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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Hello.

    I want to express the idea that someone had a rough night and they were sleep then awoke and then sleep again and so on.

    Is "teeter" the right verb?

    Is this correct and natural?

    I was teetering between sleep and wakefulness all night.

    How can I make it better?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    We don't usually collocate just "teetering" and "between". The common phrase is "teetering on the brink of". I'll keep thinking about how I might word it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Hi.

    I'm not a native speaker. But I once read a phrase in my old textbook and the phrase is okay in English.

    I tossed and turned all night. (Toss and turn.)

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Hello.

    I want to express the idea that someone had a rough night. They were asleep then awoke and then went to sleep again and so on.

    Is "teeter" the right verb?

    Is this correct and natural?

    I was teetering between sleep and wakefulness all night.

    How can I make it better?
    You could only use teetering if you were never quite asleep or awake, always just somewhere in between, on the brink.

    Better:

    - I went in out of sleep all night.
    - I kept waking up and going back to sleep all night.
    - I woke up and fell asleep again over and over.
    - I kept waking up all night long.
    - I only slept for a few minutes at a time all last night.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    I tossed and turned all night. (Toss and turn.)
    That's good. Use it.

  6. Key Member
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    #6

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Can I use seesaw or oscillate?


    I was oscillating / seesawing between sleep and wakefulness all night.

  7. teechar's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    I think "seesawing" doesn't sound so bad, but "oscillating" doesn't work for me, because "oscillate" suggests a more regular/rhythmical motion.

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Can I use seesaw or oscillate?


    I was oscillating / seesawing between sleep and wakefulness all night.
    No wonder you couldn't get to sleep if you were seesawing. Get off the seesaw and get in bed.
    Not a professional teacher

  9. Key Member
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    #9

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    Can I also use the word "consciousness"?

    I.....in and out of consciousness.
    It's like I was consciousness for a few minutes...then I dozed off and then I became conscious again.

    I need a verb for that sentence.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: teetering between sleep and wakefulness

    You might say:

    I moved between wakefulness and sleep.
    Not a professional teacher

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