Sleep vs Asleep: Difference and Comparison

The term sleep is a noun or, in most cases, a verb that refers to the act of wanting to go to sleep. The term asleep is a verb that refers to the act of already sleeping, i.e., in a state of sleep. Both the terms sleep and asleep revolve around different aspects of the front of sleeping or falling asleep.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sleep refers to a natural state of rest in which consciousness and voluntary movements are suspended, whereas asleep means sleep.
  2. You can fall asleep while sitting, but you cannot fall asleep while standing, whereas you can be asleep while lying, sitting, or standing.
  3. Sleep is a biological process necessary for physical and mental health, whereas asleep is a state of being resulting from falling asleep.

Sleep vs Asleep

The difference between sleep and asleep is that sleep is a noun or a verb, and asleep is an adverb or adjective. Scientists have been conducting experiments to find out what goes on while one is asleep. Similarly, the act of sleeping is mysterious and essential for the normal functioning of the human body.

Sleep vs Asleep

Language Quiz

Language quiz helps us to increase our language skills

1 / 10

What is the term used to describe words that substitute for nouns?

2 / 10

Which language has the largest number of speakers?

3 / 10

What is the study of language in use and context called?

4 / 10

What is the study of words and their meanings called?

5 / 10

Put ________ bag on ________ table, then give me ________ apple and ________ bar of chocolate.

6 / 10

Choose the word that means the opposite of "discourage":

7 / 10

Choose the antonym for the word "big":

8 / 10

Choose the word that is a synonym for "resilient":

9 / 10

What is the difference between a language and a dialect?

10 / 10

Choose the word that means the opposite of "approve":

Your score is


Sleep could be considered a period when the body is inactive and the mind and body are relaxing. The nervous system regains energy during this period of inactivity.

The muscles are relaxed, there is no visible movement in the body, and the eyes are shut. The act of sleeping signifies that the body is incapable of any external movements.

Being asleep means somebody is already sleeping. Dreams seep through when one is asleep. Most people are not alert when they are asleep. The body is in a state of passive consciousness.

Asleep is necessarily the act when one is sleeping. It is not the act of going to sleep or getting up but, essentially, when one is sleeping.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonSleepAsleep
Part of speechSleep can either be a noun or a verb.Asleep can either be an adverb or an adjective.
Past tenseThe past tense of the term sleep is slept.The past participle of the term asleep is was asleep.
RepresentationSleep refers to the act of sleep, which is the state of inactivity.Asleep refers to the condition of sleeping that is either continued or prolonged.
SignificanceSleep signifies the action of sleeping.Asleep signifies the state of sleeping.
Sentence usagePlease take proper sleep, or you will be dizzy.I thought you must be asleep.

What is Sleep

Sleep is what all animals, including humans, require for the proper functioning of their bodies. While some species thrive on less sleep, humans, in particular, need six to eight hours of sleep regularly.

The neurotransmitters control the act of sleeping in the brain. Sleep may be easily disrupted or prolonged due to medicine, caffeinated drinks, pills, or supplements.

Usual habits may also affect sleeping habits. For instance, a smoker tends to have light and disrupted sleep. One important term associated with sleep is Circadian Rhythms.

These are characteristic changes that occur in your body during the course of the day. The biological clock of the body controls these rhythms. The reason why people feel sleepy and tired when it is dark is that the body stops producing melatonin, which is required to keep the body active.

The body’s clock controls melatonin production, body temperature, and any changes in blood pressure levels. Until recent discovery, people thought that their body clocks sync in 24 hours.

However, scientists recently found out that when light sources are taken away from the human body, the biological clock syncs every 25 hours. Due to the sunlight and artificial sources of light, your body coordinates from every 24 hours, one set at a time.


What is Asleep

Asleep refers to the act of sleeping. When one has their eyes shut, and the body is seemingly passive, inactive, and deprived of movement, they are said to be asleep.

Many people even say that death and asleep are only different due to one clause – a dead person does not wake up. There are certain stages when one is asleep. The most critical and mysterious part is called REM which is when one dreams.

Dreams are associated with the amount of your sleeping regime when you undergo the REM phase. REM starts about 90 minutes after you fall asleep. This is when your body shows changes.

Your brain begins activity by sending mixed-frequency signals to the brain. Your arms and legs become paralyzed, which prevents you from acting out of your dreams. Although most dreams come along during the REM stage of sleep, you can also dream in other stages while you are asleep.

These stages are non-REM and are called stages 1, 2, and 3. Stage 1 is your body’s way of converting from the state of being awake to the state of being asleep. Stage 2 is the period right before you enter deep sleep. Your muscles are relaxed and breathing controlled.

Stage 3 is deep sleep which could be considered the most essential. Stage 3 sleep is what you require to feel fresh in the morning. The reason why most of your dreams are either early when you are asleep or towards the morning is that the REM stage is concentrated to early and late hours.


Main Differences Between Sleep and Asleep

  1. The primary difference between sleep and asleep is that sleep is essentially a noun, while asleep is an adjective.
  2. While sleeping is a vital act required for proper functioning, being sound asleep (stage 3 sleep) is what imparts refreshment and energy.
  3. Sleeping is associated with deep unconsciousness, while being asleep also encompasses afternoon naps and the act of dozing off.
  4. Sleep is when the body is inactive and the muscles are relaxed, while asleep is the act of already sleeping.
  5. Sleep is an old English word derived from the word ‘slaep,’ while the word asleep is a derivative of the word sleep.
Difference Between Sleep and Asleep

Last Updated : 05 August, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!