Not all sleep is created equal, and there is a huge difference between good rest and regular sleep. Knowing the difference between the two can go a long way in making sure that you get the rest you really need.
Rest Vs. Sleep
Millions of us use rest and sleep interchangeably – and the problem with that is we can lose sight of the really well-rested sleep that we need. Without rest AND sleep, we will become tired and irritable, and it will start to show in our work and how we feel in general.
But that is not all because sleep is such a huge part of our body’s healing and making sure the immune system is at its best; the less sleep we get, the less able our system works. Not getting the right rest can increase our stress levels, crash our mood, increase weight issues like gain and loss, and leave us feeling under the weather more often.
What is the difference between rest and sleep?
Sleep is typically something that we do at night – although a nap can be great, too. Sleep is basically our bodies and brains switching off for a while, which is vital for our mental well-being and for our bodies to undergo cell repair.
Rest is something that we have to choose actively – and we should. Although more often in the modern world, the act of resting can be seen as something that is reserved for those who work extra hard.
Everyone needs rest, though, because it’s a way for our bodies to have a few minutes, and we can do something to nurture our brains, too.
Sleep can be tough to get, though; when there is a lot going on, we can feel like sleep is something that isn’t high on our list. Stressful situations, big life upheavals, and very busy lives can mean that sleep isn’t something that happens as often or for as long as it should. A combination of great sleep, sometimes with the help of natural sleep support supplements and rest, is essential.
What can we do to increase our rest?
Rest is a huge topic, and what is restful for one person – like taking a long walk or coloring in, isn’t restful for another.
So what could count as rest?
- Meditation, yoga or deep breathing
- Watching a comfortable movie
- A long bath or a warm shower
- Stepping out of a situation that makes us uncomfortable
- Walking or swimming
- Drawing, coloring, or writing
- Listening to music
What does rest bring to us that sleep doesn’t?
Even as little at 20 minutes of rest, whatever form that takes, can reduce stress levels and heart rate. And, the more we do it, the more mental clarity we have. The thing is, we need to make sure that rest is a regular thing for us. Choosing to rest will switch on our rest and digest function and switch off our fight or flight mode.
It’s not always easy to put hustle culture to the side to get the right rest though, and you might need to start slowly, so try something like music: Impact of Music on Mental and Physical Well-Being.