Sleep vocabulary for IELTS - Part 1

Particularly in your IELTS Speaking test, you might refer to the topic of SLEEP. These more complex phrases will impress the IELTS Speaking examiner:

a) To be (absolutely) shattered/exhausted = to be extremely tired.

b) To sleep like a log = to sleep extremely well, often because you are exhausted.

c) To yawn = to open your mouth wide, breathe in and slowly breathe out (because you are tired.)

d) Not to sleep a wink = to be unable to fall asleep all night (possibly due to worry or noise.)

e) To oversleep = to sleep for longer than you should; to not wake up at the time you needed to wake up.

f) To have a lie-in = to sleep longer in the morning because you enjoy sleeping.

g) To doze off = to fall asleep during the day, usually without meaning to and without wanting to.


  • I’ve been gardening all day and I’m absolutely shattered/exhausted. I bet I sleep like a log tonight.

  • I can’t help yawning during my Chemistry class. It’s not that I’m tired. It’s just that my teacher has the most boring and monotonous voice in the world and it makes me want to sleep.

  • I didn’t sleep a wink last night. The people in the flat above ours decided to have a really loud party. By the time the noise died down, it was time to get up.

  • My alarm clock must have broken because it didn’t go off and instead of waking up at seven o’clock, I overslept. It was nearly nine when I finally woke up. I was late for work and my boss was furious.

  • I love having a lie-in on Sundays. It’s the only day I don’t have to work and I usually stay in bed until lunch-time.

  • I quite often doze off in front of the computer. I start watching a really interesting documentary and within five minutes I’m asleep. I always tell myself to concentrate and stay awake but it never works.

If you want to learn some more sleep vocabulary, watch our YouTube video here: