IELTS Speaking Part 2/3 – Topic : Sleep

IELTS Speaking Part 2/3 - Topic : Sleep

Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake

You should say

  • When it was
  • Why you had to stay awake
  • How you kept yourself awake
  • And explain how you felt about it


I consider myself a night owl; therefore, having a white night is not a rare experience. Today, I would like to talk about a night I had to stay awake for cooking the Chung Cake for Lunar New Year.

(Why you had to stay awake): 

You probably know that Tet or Lunar New Year is one of the biggest festivals in Vietnam. There are many activities taking place before the Lunar New Year, and making Chung Cake is one of them. It excites me the most. However, the process of making Chung cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. It takes up to 12 hours for the cake to be baked. Therefore, my cousins and I had to spend the whole night watching the cake.

(How you kept yourself awake): 

In order not to remain awake while waiting for the Chung Cake to be cooked, I drank a cup of Vietnamese black-iced coffee, which helped me remain conscious for the whole night. Moreover, my cousins also spent a white night with me, and we kept talking until dawn.

(And explain how you felt about it) 

After the cake had been baked, I became worn out and wanted to hit the bed as quickly as possible. I slept like a rock after having a white night. However, it was a memorable experience for me to recall the traditional activities of Tet and an opportunity to bond with family members.

Part 3 questions:

  1. What are some advantages of getting enough sleep?

Getting enough sleep plays an important role in shaping people’s health. It helps us recharge our energy after an exhausting day, and avoids being overloaded. For example, an 8-hour sleep is believed to help people work efficiently and boost their productivity. If people don’t get enough sleep, they can find it difficult to concentrate on their tasks.

  1. How do people in your country keep track of their sleep?

In this age, people in my country can take advantage of cutting-edge devices to be aware of their sleep. Such applications have been invented to analyze their sleep patterns and even give them some recommendations such as listening to the ocean waves or raindrops, which helps them sleep better. If it were not for those applications, they might not know what problems they are facing.

  1. How do you avoid falling asleep when you are at a meeting?

The key factor that keeps people awake in a meeting is that they should go to bed earlier than usual, else the tiredness because of insufficient sleep will drain their energy the next day. Moreover, caffeine may also be another option to help people avoid nodding off at the meeting. For example, I usually drink a cup of coffee before going to work, which keeps me conscious all day.

Vocabulary :

home-cooked food:

Meaning: Food cooked at home from individual ingredients

Example: The menu offers a range of home-cooked meals, from hearty soups to stacked sandwiches to sizzling steaks.

A night owl:

Meaning: A person who prefers to be awake and active at night

Example: My wife’s a night owl, but I like to be in bed by 10 o’clock.

A white night:

Meaning: A sleepless night.

Example: I had a white night because of a stomachache.


Meaning: Takes a lot of time to do

Example: Producing a dictionary is a very time-consuming job.

To fall asleep:

Meaning: To begin sleeping

Example: I’d better get out before I fall asleep.


Meaning: Awake, thinking, and knowing what is happening around you

Example: He’s still conscious but he’s very badly injured.

Worn out:

Meaning: Extremely tired

Example: They were worn out after their long walk.

Sleep like a rock:

Meaning: To experience a very deep and restful sleep; to sleep soundly.

Example: I have to set numerous alarms for the morning because I sleep like a rock every night!


Meaning: To give someone more work or problems than they can deal with

Example: Try not to overload yourself with work.


Meaning: To examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results

Example: In the article, several experienced diplomats analyzed the president’s foreign policy.

Drain (someone or something) of (something):

Meaning: To cause someone or something to lose some ability or quality, often energy.

Example: Eleanor has such a pessimistic attitude that being around her just drains me of energy.

Nod off:

Meaning: To begin sleeping, especially not intentionally

Example: After our busy day, we both sat and nodded off in front of the TV.

Also check : 

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Sowmya is a content writer and is passionate about her job. She currently works on editing and writing engaging content for IELTS Material. She also has experience in the Software Testing Industry and has worked with Wipro for five and a half years.

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