In TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, Saundra Dalton-Smith posed an interesting question.  She asked, “Have you ever tried to fix an ongoing lack of energy by getting more sleep — only to do so and still feel exhausted?  If that’s you, here’s the secret: Sleep and rest are not the same thing, although many of us incorrectly confuse the two”. 

Dalton-Smith went on to say that “We go through life thinking we’ve rested because we have gotten enough sleep — but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need. The result is a culture of high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired and chronically burned-out individuals. We’re suffering from a rest deficit because we don’t understand the true power of rest. Rest should equal restoration in seven key areas of your life.”

Dalton-Smith then went on to describe seven types of rest.  The first type of rest we need is physical rest, which can be passive or active. Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping, Active physical rest means restorative activities such as yoga, stretching and massages.  The second type of rest is mental rest. She suggests scheduling short breaks every two hours throughout the workday to remind you to slow down or keeping a notepad by the bed to jot down thoughts.  The third type of rest we need is sensory rest. Take a rest from the lights, computer screens, background noise and sensory overload.  Try closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day or unplugging from electronics sometimes.  The fourth type of rest is creative rest.  Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us. Allow yourself to take in nature, to delight in the arts. The fifth type of rest is social rest which is about having some alone time. The sixth type of rest is creative rest. When we have been creative, we need a break from creativity. When we have not created, this creative rest may mean cultivating opportunities to create artistically. The seventh type is spiritual rest – connecting back into a larger community, connecting beyond the physical and mental and feeling a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To do this, engage in something greater than yourself and add prayer, meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.

“As you can see, sleep alone can’t restore us to the point we feel rested. So it’s time for us to begin focusing on getting the right type of rest we need.”

Our question for you: What kind of rest are you getting and what kind of rest do you need to work on incorporating into your life?  And what might you commit to doing or not doing to give yourself the gift of “rest”?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please support us…

Be the spark that helps us shine.

Donate Here