I interpret 寝落{ねお}ちしてた as "I fell asleep", but I can also see it as "I was lying down". As for whether or not 寝 in a sentence implies sleeping or simply lying down, is that determined merely by context, or are there definitive cases?


「寝落{ねお}ちする」 could not mean "to lie down" regardless of the context.

It means "to unintentionally fall asleep", "to fall asleep while doing something", etc. As far as nuance, it is somewhere between "fall asleep" and "pass out".

The safest phrase choice for "to lie down (without sleeping)" would be 「横{よこ}になる」. That is because 「寝る」 can mean both that and "to really sleep".

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