Danish words and phrases to talk about sleep

Getting out of my warm bed this morning, made me realize … Sleep is freaking AWESOME, and we should get a lot more of it! As I won’t be able to suddenly conjure more hours in the night, I'll instead provide some Danish words and phrases to celebrate my favourite pastime, sleep ... wonderful sleep:

This blog will teach you some of the most common Danish expressions about sleep, such as 'taking a grandpa', 'go in the boards' and many many more. You'll also learn how to talk about sleeping well and sleeping poorly. Enjoy!


Feeling like a retirement home and other tired Danish expressions

Personally, I require at least eight hours of sleep to fight the ravages of aging. Without logging at least seven or eight hours in the sack, I'll become (even more) grumpy and short-tempered.

Use the expressions below to complain about being tired in Danish (click the icon for pronunciation):

Jeg er træt - I'm tired

Jeg er søvnig - I'm sleepy

Jeg er dødtræt - I'm dead tired - I'm beat

Jeg er klar til at se dyner - I'm ready to see duvets

Jeg er klatøjet - I'm bleary eyed

Jeg er mat i sokkerne - I'm dull / lacklustre in the socks

Jeg er træt som et alderdomshjem - I'm tired like a retirement home

Jeg kan ikke holde mine øjne åbne - I can't keep my eyes open

Common Danish expressions for going to sleep

The Danish language has a ton of different expressions for going to sleep. Here are some of the most common ones:

At gå i seng [to go in bed] How to say 'to go to bed' in Danish.

At gå tidligt/sent i seng [to go early/late in bed]

At falde i søvn [to fall in sleep] Danes fall 'in sleep' and not asleep.

At gå direkte i seng [to go directly in bed] Danish for going straight to bed.

And our absolute favourite night time expressions:

At gå på hovedet i seng [to go on the head in bed] Another Danish expression for going straight to bed.

At se dyner [to se duvets]

At gå i brædderne [to go in the boards] Falling asleep - usually after consuming an excessive amount of alcohol.

At krybe til køjs [to crawl to bunk/berth] A casual expression for turning in.

At gå i seng med hønsene  [to go in bed with the hens] To go to bed very early.


Danish expressions for actually sleeping

While we can't teach you Danish while you sleep, here's a few Danish expressions for doing the actual deed.

At få en skraber [to get a scraper] - to have a nap

At få en halv time på øjet [to get a half hour on the eye] - to have a short nap

At hvile sig [to rest yourself]

At sove den ud [to sleep it out] to sleep while drunk

Sleeping piglet

Some boring stuff - nouns, verbs and adjectives related to sleep

Maybe this isn't the most exciting part of this post, but if you are still learning Danish, it's definately good to know stuff. If not, it might help put you to sleep.

Different Danish nouns related to sleep

En seng ... to senge - bed(s)

En syvsover ... to syvsovere - slugabed(s)

En sovetryne ... to sovetryner - sleepyhead(s)

En dyne ... to dyner - duvet(s)

Et lagen ... to lagner - sheet(s)

En hovedpude ... to hovedpuder - pillow(s)

En madras ... to madrasser - mattresses

En bamse ... to bamser - stuffed animal(s)

Et mareridt ... to mareridt - nightmare(s)

En drøm ... to drømme - dream(s)

Et soveværelse ... to soveværelser - bedroom(s)

En godnathistorie ... to godnathistorier - bedtime story/ies

Nattøj - nightwear

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Illustration by Chiara Nicola for Copenhagen Language Center

Sleepy Danish idioms and expressions

True to tradition, we'll finish this blog post with a few Danish idioms involving sleep.

Have et godt sovehjerte [have a good sleeping heart] - be a heavy sleeper

Få det forkerte ben ud af sengen [get the wrong leg out of the bed] - get out of the wrong side of the bed

Ikke komme sovende til noget [not come sleeping to something]

At trække torsk i land [to pull codfish in land] to snore

Træt som et alderdomshjem [tired like a retirement home]

Op før fanden får sko på [up before the devil gets shoes on] up extremely early

Komme ud af fjerene [come out of the feathers] get out of bed

Back to you

Now you know your way around the bedroom and can sleep the sleep of the just. Did we miss out on any sleepy Danish expressions? Leave a comment below with your suggestions. Learn also about how to talk about time in Danish.

Sov godt and don't let the bedbugs bite!

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