Well, I can't simplify more than the title.

This question came from KorvinStarmast's answer and is related to Viishnahn's question. The sleep spell states

This spell sends creatures into a magical slumber. Roll 5d8; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect. Creatures within 20 feet of a point you choose within range are affected in ascending order of their current hit points (ignoring unconscious creatures).

Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell falls unconscious until the spell ends, the sleeper takes damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake. Subtract each creature's hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creature's hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for that creature to be affected.

And the Bugbear Chief (from the Monster Manual) has a feature that states:

Heart of Hruggek. The bugbear has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned, or put to sleep.

The thing is: the only sleep inducing effect I am aware of is the sleep spell, which does not require any saving throw. So, this last part of the Bugbear Chief seems useless, since the only effect inducing sleep won't be affected by his advantage at all.

Sure, it could be there preemptively for future content or even in case someone homebrews such effects, but, other than that, are there any other (official/published) sleep-inducing effects other than the sleep spell? In particular, any that does require a saving throw? These could be poisons, monster or class features, magic items, or other spells that I'm not aware of.


5 Answers 5



A filtered search of spells and items that include the unconscious condition on Dndbeyond.com yields only two results.

Sleep effects give you the unconscious condition and include language that involves sleepiness. There are at least two spells besides Sleep that do this:

Eyebite has the Asleep effect that can be imposed on a failed Wisdom save:

Asleep. The target falls unconscious. It wakes up if it takes any damage or if another creature uses its action to shake the sleeper awake.

And symbol has the Sleep effect:

Sleep. Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw and falls unconscious for 10 minutes on a failed save. A creature awakens if it takes damage or if someone uses an action to shake or slap it awake.

Both of these spells require saving throws.

For Monsters that can put a creature to sleep, please see PixelMaster's answer

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Nice call. I'd actually forgot that "Sleep" is not a condition, rather it's the sum of "Unconscious" and something indicating "awake". \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Jun 7, 2018 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt seems like trance's are separate from sleep. Just like the difference between an elf and a trance and a character sleeping. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 9, 2021 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt adding that option would fit better in pixel master's answer. Mine is focused on spells and items that specifically say sleep. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 10, 2021 at 0:06

NautArch mentioned the spells Eyebite and Symbol in his answer.

However, there are also a few monster features that can put others to sleep; namely the following:



All of these abilities allow the target to make a saving throw.

Additionally, the DMG lists effects for random traps on page 297; one of these effects is the following (emphasis mine):

Vent releases gas: blinding, acidic, obscuring, paralyzing, poisonous, or sleep-inducing

Honorable mention: several creatures have abilities that render the target unconscious, but don't explicitly use the word "sleep", though they mention awakening from this state. This could hint at that unconscious state being considered sleep, but it's not explicitly mentioned.

Hence, it's up to the DM to decide whether the following abilities count as "sleep":

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to add the effects of Dream Pastries from Curse of Strahd. These don't cause sleep by name, but all of their effects are similar to sleep and the pastries require a Con save, which would interact with the Bugbear Chief's feature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jun 10, 2021 at 4:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems vital to note that not all means of inducing the Unconscious condition are equal: For instance, the Jackalwere's Sleep Gaze does not end when the target takes damage! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2022 at 10:10

Just found this question as I'm searching for something similar myself, and figured I'd drop what knowledge I've gained here! Great answers, but there's a little more - the DMG section on poisons (pages 257 and 258 in my version) has several which can cause unconsciousness from which a creature can be awakened, which I would say counts as sleep. These are as follows:

  • Drow poison: Con save to resist poisoned condition, if you fail by 5 or more you fall unconscious for 1 hour. Can be awakened.
  • Essence of Ether: Con save or fall unconscious for 8 hours, can be awakened.
  • Oil of Taggit: Con save or unconscious for 24 hours, can only be awakened by taking damage.

Hope this might help anyone else who comes here looking for similar answers!


Alongside Eyebite and Symbol, there's also the 9th-level spell, Imprisonment. One of the choices it allows is "Slumber:"

"The target falls asleep and can't be awoken."


if you play a cleric or paladin there is a first level spell known as command, it's a spell under the school of enchantment with a range of 60 feet where you can speak any one word command which the target must follow (it requires a wisdom saving throw from the target, it must understand your language, and non-harmful to the target. the target cannot be undead.). Meaning you could cast the command sleep and the target will fall asleep as long as the target fits the requirements. this can also be used in a number of other situations. (my favorite is skivvy or servant where they will become you slave/ follower.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ you can also find information about it here- dndbeyond.com/spells/command \$\endgroup\$
    – user67145
    Nov 29, 2020 at 5:30
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the spell has a duration of 1 round. And command does not magically empower a creature to fulfil the command, so while telling a creature to "sleep" may make it lie down (prone) and close its eyes (blinded), virtually nobody can of their own accord go from heated combat to sleep in 6 seconds. "If the target can't follow your command, the spell ends." \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Nov 29, 2020 at 5:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As BBeast says, commanding a creature to sleep doesn't actually make it fall asleep, though it might try to go to sleep (just as I might lie in bed and close my eyes, but find myself unable to actually fall asleep for an hour). See this Q&A: What happens if cast the Command spell and command a creature to “Sleep”? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 29, 2020 at 7:58

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