7

It is common in many situations to say:

A: I don't know what to do with that problem. I cannot seem to find a good solution to everyone...

B: Sleep on it! I am sure once you rest you will manage to get a good solution.

That is, we say sleep on it to mention that after some rest, or just some time to think, we are more capable to determine what is best on a given situation.

How can I say this in Spanish? Is consultarlo con la almohada a good approach with the same meaning?

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    I think "consult with the pillow" has connotations the English phrase does not. It would get the same general thought across, but if you want something more directly similar, simply "think about it for a day" (pieansalo un día or similar ) would be pretty close. – Flimzy Aug 29 '16 at 6:53
  • What connotations, if I may ask? I'm not a native English speaker, but to me they mean pretty much the same. – MikMik Sep 2 '16 at 8:07
  • @MikMik note that to address Flimzy you have to add @Flimzy somewhere in your comment. Otherwise, he won't get a notification about it. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Sep 2 '16 at 8:46
  • "sleep on it" also carries the connotation of letting your mind work on the problem as you sleep. – Walter Mitty Sep 20 '16 at 10:41
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    I can only answer from my own experience as an English speaker. If somebody tells me he or she is going to sleep on it, I don't expect a decision until the next morning. Individuals do, of course, sometimes use common phrases idiosyncratically. – Walter Mitty Sep 26 '16 at 10:57
11

Just by reading the question title, my straight, undoubted answer was consúltalo con la almohada. After that, I saw that was your proposed answer, and I think it is the best option, as it respects the sense of taking a rest and freeing your mind before taking any decision. The exact meaning is as follows:

aconsejarse, o consultar, con la almohada

  1. locs. verbs. coloqs. Meditar sobre algún asunto, aplazando la decisión durante un breve tiempo, normalmente por un día.

Just think how many times you have find the solution to a problem while your head was on the pillow. Moreover, I can't think of any other option right now. Maybe repósalo or just piénsatelo con calma.

Just out of curiosity, centuries ago there used to be an expression in Spanish quite close to the English one. It's found in the Diccionario de Autoridades (book III, 1732) and in the edition of the DRAE of 1780:

DORMIR SOBRE ELLO. Es tomar tiempo para deliberar mejor en un negócio, mirándolo despácio. Latín. Maturius rem considerare, deliberare.

In the same dictionary but in another book (book I, 1726), it already appears the current expression:

Consultar, ò hacer la cuenta con la almoháda. Es tomar tiempo para meditar algun negócio, y digerirle entre nosotros mismos, à fin de proceder con maduréz en la resolución.

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5

That's an expression in English language to think on something or an idea, maybe to give it a while before taking a decision. Here are some phrases to express the same idea in Spanish:

  • Piénsalo con calma
  • Descansa un poco y medita al respecto
  • Dale más vueltas a la idea
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  • I think we do really think of it as sleeping and then deciding next morning. – mdewey Aug 28 '16 at 20:52
  • @mdewey not if you take a nap :) haha. At least in Spanish, is not tied to actually sleep. – Luiggi Mendoza Aug 29 '16 at 6:53

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