Thursday AM August 26th,2010

A sleep expert says too many people accept fatigue as the inevitable side effect of hectic lives. But getting enough sleep is only one part of a larger spectrum of rest. Ed Mayberry reports.

The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone is Not EnoughSleep is critical to life, but rest is a much bigger process, according to the author of The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone is Not Enough. Dr. Matthew Edlund says there are four types of rest: physical, mental, social and spiritual rest.  He says we are profoundly rhythmic animals.

"We have these powerful biological clocks that control a lot of what we do.  Time rules life, so the simple answer is to just have different periods of activity and different periods of active rest through the day, so that you can make your life more musical.  And when people do that they just tend to be a heck of a lot more productive.  And between the Blackberries and emails and thinking about emails and worrying about emails, people's brains are so interrupted that they not only don't get the job done as effectively, but they also start to really screw up long-term memory."

Dr. Edlund says people tend to treat themselves like machines, and that's where they can run into trouble.  He recommends so-called "active rest" techniques.

"Probably the easiest way to physically rest is to take a walk in sunshine.  If you literally walk 20, 30 minutes, you're going to grow new brain cells.  You're going to grow them in memory areas.  You're going to increase vitamin D.  You're going to reset immunity.  You're going to increase natural killer cell levels.  You're going to help clean up your arteries.  And especially if you go into nature, you're going to improve your mood.  And that's for something as simple as taking a walk."

Dr. Edlund says the benefits of making time for rest engages the body's power to restore and renew itself, and that can lead to greater joy in work and relationships.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF News.
 

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...