Definition of count sheep in US English:

count sheep


  • Count imaginary sheep jumping over a fence one by one in an attempt to put oneself to sleep.

    • ‘So, needing some beauty sleep, and thinking whilst counting sheep, I went to bed, and a magical mantra came to me in a dream (which is where my snazziest artsy notions usually pop up).’
    • ‘I had a hard time sleeping last night, and even had to resort to counting sheep.’
    • ‘When insomnia chases sleep away, counting sheep or tossing and turning all night seem to be the only alternatives.’
    • ‘Sometimes when I went to bed I would mull over the day, and instead of counting sheep, I would count the drinks I'd had.’
    • ‘I started counting sheep, which didn't send me to sleep but reminded me of what I wanted to write to you about.’
    • ‘Oh, poor you… try counting sheep jumping over gates or something, that usually works for you.’
    • ‘‘Normal people count sheep when they sleep and dream,’ Julia said.’
    • ‘She crawled into her bed, prepared to count sheep, but sleep claimed her the minute her head made contact with the pillow.’
    • ‘I've tried every single technique - counting sheep, reciting the periodic table, counting down from 100… none of it works.’
    • ‘And they forgot a few simple facts while counting sheep.’