With the trauma of the coronavirus weighing on many individuals over the past year, it has become even more essential to back mental health resources and engage in daily activities that bolster emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Even without taking the pandemic into account, Americans generally feel strained. Around 33% of individuals report feeling stressed, and up to 73% report that anxiousness affects their mental health.
Rest is integral for improved mental health, increased memory and concentration, a stronger immune, decreased stress, enhanced mood and even boosted metabolism.
Importance of sleep, rest, and relaxation
Many people in America are sucked into the grind of working, family duties, and constant stress. More often than not, we only let ourselves rest on vacations or holidays. But it’s essential that you prioritize getting quality sleep and rest in your day-to-day routine. Sleep and rest are two different sides of the same coin, but are both essential for your physical, emotional, and mental health. What’s more, making rest a priority can enhance your sleep quality.
Rest can be hard to explain as it can be different for everybody. Rest can be described as any activity aimed at boosting mental or physical well-being. The activity can either be active, like going for a stroll or passive, like taking a couple of minutes to do a breathing exercise, both of which can assist you to recoup and recharge from mental and physical effort. This is why improved rest is associated with better mental and physical health.
Alternatively, sleep is a body-mind condition whereby people undergo sensory detachment from their environment. Sleep is an integral bodily function that affects every part of your system from immune health to cognitive function. Improved sleep can assist us to recharge, recover and reset. It’s essential for metabolism, immune health, concentration, memory, and brain function. In contrast to rest, sleep is a function the body simply can’t do without. As a matter of fact, if you experience sleep deprivation, your body will shut down and sleep regardless of what you’re doing or where you are. Invest in a new mattress, find out if a Sleep Number is worth it in this guide.
Rest and relaxation tips
If left to spiral, long-term stress can result in depression, anxiety, digestive complications, headaches, chest pain, inability to concentrate and alteration in sexual desire. Incorporating relaxation into your normal routine may appear like a trivial issue. Nevertheless, there are numerous advantages to daily relaxation and rest:
Chronic pain relief
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced anxiety and stress
Boosted cardiovascular system
Improved immune health
So, how can you best line up your rest? Look for small mannerisms you can include relaxation and rest in your day-to-day schedule. We include activities like eating, taking our children to school, going to work and doing other errands every day in our routine. Rest shouldn’t be any different. Begin by looking for a relaxing activity that is suited for you. This can either be taking a bath, reading a book, music, going for a stroll, yoga, meditating, or any combo you prefer. When lining up your day, include an appropriate time you can rest. For instance, you can bathe before going to sleep, do morning meditation or go for a stroll.
Tips for getting better sleep
Besides daily relaxation and rest, it’s advisable that adults receive 7-8 hours of sound sleep every night, however, quality is just as integral as quantity. Out of the 5 cycles of sleep, Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the most recuperative phase. You should ideally spend one-quarter of your sleep in the REM phase.
How can you ascertain you receive adequate sleep every night? Below are a couple of tips you can use.
Keep off caffeine in the evening and afternoon.
Have a constant sleep routine, even on weekends
Don’t have a day nap
Set the temperature of the thermostat to around 60 and 70 degrees at night.
One hour before bedtime, change your screen time for a soothing activity like a relaxing bath, bedtime yoga, or reading a novel.
Exercise is good for your health, but don’t work out during the evening, if you can.