Fall off

Johnyxxx

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Hello,

In what sense fall off is used in the text below? Does it mean go to sleep?

‘Old houses – I’m used to them; the timbers crinkle like a bee-hive. But this wasn’t timbers, oh no! It might maybe have been wind, you’ll say. But what chance of wind with not a hand’s-breadth of cloud moving in the sky, and such a blare of moonlight as would keep even a field mouse from peeping out of its hole? What’s more, not to know whether what you are listening to is in or outside of your head isn’t much help to a good night’s rest. Still I fell off at last, unnoticing.
‘Next morning, as George came back from taking up the breakfasttray, I had a good look at him in the sunlight, but you couldn’t tell whetherthe marks round his eyes were natural – from what had gone before with theother, I mean – or from insommia. Best not to meddle, I thought; justwait. So I gave him good morning and poured out the coffee and we sat to it asusual, the wasps coming in over the marmalade as if nothing had happened.

Crewe, Walter de la Mare, 1929

Thanks a lot.
 

Tdol

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It does, though it's not a verb I hear used much nowadays- we drop off today.
 

emsr2d2

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It's interesting, isn't it, that now we use "fall asleep" but not "fall off", yet we use "drop off" but not "drop asleep"? (Note that some people do use "fall off to sleep" but only the complete phrase, not just the first two words.)
 
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