Rest and Relaxation
|Article||Rest , NDNR; 2013 March|
Rest is the cessation of activity which allows us to recharge and rejuvenate ourselves. It can be either mental, physical, or both, and is essential for our overall well-being and functioning. In today’s fast-paced society, we seldom find time to relax and take a break, allowing it to affect our quality of life.
Types of Rest
Many people associate resting with sleeping, but there is a definite difference. Although both terms refer to a state of inactivity, the main difference is that sleep requires one to be in a restful state first, while rest does not require one to be sleeping. Rest can be classified into 4 main categories:
- 1.Sensory rest: This refers to the state of giving your senses a rest from the experiences of the physical world. For example, closing your eyes for 1-2 minutes after sitting in front of a computer for long hours.
- 2.Emotional rest: This type of rest is often confused with mental rest. Emotional rest refers to the state of denying oneself to be overwhelmed with the feelings of others and creating a space or balance.
- 3.Mental rest: This involves stopping the mind from thinking by creating space between one thought to another, without overlapping them.
- 4.Physical rest: This type of rest involves relaxation of the entire body.
Importance of Rest
Rest has many benefits including:
- Memory: Sleep is important in processing and committing new information to memory through a process known as memory consolidation.
- Metabolism: Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain by affecting the way our bodies store carbohydrates and altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Mood: Sleep is important to overall well-being and mood. Sleep deprivation can often cause irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness.
- Cardiovascular health: Certain sleep disorders have been found to be linked to cardiovascular health causing hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat
- Disease: Sleep deprivation affects the body’s immune function.
The following tips may be useful in helping to incorporate rest in your daily life: 
- Make time for rest: As with important appointments or meetings, make some time in your day to relax and take a break from your busy schedule. This may be especially helpful when you feel stressed or over-burdened.
- Follow a routine: This helps with transitioning from one part of the day to another and can help ensure that you set aside some time, even as short as 5 minutes, to properly unwind and rest before beginning a new task.
- Give your mind a break: Rest does not only involve physical relaxation, but mental as well. Mental exertion can also affect your body’s ability to cope or keep up and can cause you to feel overwhelmed and physically exhausted.