Solving Problems with Sleep Expressions
And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.
A couple of years ago, we wrote a story titled "Ways We Sleep."
We taught expressions such as catch a few z's, get some shuteye, nod off, and turn in ... just to name a few.
我们教了一些短语，比如catch a few z’s（睡觉），get some shuteye（小睡片刻），nod off（打瞌睡）和turn in（上床睡觉）...仅举几例。
There are many, many sleep expressions in English.
But today we talk about ones that deal with problem solving.
Now, it is common to sleep on a bed.
When we go camping, we sleep on the ground, or we sleep on a cot.
If we fall asleep watching television or when we visit a friend's house, we may sleep on a couch.
And sometimes we may have to sleep on a floor.
But "to sleep on" has another meaning.
但“to sleep on”还有另一层含义。
If I have a problem and cannot think of an answer, I can "sleep on it."
Often an answer comes to me the next day.
Let's say some co-workers are working on a project together, and they run into a difficult problem.
No one can think of a way to solve it.
One person might say, "Look, we're not getting anywhere.
So, let's sleep on it. Tomorrow we can try to figure this out."
To "sleep on" something means you give yourself time to think about a problem overnight.
You plan to make a decision about it later.
This does not have to mean that you are actively thinking about the problem.
Your subconscious may be working on it.
For example, if I am writing a story and run into a problem, I often sleep on it.
I think about the problem before I go to sleep and hope that my sleeping self comes to the rescue!
Sometimes we use this expression when we just want more time to pass.
We also use it when we want to look at a problem with a rested mind.
We know that sleep is necessary to be healthy, both mentally and physically.
Sometimes a problem doesn't look so bad the next day after a good night's sleep.
Here is another sleep expression.
Some problems are not a big deal — they are not important.
You can describe them as "nothing to lose sleep over."
你可以用“nothing to lose sleep over”来形容它们。
And if you want to say you are not going to worry about something, you can say you're "not going to lose sleep over it."
Let's listen while two friends use this expression.
Mark: Hey Tish, did you hear about the new apartment building coming to our neighborhood?
It's going to have 100 units!
Tish: I did. Why do you ask?
Mark: It will mean a lot MORE people and a lot LESS parking. Aren't you upset?
Tish: Well Mark, we DO live in a city.
And cities have lots of people.
So, I'm not losing any sleep over it -- if that's what you're asking.
Mark: Good for you. I've lost A LOT of sleep over it.
Okay, who is upset by the new apartment building – Mark or Tish?
If you said Mark, you are right!
For our last expression, we talk about serious problems – problems in which your life might be at stake!
If you "sleep with one eye open," you are too distrustful to fall asleep.
如果你“sleep with one eye open”，表示你太不信任别人而无法入睡。
You are suspicious of others around you.
You are worried or even fearful that someone or something will hurt you in your sleep.
For example, once I took a friend camping with me.
She was a city girl and had never been camping.
While sleeping in a tent in in the woods, she heard animal sounds and movements in the woods all night.
In the morning, I asked her how she slept.
She said, "I didn't sleep a wink.
I slept with one eye open the whole night!"
And that's the end of this Words and Their Stories.
If you run into a problem with English, try sleeping on it!
Maybe the answer will come to you with the morning sun.
Until next time ... I'm Anna Matteo.