Symbolism Of Sleep (7 Meanings)

Sleep symbolizes innocence, purity, security, death, and rebirth. Sleep is one of the most used metaphors in literature and art due to its symbolic meanings. It symbolizes regeneration, healing, rest, and peace.

A deep sleep can provide us with a fresh start: we wake up feeling rejuvenated, both physically and mentally.

On a spiritual level, sleep symbolizes transformation because it serves as an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our lives and analyze our thoughts and emotions.

Symbolism Of Sleep

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

Sleep Symbolism and Meanings

1. Innocence

Sleep symbolizes innocence because it is a time of restfulness and vulnerability.

When we sleep, both our minds and bodies lie still in a state of unconsciousness. We entrust ourselves to the darkness of the night, aware that while we are sleeping we are also vulnerable to any external events or circumstances that may happen around us.

This vulnerability characterizes sleep as a sign of innocence – an act that stands at odds with the ideals of independence, proactivity, and maturity typically associated with adulthood.

To be asleep is to return to our most primal selves; it represents a relinquishment of responsibility and an unaltered connection with our innermost instincts and feelings.

2. Purity

Sleep is an integral part of life, and for many people, sleep can symbolize purity.

Sleeping gives us the chance to clear our minds, helping us to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Being rejuvenated by a good night’s sleep allows us to begin anew each day with renewed energy.

As a result, it takes on a sense of elevated goodness in contrast to the chaos and demands of daytime activities. For this reason, sleep symbolizes purity – it offers us the chance to purge negative feelings, wash away impurities, and start again with a clean slate.

Allowing ourselves peaceful sleep not only supports our physical health but also provides our emotions with much-needed respite so that we are better able to face the following day with positivity and optimism.

3. Security

Sleep has the power to bring a deep feeling of security, rest, and relaxation to most people.

Many cultures attribute sleep as a way to recharge and renew the mind, body, and soul. As people enter into a slumbering state, worries and concerns become darker and less realistic, replaced instead by peaceful and comforting dreams.

Those who achieve healthy amounts of sleep are more likely to have clear heads be productive and have energy throughout the day.

Sleep allows individuals to feel safe in the knowledge that when they wake in the morning everything will still be there -for within that sleep their safety was ensured. In other words, sleep symbolizes security from adversity whether we realize it or not.

4. Death and Rebirth

Sleep is universally understood as a necessary part of life. Through customs, literature, and art forms around the world, there is an understanding that sleeping is related to both death and rebirth.

On one hand, sleep is considered a physical manifestation of death – when someone drifts off to sleep and goes into a deeply restful state, they become seemingly ‘dead’ to the outside world. In this sense, sleep represents death.

On the other hand, upon waking from a restful and restorative sleep cycle, we can often feel reinvigorated and refreshed – reborn if you will.

Going through cycles of unconsciousness gives us mental space to contemplate and process our emotions, making us aware of how thoughts fit together in our minds like pieces of a puzzle.

Sleep is essential for rejuvenation which gives us hope for renewal day after day – making it symbolic of rebirth as well.

5. Transformation

Too many all over the world, sleep symbolizes transformation or change and can be seen as a powerful tool for personal growth.

Sleep provides us with the necessary rest we need to think more clearly, face challenges in life, and make better choices. Besides getting rid of exhaustion and restoring physical energy, sleeping helps our minds relax, allowing us to process ideas and situations that we have encountered throughout our daily lives more effectively.

Not only does sleep bring us closer to understanding the solutions required to tackle difficult problems, but also it helps remind us that if life serves up challenges that are insurmountable in their current form, taking a refreshing nap can often offer a new perspective on which personal modifications need to be made moving forward to achieve success.

6. New Beginnings

Sleep is uniquely tied to new beginnings for multiple reasons.

Sleeping offers us the opportunity to physically and mentally reset, helping us feel both physically and emotionally rested to start anew. Rebuilding energy levels gives us the chance to approach our goals from a fresh perspective with more clarity.

Most importantly, though, sleep symbolizes new beginnings because it allows us to wake up and face every day as a new beginning without any lingering stress or worry from the previous day.

Every morning presents an opportunity for change and growth that we can grab when we wake up; this potential is perfectly embodied by sleep being viewed as a new beginning.

7. Comfort & Peace

To many people, sleeping symbolizes comfort and peace, providing respite from the stress of everyday life.

This often soothing feeling of serenity comes from allowing the body to fully unwind; free from the worries that come with waking hours.

The peaceful relaxation associated with sleep can carry over into other areas of life, reminding us of our capabilities as we tackle oncoming obstacles with newfound vigor and determination.

Dream Meaning Of Sleeping

Dreams related to sleeping can often provide insight into a person’s innermost thoughts and feelings.

The meaning of these dreams will vary depending on the context, but they often symbolize a need for rest and relaxation or a need to process emotions that have been carried over from the day before.

They can also represent feelings of anxiety, stress, and fatigue that have been building up internally. In some cases, they can signify a new beginning or the need for comfort to face difficult challenges.


Sleep is a powerful symbol that carries a much deeper meaning than what we typically assume. From representing physical death to rebirth and transformation, to providing comfort and peace in difficult times – sleep can provide us with greater insight into ourselves and our journey through life. Dreams related to sleeping can offer further insight and clarity as we navigate the world around us.