What does the idiom "have an early night" mean?

The phrase have an early night is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of have an early night.

Meaning of "have an early night"


The idiom ‘have an early night’ refers to the act of going to bed at an earlier-than-normal time and getting a good night’s sleep. It is typically associated with activities such as going to bed earlier than usual in order to get up early and start the day with a refreshed mind.


The term ‘have an early night’ dates back to the 15th century, and is most likely of British origin. It is thought that the term originated from a phrase used by farmers and agricultural workers who would often have to work late and rise early and therefore needed to “have an early night” to get sufficient rest.


The idiom ‘have an early night’ can be used in various contexts and has various interpretations depending on the context. It can be used to suggest that someone should go to bed earlier than normal, usually in order to allow for a productive day the following morning. It can also be used to suggest that a person should spend an evening at home and relax rather than going out and socializing.

When using the term, it is important to consider the context and the person to whom the phrase is being directed. For example, if someone is suffering from lack of sleep or an illness, suggesting that they ‘have an early night’ would be a way of providing them with a much-needed rest. On the other hand, suggesting that a student ‘have an early night’ could be a way of encouraging them to study or practice for an upcoming exam.

Example Sentences

  • I think you should have an early night tonight, so you can get up early and get a fresh start in the morning.
  • After a long day at work, all I want to do is have an early night and relax.
  • I know you’re feeling unwell, why don’t you have an early night and get some rest?
  • I’m sorry, but I’d rather have an early night tonight

The meanings of the words in the "have an early night" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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