Pause Cycles or Blender render.

Pause Blender terminal command:

      <i>killall -s STOP blender</i>

Resume Blender terminal command:

      <i>killall -s CONT blender</i>

You can do launchers with this commands, like a Pause and Resume buttons, or shell or bat script ,or type it in to the terminal.

Before you…

When you pause a render job (cycles, Blender render) with Blender GUI/Interface/program started, Blender become a dead brick. You can’t do anything in blender. After a while you have a program list with a screenshot of your desktop. When you resume the render, or preview render, Blender gets the life back and the render continue. Test for your self so you don’t get scared. (also working with blender command line render)

Sleeping/Hibernating pauses as well on my Windows 7 laptop.

If animating you can also render each frame of the animation and then composite them all together after. This way you don’t lose your existing render work. Just pickup where you left off.