It’s Bedtime! Say ‘Goodnight’ in Spanish and 40+ Sleepy Phrases
“Sweet dreams are made of this.” – Eurythmics
It’s been a good day of work, leisure, or both, and it’s time to go to bed. Now you need to say goodnight to your Spanish-speaking friends. How about wishing them ‘sweet dreams’?
As with every other part of life, there is a specific Spanish vocabulary for this part of the day, or more precisely, the night. In today’s post, how to say goodnight in Spanish, why it’s important, goodnight alternatives in Spanish, and other sleep-related phrases.
How to Say Goodnight in Spanish
Buenas noches is how you say goodnight in Spanish. However, it’s also how you say “good evening.” This is because in Spanish you have buenos días, buenas tardes, and buenas noches, while in English you have good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and goodnight.
Evenings, as such, don’t exist in Spanish. You can say that they are a mix between tardes and noches, and depending on the hour of the day or position of the sun, you use one or the other. By rule of thumb, if the sun has set it’s already noche.
The Importance of Saying Goodnight in Spanish
Saying goodnight in Spanish is both a greeting and a farewell, and is also one of HSA’s 100 essential Spanish phrases for conversational fluency. So, we can agree that it’s a big deal. One of those few words and phrases in Spanish that are basic but important. You can be sure that if you ever move or travel around a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll be saying it every day.
If you go out at night and meet your friends for dinner, you greet them with a general buenas noches. When you leave them after dinner, you also say buenas noches to all of them. When you get home and go to bed, you say buenas noches to your mom, too. As you can see, saying goodnight in Spanish is one of those phrases you simply can’t do without.
Alternatives to Saying Goodnight in Spanish
The importance of saying goodnight in Spanish notwithstanding, many other ways exist in Spanish to express the same idea when it’s late at night or you are ready to go to sleep. Some are more social, others are more private or reserved for people with whom you have a close relationship, but all of them are good alternatives to saying goodnight in Spanish.
1. Hasta mañana
This one is arguably the most widely used nightly farewell besides goodnight in Spanish. You can say it by night before going to sleep, or even by day if you know that you’ll see that person the next day. Hasta mañana literally means “until tomorrow,” but it’s usually translated as “see you tomorrow,” which is actually our next sleepy phrase.
2. Nos vemos mañana
It literally means “see you tomorrow.” However, in contrast with hasta mañana, you don’t say nos vemos mañana when you’re going to bed. Reserve it as a farewell for people you know you’ll see the next day, like your classmates or colleagues.
3. Que pases buenas noches
A bit more formal than a simple goodnight in Spanish, que pases buenas noches translates as “have a good night.” You may hear this phrase from a hotel receptionist in an even more formal version using the usted form, as in que pase buena noche while giving you the keys to your room.
4. Que descanses
Meaning “have a nice rest” or “get some rest,” this is a reply to someone who is going to bed and just said goodnight in Spanish to you.
5. Que duermas bien
Meaning “sleep well,” it’s the same case as que descanses, a reply to someone going to bed.
6. Dulces sueños
It means “sweet dreams.” You say this to someone close, usually a member of your family who’s going to bed.
7. Felices sueños
Similar to the previous one, this phrase only changes its meaning slightly to “happy dreams.”
8. Que sueñes con los angelitos
“Dream with the little angels,” is one of my favorites and the one I say to my daughters every night. It’s an even sweeter version of sweet dreams.
9. Me voy a la cama
“I’m going to bed.” It’s a bit impersonal and definitely not sweet but still widely used.
10. Me voy a dormir
“I’m going to sleep.”
11. Me voy a acostar
Literally translates as “I’m going to lie down,” but it simply means “I’m going to bed.” In Spanish, we use the verb acostarse which means “to lie down” indistinctly from dormir or “sleep.”
12. Me voy a descansar
Meaning “I’m going to rest,” it’s less common than the previous two phrases but still used.
13. Linda noche
Meaning “nice night,” it’s a cute way of saying goodnight to your significant other.
Now, let’s take a look at phrases that have nothing to do with saying goodnight in Spanish, but that are still said at night and in relation to sleeping.
Tengo sueño. – I’m sleepy.
¿Pasaste una buena noche? – Did you have a good night?
Me voy a poner el pijama. – I’m going to put on pajamas.
Hasta mañana si Dios quiere. – See you tomorrow, God willing.
Es hora de ir a dormir. – It’s bedtime. (Literally: “It’s time to go to sleep.”)
Es hora de ir a la cama. – It’s bedtime. (Literally: “It’s time to go to bed.”)
Voy a echar una pestañita. – I’m going to sleep. (This phrase is most commonly associated with taking a nap, but can also be used for a good night of sleep.)
Vámos a la cama. – Let’s go to bed.
¿Tienes una cobija? – Do you have a blanket?
No puedo dormir. – I can’t sleep.
Tengo insomnio. – I have insomnia.
Prueba a contar ovejas. – Try counting sheep.
Se le cierran los ojos del cansancio. – His/her eyes are closing from fatigue.
Me estoy cayendo de sueño. – I’m super tired. (Literally: “I’m falling from sleepiness.”)
Sueña conmigo. – Dream of me.
Ronca como un lirón. – He/she snores like a sloth.
Cayó como un tronco. – He/she slept like a log.
Me muero de sueño. – I’m super tired. (Literally: “I’m dying of sleepiness.”)
Un baño y a la cama. – A bath and to bed.
Mañana será otro día. – Tomorrow is another day.
¡A la cama! – Go to bed!
Necesito un descanso. – I need to take a break.
Necesito descansar. – I need to get some rest.
Tus ronquidos me despertaron. – Your snoring woke me up.
Nos vemos por la mañana. – See you in the morning.
Tuve un sueño lúcido. – I had a lucid dream.
Tuve una pesadilla. – I had a nightmare.
Tenías una pesadilla, por eso te desperté. – You were having a bad dream, that’s why I woke you up.
¿Me despiertas temprano por la mañana? – Can you wake me up early in the morning?
Now that you know how to say goodnight in Spanish—plus a number of alternatives and other sleepy-time phrases—make sure to introduce them little by little in real-life conversations in Spanish. Let us know how it went in the comments section.
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