Why a rest is as good as sleeping

by Lucy Halfhead

Woman sleeping - News - Marie Claire

Active rest can be as good as sleeping to restore your body and mind, according to a new book.

Eminent U.S. sleep specialist Dr Matthew Edlund now suggests that if you can’t sleep, or simply don’t have time to get forty winks, a rest can be just as beneficial for your health.

THE GOOD SLEEP GUIDE: TIPS FOR BETTER REST

As a sleep-deprived medical student working 110-hour weeks, Dr Edlund became obsessed with sleep and the impact that a lack of it has on our health and ability to function. For years, he lectured on the vital role sleep plays in our health, from cell renewal to weight control and mental health, but suddenly he realised sleep was not the cure-all he'd thought.

Even when he helped patients get more and better sleep, sometimes their health remained poor. He discovered that rest plays a very important role in the rebuilding and rejuvenation of the body, and now believes rest is as important as sleep to our long-term health.

However, 'rest' does not mean simply plonking yourself on the sofa in front of the TV. Dr Edlund regards watching television as 'passive' rest. Although this downtime does allow for a degree of cellular renewal, the brain will still be buzzing. He says what we need is 'active' rest - this can make you more alert and effective, reduce stress levels and give you a better chance of a healthier and longer life.

For more, grab a copy of The Power Of Rest: Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough, by Dr Matthew Edlund, published by HarperOne at £16.99.



TOP TIPS TO SLEEP BETTER

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