IELTS Speaking Part 1 Sleep recent topic: Study the sample answers below to the recent topic of sleeping. Learn how to answer this topic by using some collocations and topic vocabulary words that can help you develop better answers. Understand how the speaker developed his answers by targeting the criteria, Lexical Resource and Grammar Range and Accuracy. 










Do you sleep late?



(Answer 1)


Yes, unfortunately, especially these days that I have so much work to do. I’ve been burning the midnight oil recently working on my thesis that I need to finish before this month ends. Once I complete this, I should reward myself with an 8-hour of sleep. 


(Answer 2)


No, I always make sure to get enough sleep because that’s very important for our body. I learned that a lack of sleep can affect a person’s overall health and make him prone to serious medical conditions like hypertension, heart disease, obesity, among others. I discipline myself to go to bed at exactly 9 o’clock in the evening. 




Burn the midnight oil [idiom] – to stay awake in the night either studying or working

Thesis [noun] – dissertation; paper

Reward [verb as used in the answer] – give something to someone to recognize the efforts or achievements

Make sure [phrase] – make certain; assure

Prone [adj.]  – vulnerable; susceptible

Among others [phrase] – to indicate that there are more things or facts like the ones mentioned



i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker gave a direct positive answer to the question and talked about the reason why he needed to stay up late. Then ended his answer by commenting about giving a reward for himself once he finished his project. Notice how the speaker used some helpful topic vocabulary words and collocations. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker gave a negative answer and emphasized the importance of getting enough sleep. For him to extend his answer, he talked about the medical conditions that people would get if they had not given much importance to sleeping well. Direct answer and equipped with good topic vocabulary words. 


How much sleep do you need every day?


(Answer 1)


Well, I really want to sleep longer like 8 to 9 hours but because of my current situation being so busy working on my thesis, I can only sleep around 5 hours. I know that it can take a toll on my health but I need to spend more time on my project otherwise I would not be able to complete my master’s. But like I said earlier, once I finish all these things, I should take a good rest. 


(Answer 2)


As I’ve said 8-9 hours, if I only sleep less than that, I feel grumpy and light-headed which I really hate since my day tends to be unproductive. So because of that, I always do my best to sleep longer than most people in the world these days. 




Take a toll [phrase] – to harm or damage

Otherwise [adv.] – or else; if not

Grumpy [adj.] – bad-tempered

Light-headed [adj.] – to feel dizzy; faintly 

Tend [verb] – to exhibit an inclination or tendency




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker expressed his wish to sleep longer at the beginning of his answer and transitioned to talking about the main reason why he couldn’t. He also stressed his awareness of how not sleeping enough would affect his health but he had left with no choice. He just ended his answer by saying that he would get enough sleep once he finished his project. It’s a very good way to extend his answer. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker gave his direct answer by mentioning the number of hours of his sleep. He extended his answer by stating the effects of not sleeping enough on him, which he really avoided experiencing. Simple, direct, and reasonable answer!

Did you sleep late when you were a child?


(Answer 1)


No, not even once because my parents were so strict. I remember after doing my homework at 7:30 in the evening, I needed to hit the sack as soon as possible. No TV and no computer games except on weekends. But I really liked it because I learned the importance of self-discipline which is really needed in this adult life and I’m forever grateful for what my parents did to me then. 


(Answer 2)


Yes, I did but I started sleeping late at the age of 10 until I became a teenager, I was kind of rebellious back then. I had a computer in my own room so there were times when I finished playing computer games at 1 or 2 AM. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got ill.




Strict [adj.] – following rules

Hit the sack [phrase] – to go to bed

Self-discipline [noun] – self-control

Rebellious [adj.] – showing a desire to resist control

Back then [phrase] – refers to the past




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker answered negatively and described his parents’ style of making him go to sleep early. He talked about the strict observance of his parents’ rule which was not to watch TV or play computer games during the night on weekdays. That helped him talk more which is very important to express his answer more. 


ii.) ANSWER 2:  The speaker answered positively and shared his experience rebelling against his parents for sleeping early. He talked about how he stayed up late and how it greatly affected his overall health. The composition of his answer is straightforward and natural. 


How have your sleeping habits changed since you were a child?


(Answer 1)


Well, I used to sleep very early since I needed to obey my parents’ orders but now as an adult, I don’t have any rules.  If I get busy with my part-time work or my studies, I usually stay up late but if I have nothing special to do, I usually hit the hay earlier like 10 PM.


(Answer 2)


Massively changed! As I said, I used to pull an all-nighter because I was addicted to playing computer games but now everything has changed. I’ve become more health-conscious that I always give myself a good sleep.



Stay up late [idiom] – to remain awake past one’s usual bedtime

Hit the hay [idiom] – to go to bed

Massively [adv.] – extremely; very much

Pull an all-nighter [idiom] – to stay up all night




i.) ANSWER 1: First, the speaker recalled his experience as a child when his parents forced him to sleep early then transitioned to talking about his life now as an adult. He used the conditional tense to express his answer more stating that if he’s busy he had no choice but to stay awake. Straight-forward answer and realistic!


ii.) ANSWER 2:  The speaker developed his answer at once. Then, he recalled his childhood experience of not sleeping early due to computer games and finally transitioned to describing his current sleeping habits. Direct to the point and at the same time equipped with very good expressions.




And that’s all about IELTS Speaking Part 1 Sleep recent topic! Make sure to practice using those collocations and topic vocabulary words about sleep so you’ll be able to use them perfectly. Also, develop your confidence in order for you to speak more spontaneously. Good luck!




Meaning of Words and Phrases Sources: Macmillan, Cambridge, Oxford

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