

Caption 22, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 6

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Now, let's learn a couple of more colloquial ways to convey the idea of being exhausted:


Estar muerto/a (literally "to be dead"):

Te juro, Mili, que estoy muerta.

I swear to you, Mili, that I'm exhausted.

Caption 2, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 2

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Estar hecho polvo (literally "to be made into dust"):

"yo ya estoy hecho polvo.

"I'm exhausted already.

Caption 24, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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Pre-Bedtime Verbs

Next, let's take a look at several Spanish reflexive verbs for actions from many people's bedtime routines. 


Bañarse: to bathe/take a bath 

Cepillarse los dientes/lavarse los dientes: to brush your teeth

Ducharse: to take a shower

Lavarse la cara: to wash your face 


Let's hear a couple of these in action:


Ehm... Suelo ducharme con agua caliente. Después, ehm... suelo lavarme los dientes en el baño,

Um... I usually take a hot shower. After that, um... I usually brush my teeth in the bathroom,

Captions 2-3, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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Sleep-related verbs

To top off the bedtime verbs, let's check out these sleep-related verbs:


Acostar: to put to bed

Acostarse: to go to bed

Descansar: to rest

Despertarse: to wake up

Dormir: to sleep 

Dormirse: to fall asleep 

Levantarse: to get up

Relajarse: to relax

Soñar: to dream

Soñar con: to dream about 

Roncar: to snore


It's worth noting that the concept of dreaming "about" something is expressed instead with the Spanish equivalent of "with," or the preposition con. Let's hear this construction in a clip from our library:


¿Sabés que anoche soñé con vos?

Do you know that last night I dreamt about you?

Caption 39, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 7

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Spanish Bedtime Nouns

Let's move on to some categories of sleepytime related nouns!


Articles of Clothing for Bedtime

Since there are various ways to say or spell all of the Spanish articles of clothing for bedtime, let's start with the English terms and give you some alternatives in Spanish:


Bathrobe: la batala bata de bañoel albornoz

Nightgown: el vestido de dormirel camisón de noche

Pajamas: las pijamas, las piyamas, la pijama, la piyama

Slippers: las zapatillaslas pantuflas


A couple of things to keep in mind:

1. As you may know, the term zapatillas can also refer to "sneakers" in some regions.


2.  The many words for "pajamas" in Spanish are similar but differ slightly due to being extranjerismos, or adaptations of a foreign word to another  language. Therefore, you may encounter spellings of this word with either a "j" or a "y" as well as both the singular and plural versions as equivalents for the always plural English term "pajamas." Let's listen to two variations:


Usa piyama lo más flojita posible 

Wear pajamas [that are] as loose as possible,

Caption 13, Los médicos explican Consejos para dormir

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A mí me gusta ponerme enseguida la pijama o ropa de cama.

I like to put on pajamas or sleepwear right away.

Caption 83, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

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Beds, Bedrooms, and Bedclothes in Spanish

Now let's cover another type of "bedclothes" and some additional nouns in our bedtime environments with a couple of video examples. Note that the use of particular terms for items like a "bedroom," "blanket," etc. varies widely from region to region. 


Bed: la cama

Bedroom: la alcoba, el cuarto, el dormitorio, la habitación, la pieza, la recámara

Bedspread: la colchael cobertorla cubrecama, la sobrecama

Blanket: la cobija, la manta, la frazada

Mattress: el colchón

Nightstand/Night table: la mesita de luz, la mesita de noche, la mesilla de noche, la mesa de noche

Pillow: la almohada

Sheet: la sábana


A mí me gusta cambiar las sábanas cada semana.

I like to change the sheets every week.

Caption 21, Ana Carolina Arreglando el dormitorio

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Y aquí tienes una almohada, ¿mm?

And here you have a pillow, hmm?

Caption 57, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 3

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A Very Special Bedtime Noun

We'll conclude our section on Spanish bedtime nouns by hearing the noun el sueño used as the equivalent of three different English words:


Llevo toda la semana teniendo todas las noches el mismo sueño.

All week, I've been having the same dream every night.

Caption 6, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

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va a mejorar tu sueño.

it's going to improve your sleep.

Caption 17, Bienestar con Elizabeth Introducción al yoga

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Por tu culpa estoy muerta de sueño.

It's your fault I'm dying of sleepiness.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 3

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Bedtime Sayings

Lastly, let's learn the Spanish versions of some common English phrases you might say to someone at bedtime:


Good night: Buenas noches

Sleep well: Que duermas bien, Que descanses (literally "I hope you rest")

Sweet dreams: Dulces sueños, Felices sueños (literally "Happy dreams")

 Que duermas/sueñes con los angelitos (literally I hope you sleep with/dream about the angels)


We encounter two of these phrases in the following clip:


Buenas noches. -Buenas noches. Buenas noches. -Que descanses, mi amor.

Good night. -Good night. Good night. -Sleep well, my love.

Captions 73-74, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Remember that, in addition to meaning "Good night," Spanish-speakers also use the expression Buenas noches in contexts other than bedtime when English speakers would say "Good evening," for example, as a greeting at a restaurant in the late evening or at night. 


That's all for today. If all of these sleep-related terms have got you thinking about your own sleep, you might want to check out Silvia's Consejos para dormir mejor (Advice to Sleep Better), Los Médicos' (The Doctors') Consejos para dormir (Sleep Advice) or Soledad's series on El insomnio (Insomnia). In the meantime, we wish you excellent sleep, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.




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