Sleep and rest are not the same thing. Beyond sleep, there are many types of rest that we need and that we can give to ourselves throughout the day.
In her book Sacred Rest, Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith argues that by reimagining 'rest', we have the potential to do ourselves a world of good. In her work, she highlights seven types of rest that humans need to support the mind, body and soul.
Gentle movement activities that are restorative to the body during the day include yoga, stretching, massage, and dance.
In our daily lives, we are often overstimulated and functioning on a mental rest deficit. Mental rest can be found by taking short, frequent breaks from work and screens throughout the day and doing something unproductive.
We are social beings, but we also need alone time to recharge. We can gain a sense of social rest when we take some time alone and also by surrounding ourselves with a positive and supportive community.
Emotional rest means an ability to feel safe in your authentic emotions. The safety to be unavailable, vulnerable and to express yourself is a kind of emotional rest.
Working with technology or simply living in an urban area, you might feel as though your senses are often overwhelmed. Sensory rest is crucial time spent away from screens, bright lights, noise and overstimulation.
As human beings, we all need to experience belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. Aside from meditation, we can find spiritual rest by being more involved in our communities (working on something bigger than ourselves) or by experiencing a sense of wonder or awe in nature.