Are there times when you wake up after an 8-hour long sleep but don’t feel well-rested at all?
This is definitely a common situation that many of us face, and there are reasons why we don’t manage to function at our best all the time! Rest, can in fact, be more than just napping or sleeping. In order for us to feel refreshed each day, let’s identify the 7 main types of rest that we need to achieve:
Undoubtedly, when it comes to rest, we first think of physical rest. Physical rest means to allow your body to slow down and be less tense, refraining from heavy physical activity before sleep. We can choose to engage in passive rest, which includes napping, or active rest where we can engage in activities such as stretching or going on leisurely walks.
Part of being human is the ability to feel and share our emotions. However, we also need to give ourselves time to recharge our emotional reserves and be okay with saying ‘no’ when we are not emotionally available to help others with their problems. We should help others when we have the capacity to do so, but we do not always have to be people-pleasers.
Similarly, people have varying levels of social battery that drain at different speeds around different kinds of people. As such, it may be good for us to identify which people make a positive impact on our social energy. We can try to surround ourselves with people who lift us up and support us, or take some time off socialising in general.
This kind of rest may be especially important for those who regularly engage in activities that require problem-solving, innovation, or brainstorming new ideas. Creative rest targets the ‘mental blocks’ that we are used to, or our seeming lack of inspiration at times. Instead of racking our brains at the desk for hours, we could benefit by going for a walk, appreciating nature, or listening to new music.
A lack of mental rest is very commonly observed! Sometimes we can go to bed with a brain that is still in overdrive; we could be thinking about what happened in the day, or just ruminating over an idea in our brains. This hinders our ability to reach a deep level of sleep as quickly and we could be rolling about in bed for hours. A simple solution would be to note down any thoughts that are ‘stuck’ in our minds and be assured that it would be tackled next day once we are well-rested.
We often turn a blind eye to the impacts of sensory stimulation on our quality of rest. However, prolonged stimulation of our sensory systems (such as bright lights from computers and phones) can disrupt our body’s circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles. When these natural bodily cycles are out of phase, we may find ourselves feeling lethargic even after 7-8 hours of sleep. Thus, we should aim to gradually minimise sensory stimulation an hour before we sleep, and also take breaks from stimulating sounds and sights during the day if we feel overwhelmed. Perhaps we could swap the phone for a good ol’ book!
While this concept may seem harder to grasp, it can actually provide you with one of the highest qualities of rest! Spiritual rest is about feeling calm and content with our current state of life. It provides us with the ability to feel a deep sense of belonging and purpose. Such rest is often achieved through mindful meditation, prayer if you are religious, and engaging in meaningful community work!
Chief trainer of The Moneyball Investors Playbook program and founder of The Joyful Investors, a financial education firm that seeks to help avid investors learn to invest better and make the journey a joyful one. I graduated with a first class honors in Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and started my auditing career in one of the Big Four. I believe that once we know how to build our wealth sustainably, we can then live our best lives ever.
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