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The Importance of Rest

The world that we live in in so fast-paced, people run themselves ragged trying to finish all the tasks they need to do. People have a hundred things on their plates and only 24 hours in the day to accomplish them. Hustle culture glamorizes pushing hard, not sleeping, and prioritizing accomplishment, and sacrificing anything to reach your goals. Too often sleep and rest are the things that are sacrificed. We often treat sleep like a commodity that we can exchange for working to get a project done and get ahead. But the importance of rest cannot be understated. No matter how much we need to do, we cannot do them well if we do not allow our bodies heal and rest. Our bodies are wonderfully complex machines that do not work the way they are supposed to if they do not get the time to rest and recharge.


Why is Rest Important?

Often when we say the word "rest" people think of sleep. Sleep is a very important aspect of health. Everyone can attest to how good it feels to get a good night's sleep.

Sleep helps restore your body's energy, repair damaged tissues and muscles, and triggers the release of hormones that help with growth and appetite. But the quality of sleep matters. Higher sleep quality is associated with the amount of time that one spends in REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep. That phase of the sleep cycle is the most restorative. Getting at least 2 hours of REM sleep is associated with feeling refreshed, reduced stress, and helps improve mood, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, increase sexual desire, and other health benefits. However, poor sleep, or sleep deprivation can contribute to a host of health problems including increased risk of heart disease, grogginess, digestive issues, and a chronic lack of energy. The brain is unable to focus as well as it should, and the body cannot recover strength as well as it should. The benefits of good quality sleep cannot be understated.

Basic rest, even periods of quiet wakefulness which are the times when you are having restful activity or lying with your eyes closed for a few minutes, can improve mental abilities. Insufficient sleep is never good, so ensuring that you get enough quality sleep is vital. But that timing is different depending on what phase of life. The National heart, Lug, and Blood Institute recommend that preschool aged children tend to need between 11-12 hours, school aged children are recommended 10 hours, 9-10 hours for teens and 7-8 hours are recommended for adults to ensure enough sleep and adequate rest.



Sleep and Functioning

There are several ways we know that sleep specifically is important for the body to function properly. Driving tired is considered equally dangerous to driving drunk. Multiple studies have shown that sleep deprived drivers have less reaction time, are less vigilant, and have reduced hand eye coordination and ability to multitask. One study conducted by the AAA foundation for Traffic Safety found that sleeping less than 6-7 hours a knight doubled a person's risk of being involved in a crash, while sleeping less than 5 hours doubled that risk again. Most researchers agree that after 20 straight hours of being awake, the impairment of sleep deprivation becomes equal to the legal limit of drinking and driving.

Another study shows that even a little bit of rest can make a difference. A study conducted on people who work long hours found that working a 30-hour shift with 20-minute naps every six hours doubled the performance of those rested workers compared to those who did not get any sleep. Even if those people couldn't truly fall asleep in that 20 minute nap, even the act of closing their eyes and resting improved their work performance.



What do we mean by rest?

When we say rest, however, we don't just mean sleep. Yes, getting quality sleep is very important to keeping your body happy and healthy. However, when we say rest, we mean rest of both the mind and body. Rest and relaxation go hand in hand. Research has shown that having time to relax helps benefit mental and physical health. And relaxation can show up in many ways. Research has shown that enjoyable leisure activities be they creative activities such as hobbies, sports, socializing, or spending time in nature have all been shown to increase measures of health and well being.

Recreation time outside has been specifically seen to be beneficial. Studies have shown that as little as 10 min of sitting or walking in nature significantly and positively impacted defined psychological and physiological markers of mental well-being for college-aged individuals.


Rest reduces stress. So all rest, including sleep, is very important to your body.



How can Chiropractic help with Rest?

Chiropractic care of the body and nervous system helps the whole body function better. Adjustments help activate the parasympathetic side of the nervous system, the part of the nervous system that regulates rest and digestion. Studies have shown that higher parasympathetic nervous system activity is associated with higher levels of immune system and antiviral activity, which helps the body fight disease and illness better.

Chiropractic care can also help with mental health issues by addressing the physical aspects of disorders such as anxiety and depression. Spikes of high blood pressure are associated with anxiety, but studies have shown that Chiropractic care betters to the nervous system's ability to regulate and lower blood pressure. When the blood pressure is better regulated this contributes to better rest which in turn improves the functioning of the immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease, and overall helps daily life be healthier and happier.

Chiropractic care is known to help with regular aches and pains like back pain and neck pain. When the body is not in pain and it has gotten enough rest, mental health improves too. Chiropractic care helps the body function better, and can help relieve issues like chronic pain and fatigue. When the body is not in pain, sleep quality improves, and when the nervous system is functioning without interference and the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, it boosts the body's ability to regulate its sleep schedule and improve sleep quality, thus increasing the body's rest. Chiropractic care over the long term also helps reduce symptoms of long term stress, and help with overall health and wellness.



Contact us today to see if Chiropractic care can help you rest easy.


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