I was in NYC today and I heard someone today something like "it's time to hit..." I didn`t quite understand what he means so I asked. He said he was going to sleep.

Is there really such expression "time to hit it" meaning "time to go to sleep"?

  • 1
    "Time to hit the hay." (As if we sleep in haystacks nowadays...)
    – GEdgar
    Nov 29, 2014 at 1:27
  • I have been told that the phrase goes back to the time when a mattress was often just a sack of hay. Prior to going to bed one would in various ways manipulate the sack to try to get the hay to be uniformly distributed with minimal lumps and pieces of straw poking you. So one might literally "hit" the sack/hay to get it to "behave".
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 29, 2014 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


"Time to hit it" is/was sometimes used as a shortening of "Time to hit the sack" which had the original meaning of "Time to go to bed/sleep"

Apparently, now "hit it" is frequently taken to mean "have sex with" and 'time to hit the sack' can mean "time to masturbate" - two more traps for those of us who haven't kept up with urban slang.

  • Hit the sack still primarily means ‘go to bed [to sleep]’, though, so that should be quite safe to use still. Hit it (especially in the first singular conditional), on the other hand, should probably be avoided if you don't want to make yourself seem more interested in random people than you really are. Nov 29, 2014 at 1:32

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