Get More Restful Sleep

Getting sufficient rest may seem like a simple concept, but in a world filled with work, family, and social obligations, so many of us don’t get enough rest.

Rest is as important as exercise to a healthy life. Without it, our stress levels soar, leading to accelerated heart and breathing rates and increased blood pressure. Rest is making sure we have breaks in our lives to make sure we don't collapse.

The willingness to rest is key to good health. Getting a good night’s sleep contributes to overall better quality of living, and long-term sleep deprivation has been associated with numerous medical illnesses related to the heart and lungs. Sleep can even help in maintaining a healthy weight.

We not only need sufficient periods of restful sleep at night but also small rest breaks throughout the day. “A break doesn't have to be long,” says Jonathan C. Smith, PhD, director of the Roosevelt University Stress Institute in Chicago. "Two or three minutes of sustained mental quiet after an hour of work can do wonders," he says. Swivel your chair away from the computer and just close your eyes.

In addition to ample restful sleep and daily breaks, you should try to take at least one relaxing vacation each year where you’re not rushing around or packing two weeks of sightseeing into a 7-day period. Instead, try going on a vacation where you have nothing planned other than sleeping in, reading, leisurely walks, and relaxing time with loved ones.

If you do not feel rested after a full night’s sleep, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome can be treated with improvement in rest and vitality.