Sleep plays a critical role in people's physical as well as mental health and functioning


Resting, relaxing, recovering and sleeping all fall into the REST category. Let’s have a closer look at one of the components that take up or should take up a big chunk of our day.

Lack of sleep can greatly compromise one’s immune system effectiveness, which can lead to various forms of health problems.

Some experts believe that lack of sleep can make the body become resistant to insulin, a hormone which helps carry glucose from bloodstream to cells.


Other problems resulting from lack of sleep includes lack of mental clarity, memory problems, moody disposition, and higher stress levels.

When you sleep and rest, your body is given the chance to heal and repair muscles, brain tissue and nerves that was damaged or taxed during daily physical and mental work.

You might also be interested to hear that this action only happens between the hours of 9 pm and 3am! If you are looking at optimal health getting to bed between 9 and 10 pm is essential.

When the body is deprived of sleep, it is unable to rebuild and recharge itself adequately. There is an increase in irritability, while creativity, concentration, and efficiency suffer.

Sleep deprivation impairs judgement, causing values and priorities to change. Continued loss of sleep can result in exhaustion, depression, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Losing as little as three hours of sleep in a single night can cut the effectiveness of your immune system in half.

A health study found that people who regularly slept seven to eight hours each night had a lower death rate than those who slept less than that.

However, sleeping too much can also be detrimental to your health and more hours slept does not necessarily mean a healthier person!

If you consume a healthy diet of nutrient dense foods and manage stress effectively in your life, sleeping a solid 7-8 hours a night is enough for optimum health.

Sleeping too much can also be detrimental to your health!

We live in a society where we are expected to just go go go!

Rest is considered a luxury, and most people these days feel guilty at the thought of taking a minute just to do nothing.

Now, obviously we cannot just put our legs up and hope that someone else will do the work for us. Work and school are non-negotiable and if you have children, there is very little spare time. Rest becomes a foreign concept, seemingly far out of reach.

Already, some of you are raising your eyebrows to this topic and wondering how you are expected to rest! You have bills to pay! A new job to perform in! A nagging child at the knee! A million things to do! How can you ever incorporate rest?

Read on, and find out how you can incorporate rest into even the craziest lifestyle.

Taking a moment in your life to rest and recuperate could do wonders for your day-to-day life. It will recharge your ability to deal with your commitments, your relationships and your overall health and well being with MORE vigour and energy. It’s a worthwhile investment of time, because the efficiency of a well-rested mind will make every area of your life more productive and joyful.

Pushing your body into overdrive will manifest physically through tight neck and shoulders and usually digestive malfunctions such as gas, bloating, acid reflux and all the symptoms attendant on an imbalance of good and bad gut flora.


Women especially are prone to hormonal havoc in there bodies as cortisol and adrenalin gets released into the blood stream without them even knowing it. The boost of these hormones over the long term causing adrenal exhaustion and an overall hormonal imbalance that can lead to complications such as depression, weight gain, oestrogen dominance, insulin resistance (stress has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels), chronic fatigue and fertility issues. And overall, all of the above accelerates the ageing process!

And for women always on the go – we constantly adding extra chores to our already stressed out life. “I need to run for an hour today after work,” “I need to see this friend” “I have a to-do-list that is never ending,” etc.

Mentally, you are internalizing a lot of negativity and losing touch with your own body, which will result in emotional turmoil. You’ll end up with the worst version of your own self – stressed, tired, mentally slow and physically vulnerable.

Taking a moment in your life to rest and recuperate could do wonders for your day-to-day life


Try to take a moment; just a few minutes out in your day to take a few deep breaths and relax. Work 6 days rest 1 day.

Treat those rest moments like work or family commitments, i.e. as an ESSENTIAL part to life. Your body works so hard for you all day every day. You wouldn’t leave your car to run without a service or let your computer sleep for too long! Treat your body with the respect it deserves.

When you take the time to sit and rest even for a few minutes a day you are allowing your body on a cellular level to recharge itself.

Having a simple bath or shower with a few deep breaths can be enough to recharge.

Sitting quietly somewhere peaceful, contemplating NOTHING and living in the moment, does wonders to relax your mind.

What can you do to incorporate rest into your life:

● Take one full day in 7 to rest and break from you routine. Spending time with your family and God is a good way to reclaim your life.
● Daily mindful practice. Calm your mind by focusing on positive thoughts and outcomes.
● Daily breathing exercises: An easy one is 20 diaphragm breaths every night before bed time.
● Relax in a lavender oil bath or take a relaxing shower
● Enjoy your favourite healthy drink and ½ hour of reading.
● ½ hour walk outside
● Get together with a friend
● Massage – get your blood flowing
● Watch a favourite TV show (not too close to bedtime)
● Say “NO” to social arrangements when you are feeling overwhelmed and spoil yourself with “me” time.
● A note on physical activity: Science is telling us to exercise less and smarter. Give the excessive exercise a break – it tires you out needlessly and encourages the aging process.

When you take the time to sit and rest even for a few minutes a day you are allowing your body on a cellular level to recharge itself.


Giving your body time to recover between exercises, after a workout or through extended periods, will help it replenish energy and recover from strain.

If we overdo training, we put too much strain on our adrenal glands, which are a central part of our endocrine system.
Over training in this way depletes the body’s resources and leaves us hormonally imbalanced, releasing the toxic stress hormone cortisol, which enhances belly fat storage and leaves one suffering from fatigue, insomnia and musculoskeletal breakdown.

Rest During Exercise

An exercise routine will eventually deplete you physically and fatigue your muscles. Lactic acid typically builds up and creates a burning sensation when you lift a weight to complete failure.

However, resting 30 to 90 seconds between sets will allow you to work out longer at the desired level.

Tailor your breaks to the goals of the workout, such as resting longer if you’re developing strength and taking less frequent stops if you’re working on endurance.

By building these short breaks into your routine, you avoid cheating yourself out of a good workout.


Rest After Exercise

Post-exercise rest can include stretching, taking a shower, using a sauna, performing a cool down routine, receiving a massage, icing sore muscles or simply relaxing.

This period is also ideal to ensure your body is properly hydrated, including drinking water or recovery smoothies.

Eat nutrient rich foods fruits and nuts to make nutrition your ally in furthering the repair and refuelling of your body. Avoid over-training a muscle by waiting a couple of days before aggressively working it again.

Routine of Rest

A muscle naturally recovers every seven days if it’s allowed to rest. Training each muscle group once a week will create this routine, as can an intentional weekly day of rest.

Such steps will prevent overuse injuries, restore glycogen stores and prevent mental burnout. An alternative is to take an easy day where you aim for 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate during exercise to build a base, improve endurance and increase blood volume.


Your growth hormone levels that assist in muscle recovery are at their highest when you sleep.

This brings us back to sleep. Your growth hormone levels that assist in muscle recovery are at their highest when you sleep. Proper sleep patterns typically include eight or more hours of rest a night and can increase your ability to memorize information, concentrate, have a more regulated appetite and maintain healthier body functions. Rest needs will vary for each person based on diet, stress, genetics, environment, age, physiology and more.

The right quantity and quality of Rest is vital to a healthful lifestyle


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