German Language Blog

German Sleep Vocabulary And Tips Posted by on Jan 19, 2022 in Language, Vocabulary

Guten Tag! Today we’re going to delve a little more into the subject of sleep (der Schlaf), specifically, problems associated with sleep. Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve the quality (die Qualität) of yours? Let’s take a look at some German vocabulary and phrases surrounding the subject of sleep.


Photo by Becca Schultz on Unsplash

Warum kann ich nicht schlafen?
Why can’t I sleep?

There are a whole host of lifestyle-related reasons your sleep might be suffering, such as the following (I have put a few words in blue to help you learn vocabulary):

Du stehst morgens zu spät auf – You get up too late in the mornings

Du bist abends zu aufgeregt – You are too worked up (awake/stimulated) in the evenings

Du treibst keinen Sport – You don’t do any exercise/sport

Du bekommst kein Sonnenlicht – You don’t get any sunlight

Du trinkst zu viel Alkohol, rauchst zu viel, oder trinkst zu viel Kaffee – You drink too much alcohol, smoke too much, or drink too much coffee

Dein Schlafzimmer ist zu warm, hell, laut, oder unordentlich – Your bedroom is too warm, light, noisy, or disorganised

Du hast zu viele Gedanken im Kopf – You have too many thoughts in your mind

Of course, there could be other reasons your sleep is disturbed, such as die Schwangerschaft (pregnancy); die Krankheit (illness); die Medikamente (medications); or die Schlafstörungen (sleep disorders), which would require more specific help & advice.


Schreibe deine Gedanken auf. Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Besser schlafen: Tipps
Tips for better sleep

Here are some well-known, proven tips for better sleep, in both German and English:

1. Geh jeden Tag um die gleiche Zeit ins Bett, und wach um die gleiche Zeit auf.
Go to sleep every day at the same time, and wake up every day at the same time.

2. Finde die richtige Schlafumgebung: Dunkel, kühl, leise, und ordentlich.
Find the right sleep environment: Dark, cool, quiet, and tidy.

3. Alkohol-, Nikotin-, und Koffeinkonsum reduzieren.
Reduce alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine intake

4. Treibe jeden Tag ein bisschen Sport.
Do a little exercise every day

5. Verbringe mehr Zeit in der Natur.
Spend more time out in nature

6. Entspanne dich abends
Relax in the evenings

7. Schreibe deine Gedanken auf.
Write down your thoughts

8. Erstelle eine Nachtroutine
Create a night time routine


Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

How can you communicate that you aren’t sleeping well?

If you’re in a German-speaking country, your sleeplessness (die Schlaflosigkeit) is badly affecting your life and you want to get help, here are some useful phrases to help you communicate what’s going on:

Ich kann nicht schlafen – I can’t sleep

Meine Schlafqualität ist schlecht – The quality of my sleep is bad

Ich bin oft nachts wachgeworden – I often wake up/get woken up at night

Ich liege die ganze Nacht wach – I lie awake all night

Ich bin müde, kann aber nicht einschlafen – I’m tired, but I can’t fall asleep

Ich kann morgens nicht aufstehen – I can’t get up in the mornings


I hope this has been helpful and that you can use some of the tips to help you sleep wie ein Stein (‘like a rock’)! Here is some key vocabulary to finish:

Sleep – der Schlaf
Insomnia – die Schlaflosigkeit
Sleep environment – die Schlafumgebung
Sleep quality – die Schlafqualität
Sleep ritual – das Schlafritual
Night routine – die Nachtroutine
Sleep hygiene – die Schlafhygiene
to sleep – schlafen
to fall asleep – einschlafen
to wake up – aufwachen

If you liked this post, you might also like this one: German Nap Time

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. Robert Hindry:

    Extremely useful. Vielen dank.