In today’s world where hustling is all the rage, having rest and specifically sleep is often undermined in both its value and importance.
People who do extraordinary work are people who are often ambitious, committed, and determined. These people work in very competitive fields but they often spend far fewer hours than you think would be necessary to do really good work.
They also have experience working extraordinarily hard and getting burnt out. During their burnout, they realize that it is possible to do the work that they love to do without destroying themselves.
One of the strange things about rest is that, everybody learns about rest the hard way. We all have to experience what life is like without it before we can appreciate rest.
The most important thing to do is to learn to organize your day so that you have time for rest. The modern world is not one that gives you time for leisure, for rest.
You have to plan your day so that you have time not only for focused intensive work but also time for yourself. Include time for walks, your hobbies or other things that you enjoy. Do things that help you recover your energy and give your creative mind time to work.
Benefits of getting adequate rest
1. Increased Productivity – Having breaks and getting rest can help increase productivity. This is in contrast to what many might say or believe. This is because we can structure our day to have intense periods of work, broken up with short breaks in between. This process of intense work and rest can help us achieve more because we can perform better when we have frequent change rather than one constant stream of work.
2. Improved Memory – Rest can help improve memory as it helps your brain understand, organize and consolidate information that you spent time learning. Likewise, sleep is equally beneficial for memory. During sleep short-term memories are transformed into long-term memories.
Studies have been done to test how our brains can improve our memory. Researchers tested this process by teaching people new skills and then scanning their brains after a period with or without sleep. What they found was that when people have a chance to sleep, the centers of the brain that control speed and accuracy are more active than those regions in people who haven’t slept.
3. Increased Creativity – Often, people struggle with creativity and the lack of sleep might be the reason behind this. Studies say that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep actually contributes a great deal in making people become more creative. Researchers used a Remote Associates Test (RAT) to quantify increases in creativity. They found that those who had recently awoken from REM sleep showed an increase in capacity for creativity, as opposed to those who had simply rested or had a disturbed sleep.
4. Mentally and Emotionally Healthy – Rest and sleep directly affects your mental and emotional health, which is why people who don’t get enough sleep tend to get moody and think negatively.
Neuroimaging and neurochemistry studies suggest that a good night’s sleep helps in building both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep disruptions promote negative thinking and make us emotionally vulnerable.
5. Improved Concentration – A lack of rest and sleep shuts down our focus and concentration which then impacts our productivity in a big way. When you are not well-rested, you have more trouble focusing on the task at hand, compared with someone who is well rested.
Getting enough rest is key for consolidating what you learned during the day. If you are sleep-deprived, you have a higher probability of having a poorer working memory.
Did you find my article “The Importance of Rest-Slow Down” helpful or know somebody who would? I’d really love it if you could share it.