We all have phrases for how we sleep at night. Whether it may be “sleeping like a log” or “hitting the hay”, these phrases have been coined and used for centuries. 

Where did they come from exactly? In this article we take a look into 6 popular sleep phrases that we continue to use daily and where they derived from.

Rise and Shine

The term ‘rise and shine‘ surprisingly could be first linked back to the Bible.

In Isaiah 60:1, it reads “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen above thee.”.

In 1658, a book called ‘The Testimony of William Erbery’, presumably by William Erbery himself, quotes “They [the Christian saints] shall so rise and shine, that the glory shall rise upon them.

The term was then penned by the military, specifically the British Army and the US Navy as a wake up call.

Sleep like a Log

This one is quite simple. A wooden log is hard to move, so in theory, you are a log that’s impossible to move from your bed.

Some people also speculate that snoring sounds like a wooden log being sawed, so that’s where it also may derive from.

Hit the Sack

Originating from 1800s-1900s America, ‘hit the sack‘ is a term that was used back then to describe the mattresses full of straw or hay that people used to sleep on.

A very similar term that could be used is ‘hit the hay‘, which derives from the same meaning.

Catching Z’s

Although it is not exactly clear when this term was first coined, the 1903 comic strip, Katzenjammer Kids, incorporated onomatopoeia in the form of Z’s for its characters when they sleep.

Rewinding back to ‘sleep like a log’ as well, it could be said that it is a term of what it sounds like.

Forty Winks

The original term for ‘taking forty winks‘, used to actually be ‘catching forty winks‘ – according to the Thirty-nine Articles written by The Church of England in the 16th century.

The Thirty-nine Articles established rules that clergymen had to accept before being let into The Church of England, and they were considered long to read.

The Crack of Dawn

Originally coined as ‘the crack of day‘ in the late 1800s, the exact known origin of ‘the crack of dawn’ is not entirely known.

One writer in the past has suggested that  “crack” is derived from the ancient meaning of a ‘sudden loud noise’, because of how the sun may rise all of a sudden.