Follow TV Tropes


Deep Sleep

Go To

If you were looking for the flash game, see Deep Sleep Trilogy.

"As far as he could remember, Sam slept through the night in deep content, if logs are contented."

Sleep. Deep, profound, unwakeable sleep. Not imposed on the sleeper but springing from his own need for rest and recovery.

Sleep this heavy is often a consequence of Post-Victory Collapse, though exhaustion, illness, and recuperation can also produce it. (The Heavy Sleeper does this routinely). Usually the deep sleeper does not dream; indeed, the victim of Recurring Dreams may attempt to exhaust himself in order to invoke this trope. Any Instant Waking Skills are usually nullified; it takes a lot to wake someone from this kind of sleep. This gives other characters freedom to act around him without worrying about his reaction, whether to move him, or to play pranks, or whatever. They might even plan or conduct the next plot event without him, because his need for sleep is greater than his need to be involved.

A Heroic BSoD is likely to cause this as well; compare Angst Coma. Although "sleeping like the dead" is a common metaphor, a character so profoundly unconscious as to appear dead falls under Faux Death. If the length is done hyperbolicly, see Asleep for Days; Deep Sleep does not actually need to be prolonged, but can be.

Not to be confused with Big Sleep, where the sleeper is actually dead.

Truth in Television. Merges insensibly with unconsciousness, since the hallmark of true unconsciousness is inability to be woken.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Play 
  • Jan Tenner: Every few nights, Big Bad Seytania needs to sleep. During this time, she is completely vulnerable and is physically incapable of awaking no matter what happens.

    Comic Books 
  • In the first issue of The Sandman (1989) Dream of the Endless is summoned and bound by a group of occultists, causing several people around the world to suffer a mysterious "sleeping sickness" for decades. Some remain in a deep sleep until he manages to break free decades later, others cannot sleep.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): San and Vivienne seem to fall into this in the aftermath of their first Heroic RRoD, and it's even implied they entered a Near-Death Experience.
  • Doraemon's Final Episode, the infamous Doraemon webcomic that's rumored to be "the missing final episode" of the series (later proven to be a hoax, but a damn good one). In it, Doraemon falls into over three decades of sleep after his batteries run dry - replacing his batteries will result in complete erasure of Doraemon's memory, necessitating Nobita to work hard and push himself to succeed in the future, where three decades later he's a successful robotics expert capable of reviving his friend.
  • Love Is A Funny Thing: Being Jem puts a strain on Jerrica. After concerts she can sleep for hours. One time in particular, she slept for three days straight.
  • Pokemon: Festival of Champions: Eevee develops hypersomnia after being traded to Blue. It gets bad enough that a nurse tells Blue that there isn't any cure. Blue has to enter Eevee's dreams in order to wake her up.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Harpo in A Night at the Opera is asleep in Groucho's steamer trunk in his tiny stateroom. As a crowd assembles and grows in the tiny, tiny room, Harpo is jostled around and over peoples' heads, never waking up (but still able to repeatedly signal via bulb horn for an extra hard boiled egg.)
  • In The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Caligari claims that Cesare has been asleep for the past twenty years. He wakes up several times over the course of the film, so it's quite possible that Caligari is lying. And the whole film has an Unreliable Narrator in Francis, anyway.

  • Sam in The Lord of the Rings. Not only does he sleep like a log in Tom Bombadil's, in Lothlórien, when the other hobbits are talking about sleeping in the tree platforms, he announces that once he gets to sleep, he won't wake up even if he falls out. (And the less that is said, the sooner he will nod off.)
    • Éowyn is in this while Aragorn is healing her, unlike Merry.
  • Dawn of War: In Chris Robeson's novel Dawn of War II, when the two boy are exhausted the Blood Ravens carry them, and they do not wake even when the Blood Raven shoots off his gun next to them.
  • In K. W. Jeter's Morlock Night, the narrator, when he wakes, finds that Dr. Ambrose and Miss Tafe have waited for him. He apologizes, but he had never had such a deep sleep.
  • In Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder's Except The Queen, Robin sleeps profoundly in Serana's house.
  • In Angie Sage's Syren, Septimus Heap sleeps so deeply that he forgets Spyt Fire and all but panicks when he remembers.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Michael O'Halloran, Mickey is terrified by how deeply Peaches sleeps the night after he brings her home.
  • Elizabeth Kerner's Tales of Kolmar universe has the Kantri go into what's called a "Weh sleep" when they're seriously injured and need to heal, or when they're due to grow, as they grow in stages throughout their lengthy lives. In the latter case they have between a day's and an hour's warning, and then they start to tear away their own armored scales before falling asleep. Then their other scales fall off and soft new ones are exposed. Over a course of months or years they grow and harden while asleep. If they're almost finished, they can be woken by a good friend shouting their truename, but if not... In The Lesser Kindred, when the Kantri have to evacuate their island, Nikis is at a stage where it's impossible to wake her, and she has to be bodily carried away at great effort.
  • In Seanan McGuire's Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots, Velma sleeps like this at a motel, through two wake-up calls, until the manager pounds on her door. Unusually, she does dream during it.
  • In Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard, when Kate arrives at the castle, she sleeps like the dead until the next afternoon.
  • Early in Through Alien Eyes the alien healer Unkatonen is heavily afflicted with greensickness from being on board a spaceship for too long, far from the variety of life he has a psychological need for. It has a drastic effect on his psyche, so he causes himself to go into a near-unwakeable sleep until he can leave the ship.
  • Strongly implied in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. After going through several pages of how "[Trillian, Ford and Zaphod] couldn't sleep" and why, all it says about Arthur Dent is:
    Arthur slept. He was terribly tired.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Elliot from Scrubs is such a deep sleeper that JD could trip and fall over her, then leave for an hour, run back to bed and trip over more stuff and land next to Elliot just in time for the alarm to wake her up.
  • Punky Brewster: The episode "Passed Away At Punky's Place" had Punky and Cherie dealing with a narcoleptic whom they mistake as being dead at Henry's restaurant.

