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Sleep is a condition that players and monsters may be affected by in NetHack. While asleep, you are immobilized for a number of turns. Sleep resistance prevents external magical sources from causing this, though it does not prevent fainting from lack of food.

Sleep slows down your natural hunger rate by 90%, though additional hunger sources such as conflict or ring hunger are not affected.

While you are asleep, "you hear" messages become "You dream that you hear".


Free action prevents sleep from potions of sleeping only.

Sleeping monsters

Some of the above events can also affect monsters, and some monsters (notably nymphs and leprechauns) are generated sleeping. Monsters affected by sleep attacks will sleep for a number of turns and then wake up. Those generated asleep will only wake up when you approach (if you do not have stealth) or attack them.

Encyclopedia entry

Sleep is a death; oh, make me try
By sleeping, what it is to die,
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.

[ Religio Medici, by Sir Thomas Browne ]
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