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Difference between Go to bed and Go to sleep

go to bed

1. retire for the night:

  • He said he knew the sort of place I meant; where everybody went to bed at eight o’clock….

2. (euph.) have sex:

  • A young doctor may think it all right to propose “going to bed” to a nurse he has only just met.

3. (of a newspaper, journal, etc.) go to press:

  • He nearly always had to stay on at the office till after midnight when the paper “went to bed.”

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase take to bedremain in bed through sickness or other cause:

  • I came down with a cold and took to bed for a couple of days.

go to sleep

1. = go to bed 1:

  • Suppose you go to sleep, that you may get up in time enough.

2. fall asleep:

  • I did not go to bed and I did not go to sleep. It was well past midnight, but I managed to get the number of the ambassador’s residence in Bern.

3. (of a part of the body) become numb so that a person doesn’t feel it:

  • Wegner pinches his arm to see whether he feels it…. He feels just a little but not much, like a part that is gone to sleep.

4. (euph.) die; pass away:

  • …Thaddeus, the old man of West Cambridge, who outwatched the rest so long after they had gone to sleep in their own churchyards.