It seems to be a silly question but I was puzzled when somebody bid me good night, when I was going to sleep at 1:00 PM. If somebody goes to sleep in the afternoon, is it correct to bid him "good night"? I think this is wrong.

  • Probabily when someone goes to sleep in the afternoon, no one says he neither (in us and en)
    – user21032
    May 17, 2012 at 21:29
  • It is better than "get up you lazy tyke" though. May 18, 2012 at 12:56
  • In American culture, if the person is taking a nap, you don't say anything. If they have an alternate schedule (say a graveyard shift or a plain old shifted schedule) and they are going to sleep for their daily sleep time (~8 hrs depending), then 'Good night' is used (even though it feels strange).
    – Mitch
    May 18, 2012 at 13:12

9 Answers 9


It's a bit odd. I would have expected to hear "have a nice nap", as someone who's going to sleep at 1:00 pm is probably only going to sleep for an hour or two.

If you planned to sleep for seven or eight hours, starting at 1:00 p.m., that's longer than a nap. I guess in that case "sleep well" (or "rest well", or "sleep tight", if you prefer) would be more appropriate. "Sweet dreams" would technically work, but it's not usually used except with people you are very familiar with (children, romantic partners, family, etc.). You could also use "sleep well" at night — it's not restricted to napping or sleeping for long periods during the day.

Also, you can use "good night" for situations other than going to sleep. I often hear it used when people go their separate ways after spending some time at night together, they say "good night" as they are parting.

  • Re your first paragraph, it really depends why the person is going to sleep at the time. Someone working 12 hour shifts (ex midnight to noon) could be bedding down at 1 for a full days sleep. May 18, 2012 at 12:35
  • Perfect and complete answer! :)
    – nikhil
    Jun 25, 2016 at 17:34

Yes, it is a bit odd. "Sleep well" or similar would be more appropriate.

  • but I am looking for a word like good night. May 17, 2012 at 14:44
  • 2
    I have used many times "sleep well" May 17, 2012 at 17:12

I doubt you can find an expression which could cover an afternoon nap (of any length) and be similar to "good night".

Although it's true that, as FrustratedWithFormsD correctly pointed out, "good night" may be used for reasons other than wishing "a good night's sleep", it is also true that normally people sleep at night and for this reason we have a specific expression which also covers this activity.

Personally, I would go with "sleep well or "have a nice nap" (to my ear, "sleep tight" sounds more suitable for a longer sleeping period).

  • 1
    Paola is not supporting 'sleep tight'.
    – Kris
    May 17, 2012 at 16:52
  • then still +1 for anwering May 17, 2012 at 16:56

"Good night" in that situation is correct usage in the US.

Because most people don't go to sleep when the sun sets, instead going to sleep hours later (or near sunrise for college students..), the phrase "good night" has a colloquial meaning more along the lines of "have a good sleep", but it is shorter and easier to say.

It's used in informal settings regardless of the time of day, and mostly regardless of the length of sleep, if you plan on sleeping for more than around an hour.


I wouldn't find fault with good night. The relevance of where the sun is in the sky has dwindled somewhat with our recent globalization. Furthermore, the situation could involve near-polar timezones or perhaps speaking (in English, of course) with someone in a place like China, which has a single timezone despite covering a large amount of longitude.

But if you like, here are some alternatives:

Pleasant dreams!

Sleep well!

Have a nice nap/rest/sleep/snooze.


The connotation of good night with sleep is out of usage. It just is a shortened form of "May you have a good night." So if someone were to sleep at 1 PM, the parting phrase could be

Good afternoon, have a nice nap.

The issue of how the person is about to spend his/her afternoon does not arise at all.

  • but good afternoon can only use when two people are meeting.how can we use it in this context May 17, 2012 at 14:52
  • @KrishnaChandraTiwari: As I said in the last line, when you wish someone "Good afternoon", how the person spends his afternoon is immaterial. If you want to be specific, you could say, "Good afternoon, have a nice nap."
    – Bravo
    May 17, 2012 at 14:54
  • @KrishnaChandraTiwari: You could say "Have a good afternoon!" when leaving as well. I do this and have hear others do it. It's quite common, actually. Saying "Good afternoon" when parting is much less common but I've heard that as well. May 17, 2012 at 14:59

"Nice Siesta!" maybe. If siesta fits the context.

[more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siesta ]

  • I didn't get Siesta! what is it? I didn't ever heard it. May 17, 2012 at 17:07
  • 1
    @KrishnaChandraTiwari: It is a Spanish word for nap (but used often by many English-speakers in some regions), so maybe "feliz siesta" would be more appropriate (which I think translates to "(have a) happy siesta!" but my Spanish is not very good, so if someone wants to correct me that would be fine).... actually, I think "buena siesta" would be better (translates as "good nap"). May 17, 2012 at 17:38
  • 1
    @Kris: OP's bio info indicates they are from India. I'm not sure how commonly used "siesta" is there. People might not understand it there as well as they would in other places, such as Texas. May 17, 2012 at 17:50
  • 1
    I think 'buena siesta' is commonly used in Mexico where it fits afternoon nap, but I'm not sure that this word is actually used every day in us or en.
    – user21032
    May 17, 2012 at 21:24
  • 1
    @Frustrated "such as Texas." I think the term is more widely known than that implies. I'm from Australia & 'nice siesta' would immediately suggest 'nice (afternoon) nap'. I agree with Kris' comment that "It is used in English with other English words." May 18, 2012 at 9:38

I would say "Nap well" or "Good Nap"


I'm an Australian and as such am known to play with words and phrases. I find going to sleep at any time would be worthy of a "goodnight" as a playful aknowledgement, as well as 2 or more people going their separate ways. Still, two people sleeping together may say goodnight to each other as they both sleep in their respectrive head/body. This is often shortened to goonight (no 'D'').

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