Spellbook of sleep

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spellbook of
+   sleep   Light green spellbook.png
Appearance random
Abundance 5.09%
Base price 100 zm
Weight 50
Turns to read 1
Ink to write 5–9
Spell type enchantment
Level 1
Power cost 5 Pw
Direction ray
Equivalent wand of sleep

The spellbook of sleep allows you to learn the sleep spell. Casting it has the same effect as zapping a wand of sleep: monsters will be put to sleep for (level/2 + 1)d25 turns, where level is your experience level.[1]

Monsters can resist this spell with monster magic resistance. It has absolutely no effect on already-sleeping or paralyzed monsters. Attacking monsters in melee has a 10% chance of waking them up. Bolts of sleep bounce from walls and unidentified secret doors, but are absorbed by known doors.


Sleep is a powerful offensive spell, and should be used as such. You can use it to help defeat or escape difficult monsters (unless the monster has high monster magic resistance or sleep resistance); just be careful where the beam bounces. You might want to check each turn with a stethoscope if you need to re-cast sleep instead of attacking. If you are resistant or reflecting, try to bounce it off walls and hit monsters twice, in case the first zap misses or the monster resists.

Once you have sent an enemy to sleep, be cautious about attacking it in melee unless you can defeat it normally. In particular if you have sent a floating eye or Medusa to sleep, never count on the sleep to keep you alive.

If you want to kill a minotaur for his wand of digging or a temple priest for his items, casting sleep is a wise first move even if you are polymorphed into a strong fighter form. You still want reflection for the temple god's lightning strikes.

Although drums and horns are superb (and vastly underappreciated) scaring tools in crowd combat, they don't mix well with sleep.

You can use this spell to park a heavy monster on the altar so that you can kill it there without having it run away from you. it can also halt your pet before it stumbles into a trap or attacks a creature you want alive. This will not decrease tameness or count as abuse.

A wizard or a hero with high Luck might reasonably want to write this spellbook if they find a magic marker, retrying until they succeed.


This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.2.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to {{nethack-362}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.