Why is rest such a forgotten resource?
I think, simply put, so many of us are too busy to remember to stop to smell the flowers, pet the dog, chat with the neighbor or sit with a book.
I have rediscovered rest after a very hard season a few years ago, where I had a lot on my plate and almost none of it by choice. I had to literally book time to rest in. Even if it was reading for fun while in the bath once a week, I made sure I scheduled it in with pen.
Our bodies are not designed like the Energizer Bunny would suggests, to keep going and going and going without stopping. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to: ( as outlined in: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss)
1. Unsafe driving (can be as bad as drinking and driving)
2. More accidents on the job
3. More sick days
4. Impaired cognitive thinking- a harder time problem solving, paying attention, staying alert
5. Impaired cognitive learning- not getting into healthy sleep patterns helps us lose what we may have learned the day before
6. Serious heart problems: heart attacks, heart disease, heart failure and irregular heartbeat
7. High blood pressure, stroke or diabetes can develop
8. Lower sex drive
10. Loss of collagen, leading to puffy skin and bags under your eyes, leaving your skin to look older
11. Increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone- which can lead to heart problems and diabetes
12. Too little growth hormone being released in youth, which can hinder proper development
13. Increased forgetfulness
14. Increase appetite, which can lead to:
15. Increased weight gain
16. Mood swings- being grouchy, touchy or moody
17. Live a shorter life
18. Impaired judgment. Lack of proper sleep can lead you to misread situations and make snap decisions as a result.
Our bodies actually require us to get enough rest (7-8 hours a night) in order to properly function and keep us well.
Since it is good for us, we need to make more effort to get enough sleep, and have downtime to relax.
But there is another kind of rest that you may need, which can help us relax the most. You may need to give up reminiscing about things that may have happened to you in the past.
No matter how much sleep your body may get, if your mind can’t stop going over your hurts, you can actually still end up ill, as if you weren’t getting enough sleep. Figure out how to let it go, so that it becomes a chapter in your history instead of the title of your life’s story. Allow yourself to move on, and put the hurts to rest.
Rest deep in your soul.
Off for my Sunday afternoon nap 🙂