How to embrace rest for better overall health and wellness

Courtney Rupertus
How to embrace rest for better overall health  and wellness
We live in a busy world that condones the “you can sleep when you’re dead” mentality of work hard and play hard, basically until you burn out and can’t do it anymore.
This makes it really hard to make sure your body is getting a healthy amount of rest and recovery, even though sufficient rest has tremendous benefits for our overall health and wellness.

Rest does not necessarily need to mean sleep, even though sleeping enough each night is a huge factor. Our bodies really do need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to promote immune health, healing, memory and cognition, to prevent weight gain, and to manage our stress levels.
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to the following health consequences:

Increases your risk of disease or serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
Decreases productivity and performance at work or school
Impedes cognitive processes that allow you to be alert, focused, and able to solve problems
Increases feelings of depression
Prematurely ages your skin

So how does one exactly embrace rest in a society where we pride ourselves on how busy we are?
Self-care. We are hearing this term more and more as of late, and it’s not just a passing trend. We are finally coming to the realization that we should not wait until we burnout to take a break or learn to take care of ourselves. Self-care is really a preventative action against poor health.
Getting enough rest is really step number one on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Many of us could be chronically sleep deprived and not even be aware of it and how much damage it’s really doing. If you’re only getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night, it’s just not enough.
There are some relatively easy tricks to try and sneak in some more shut-eye, and wake up feeling restored and refreshed:

Make an effort to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
Limit screen time before bed to promote a better night’s sleep
Create a bed time ritual to slow down and prepare your brain for sleep
If your schedule allows, take a 45-minute afternoon nap, or try yoga nidra (yogic sleep where one hour equals 4 hours of deep sleep for your nervous system)
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary; keep your room cool, clutter-free, dark and free from distractions like TV’s

With just a few simple tweaks to your regular routine, you could be sleeping a whole lot more!
No longer should lack of sleep be worn as a badge of honour. Instead, we’d be so much better off if we allow ourselves to practice the self-care we need and get the amount of rest required to feel good each and every day.