3 Surprising Facts about Rest
Well, here we are almost a month after our last big vendor event... It's been a hectic month, filled with stress (the toddler is suuuuper clingy and that makes everyday stuff rather difficult to manage), the flu, a family emergency and now- a head cold.
I would love to brag about how we are taking all of this in stride, but the brutal truth is- I am exhausted... Hubby is exhausted... The bigs are taking it in stride, but the toddler's sleep is showing that she's not doing so well either... I've been treating my cold with all my usual homeopathic remedies, but today I caved and got some OTC cold meds because I just.don't.want.to.be.sick anymore. #balance
So. With all these things we've been juggling, I've had some time to reflect on REST... As a society, we've become so lost in the idea that rest is laziness and that there's always SOMETHING to get done. We feel judged (by ourselves or others, or both) if we carve out some down time to just slooooooow down. We find ourselves fighting the urge to get back to work when we are supposed to be resting...
But maybe if we understood WHY rest is so important, we'd be more willing to incorporate it into our routines and resist the urge to keep on truckin'....
Rest boosts your immune system. The Mayo Clinic says: “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”
Rest/sleep helps maintain emotional and mental health. Harvard Health stated: “The brain basis of a mutual relationship between sleep and mental health is not yet completely understood. But neuroimaging and neurochemistry studies suggest that a good night’s sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience. On the other hand, chronic sleep disruptions set the stage for negative thinking and emotional vulnerability.”
Rest/sleep helps us age gracefully. The Huffington Post quotes a study: “Researchers found that those who didn’t sleep well exhibited more signs of skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity. The researchers also found that those who enjoyed quality sleep were more quick to recover from stressors to the skin such as sun and environmental toxins.”
*Cue the "ugh, you're right but I don't want to admit it" eye roll*... Me too, my friend, me too...
So how can we start to incorporate one or two "tricks" to achieve better rest??? Stay tuned for a few ideas!