We should be spending around a third of our lives sleeping, so it is essential that we know how to do it well, we understand the reasons why sleep and rest are vital in achieving optimum health, balance and well-being in your life. Lack of either could lower your immune system, memory and mood.
In a time where we are constantly on the go and under pressure, it pays off to invest time in resting and repairing the body. If you maximise your potential in both sleep and rest, it could help aid you in maximising your personal, professional, and emotional potential!
Signs you may benefit from more sleep and rest include:
- Becoming easily frustrated
- Inability to make decisions
- Feeling irrationally emotional
But just how much is enough?
The National Sleep Foundation state that 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night is recommended for adults, however, having enough sleep is as individual as your fingerprint. What is important is that you wake feeling rested, supercharged and ready for the day ahead!
Many of us don’t feel this way, it is believed that 30-50% of the population is currently affected by acute insomnia.
There is a strong correlation between insomnia and stress, so if you feel like you are currently part of this group, let’s have a look at what may be causing your struggle:
- No regular rest / relaxation practices
- Too much blue light
- Liver issues
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Sleep apnea
- Hormonal imbalances
Sleep is important for your overall wellbeing and mood. As sleep deprivation can cause irritability, impatience and inability to concentrate. It can also affect:
- Cardiovascular health
- Disease and immune functions
- Reproduction system
What can I do to improve sleep quality?
There are a number of things you can try to help improve your sleep and just some simple changes can make the world of difference!
Why not try:
- Reducing blue light exposure from technology at night
- Avoiding stimulates in the afternoon
- Avoiding alcohol
- Not over sleeping
- Consistent waking / sleep times
- Holistic therapies such as massage or acupuncture
- Meditation / breathing techniques
- Drinking calming natural products like herbal teas
Another way you can improve dramatically improve your well-being is to take time to rest.
But what exactly is Rest?
Rest and relaxation are the cessation of work, exertion, or activity which could result into peace, ease, relief from disturbance, mental and emotional tranquillity and healing.
True rest is:
- Taking time away from anything that stimulates the senses
- Avoiding feelings of becoming overwhelmed with emotion
- Not allowing multiple thoughts to overlap
- Relaxation of the entire body
The benefits you may experience if you are fully rested:
- Improved memory
- Improved metabolism
- Improved mood
Tips to get more rest
- Take more time for yourself outside of work and commitments
- Don’t over commit to too many things, learn to say no when needed
- Take time to meditate
- Incorporate restorative practises into your program such as yoga
- Ensure you take time to do the things you enjoy the most in life!
By Carlie Barlow