  • In Orpheus: A Poetic Drama, after her death by snake bite and subsequent Underworld arrival, Eurydice is in a state of sleep that Hades is unable to wake her from. Orpheus's music does the trick.

    Video Games 
  • In Ib, Garry comments throughout the game that he's feeling tired and at one point nearly falls asleep standing up. He gets his chance to sleep in a bonus area, and he takes it. No chance of waking him up until you solve the room's puzzle.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Happens to Kairi throughout most of the first game. Normally, the bodies of people who get their hearts ripped out cease to exist (or become Nobodies, if their will is strong enough) as their hearts transform into Heartlesses, but because Kairi has no darkness in her heart, she enters a state of faux-death. She's still alive, but can never be woken up unless her heart is returned. Same goes to the rest of the Princesses of Heart, who are confined in the chambers inside Hollow Bastion.
    • In Birth by Sleep, Ventus defeats Vanitas, his darkness, but in the process shatters his heart to pieces. Much like Kairi in the first game, since there is no more darkness in his heart, he enters a state of faux-death. His heart seeks refuge in Sora as it heals itself, and, until it returns back to his body, he can never wake up.
    • At the end of Dream Drop Distance, Master Xehanort overwhelms Sora's heart with darkness in order to make him a vessel, putting him in a deep sleep much like Ventus. Before he can shatter his heart, however, Ventus steps in and shields Sora's heart until Riku can take over and expel the darkness.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, the titular duo are forcibly separated by the technomites, with Clank being banished to a robot scrapyard. He soon find out from Skrunch that a comatose Ratchet is at the Medical Outpost Omega, where his DNA is being taken. Clank is able to reach his friend and talk him into waking him up by blaming himself for allowing Luna to lure them into a trap while suspecting "her".
  • The plot of Little Dragons Café is kicked off by a brother and sister finding out that their mother is in a deep sleep and can't be woken up. A strange old man appears and tells them that the only way to wake her is to raise a dragon.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: After her granddaughter is kidnapped and her grandson goes on a deathly dangerous quest to save her, Link's grandmother falls into a deep sleep, literally worried sick. You can get her a fairy to cure her, after which she'll thank you with a homemade soup and decide to stay strong for Link's sake.

    Visual Novels 
  • Throughout Daughter for Dessert, the protagonist oversleeps several times when he's supposed to open the diner. Each time, it's because he's been pushing himself too hard and trying to do too much, and each time, Amanda and eventually Heidi can handle opening the diner instead.
  • Just after the protagonist of Melody gets his new king-sized bed, he spends a night with Isabella (if he's of her romantic path). Isabella, who has to go to work early, leaves while he's still asleep; he's tired from both the poor sleep on his previous bed and rolling around in the sheets the night before.


    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: In "The Sting", Dr. Zoidberg warns Leela that eating three spoonfuls of space honey can put one into an eternal slumber, something she's tempted to do when an apparently dead Fry seems to be communicating with her in her dreams.
    Fry: Listen to me! You don't want to lie in bed like a vegetable and do nothing the rest of your life! I've tried it! Bedsores hurt!
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, at a certain time of day, Jonny 2x4 will nap anywhere. When the Eds are taking care of trying to find the owner of a key, they find him and Plank sleeping. The Kankers arrive and he is tossed between the boys without waking up.
  • In The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas, all bears do this. Their whole society shuts down from December to spring so they can hibernate. We even see a montage at the start of the special showing various bears asleep during that time.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: How the aptly named Snoozy is allowed to take the wheel of Chuggaboom is a mystery even Scooby-Doo couldn't solve.