As I enjoy the beginning of the weekend and a Sabbath rest, I got to thinking, we all need rest. We all (or most of us) sleep daily. But are we all resting? That's a question that elicits many and varied answers. But did you know that sleep and rest are not the same thing? Yet, both are absolutely necessary for optimum wellness.
For example, guidelines recommend seven to eight hours sleep a night, but within those hours, it's important that your sleep is "restive". Here are some tips to get that restorative sleep.
1. According to the Mayo Clinic, a routine sleep schedule is important. We all have bio-rhythms. Our bodies get into a routine, good or bad. One step toward a healthy routine is to set a bed time and lie down at that set time. Even if it's not bed time, we need set times for relaxation. Evenings are the best times for this. Say you want to set your sleep time for 10 p.m., you'd lie down every night to fall asleep by 10 p.m. But wait! there are some things you can do to prepare to easily fall asleep at 10 p.m. (our example time only). Which leads to step 2, Prepare for rest.
2. Like everything else in life if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That goes for rest and sleep also. Preparing to rest at our example sleep time in step 1 can include the following tips from the Mayo Clinic:
"Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep."
3. Another factor for good rest is to have a rest day that includes reflection, relaxation and pulling away from the work routine of the other six days. Did you know that God loves us so much He made a rest day, the seventh day of the week, to pause and reflect on Him, enjoy worship, nature, fellowshipping with other believers? It's been shown through research that those who rest on the seventh day of each week enjoy a healthier mind, body and soul. Observe this saying by a famous author:
"When the mind of man is brought into communion with the mind of God, the finite with the Infinite, the effect on body and mind and soul is beyond estimate. In such communion is found the highest education. It is God’s own method of development. “Acquaint now thyself with Him” (Job 22:21), is His message to mankind."
Those are just three of many steps you can take to improve your rest and sleep. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Try these tips and enjoy a healthier you! That's our goal for you at Vive Wellness!