This week, we’re looking at the surprising number of idioms in English that relate to sleep and rest. Try to stay awake till the end!
Starting with the morning, if you say that someone is in the land of the living, you mean that they are awake. This is a humorous phrase, sometimes used of someone who has finally woken up after a lie-in (= a British expression for the time when someone has stayed in bed in the morning later than usual):
I was hoping to speak to Klara. Is she in the land of the living, do you know?
In the US and the UK, this is called sleeping in.
Later in the day, after a period of work, someone may decide to put their feet up, (= to sit down and relax, sometimes with their feet raised off the ground): It’s been a long day. I’m gonna go home and put my feet up.
In the evening, someone who is about to go to bed may use the informal phrases hit the sack/the hay. I’ve got to get up early tomorrow so I’m going to hit the sack.
They may also announce that they are turning in for the evening/night: I’m quite tired. I think I’m going to turn in for the night.
A number of idioms relate to the quality of sleep and how deeply we sleep. If someone sleeps like a log, they sleep well, not waking at all for a long period: I slept like a log last night – I didn’t even hear the rain.
It looks like Tom’s out for the count.
By the time I came to bed, you were dead to the world.
If someone goes out like a light, they start to sleep immediately: As soon as my head hit the pillow, I went out like a light.
Sadly, we don’t always sleep well, and there are idioms for this too. Someone who doesn’t sleep a wink, doesn’t sleep at all: I didn’t sleep a wink last night with all the noise next door.
If they sleep badly, moving around a lot in bed because they are worried about something, they may say that they toss and turn: I was tossing and turning all night, worrying about the interview.
Finally, people sometimes talk humorously about needing their beauty sleep, meaning the sleep that they need in order to feel and look healthy and attractive. Do you have the equivalent phrase in your language?