Origins – To sleep or not to sleep

The root fero is found also in somniferous, carrying, hearing, or bringing sleep. So a somniferous lecture is so dull and boring that it is sleep-inducing.
Fero is combined with somnus, sleep, in somniferous.
Tack on the negative prefix in- to somnus to construct insomnia, the abnormal inability to fall asleep when sleep is required or desired. The unfortunate victim of this disability is an insomniac (in-SOM’-ni-ak), the adjective is insomniac or insomnious. (So -ous, is an adjective suffix.)
Add a different adjective suffix to somnus to derive somnolent, sleepy, drowsy.
Combine somnus with ambulo, to walk, and you have somnambulism, walking in one’s sleep.
For Scientific english editing and Medical Writing Services visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *