What does the idiom "sleep on it" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. sleep on it meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "sleep on it"


The phrase “Sleep on it” is an idiom which is used to advise someone or a group of people to take time and think about a decision for a longer period of time before acting on it. The phrase refers to spending a night sleeping on the issue and getting back to it the next day, when it is expected that one will have a better perspective on the issue.


The origin of the phrase is not known with certainty, but the earliest recorded version of it comes from the 17th century. The most likely explanation for the phrase’s origin is that it comes from the proverb “Love at first sight rarely stands a night”, which dates back to 1546, and means that even if something or someone appears to be good at first sight, it should be tested over time to be sure that it is a good decision.


The phrase is mostly used in informal, conversational contexts, when a decision needs to be taken and one wants to suggest that the decision makers take time to consider the implications of their choices. It can also be used in a humorous way, to put off making a decision until some future time.

Example Sentences

  • I'm not sure if I should buy this car or not. You'd better sleep on it and make sure it's what you really want.
  • Let's sleep on it and discuss it in the morning. Maybe we'll have a better idea of what to do then.
  • I don't want to make a decision tonight. Let's sleep on it and see how we feel about it in the morning.

The meanings of the words in the "sleep on it" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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