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Pillar #3 - REST to Be Your BEST

Photo courtesy of graziedavvero


Here’s a statement that may cause some resistance.  If you lead a disciplined and well prioritized life you will never have so much to do that you can’t get the rest you need.  In other words, if you are habitually sleep deprived something else is out of sync.  As an aside, a great practical book to help you regain control of your life is “The Power of Full Engagement.”  I highly recommend it.  In the meantime, let’s talk about the surprising benefits of sleep.


  1. Better memory and skill acquisition – When you sleep your brain consolidates your memories, new skills and begins the process of hard-wiring them.  In this way, you learn and remember much more efficiently.
  2. Fewer strokes and heart disease – People who are well rested have fewer inflammatory proteins that are related to these common conditions.  Less than 6 hours a night puts you at risk.
  3. Improved athletic performance – A number of studies with track athletes, swimmers and tennis players have shown better times and improved performance with more sleep, sometimes as much as 10 hours a night for 8 weeks.
  4. Better grades – It has been unequivocally proven that sleep deprivation impairs learning.  When kids are short on sleep they respond by becoming hyperactive.
  5. Weight loss – Did you know that sleep deprived dieters lose muscle mass while rested people lose fat?  That’s a good reason to go to bed early.
  6. Less Stress – More sleep means less stress, or at least less perceived stress and better ability to handle it.
  7. Fewer car accidents – Even one night of less sleep will make you as impaired as drinking alcohol.  The number one cause of single vehicle fatalities is fatigue.
  8. Emotional stability – Well rested people are much less prone to anxiety and depression.


If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s well worth the effort to change that.  For some, that means altering priorities.  For others, it means getting to the root of sleep troubles.  There is plenty of non-drug help available for that.


As an aside, naps are healthy too but you need to keep those to less than 30 minutes.


What’s the biggest reason you don’t get enough rest?


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  1. Dr. Ryan Lees Blog – Your New Year’s Resolution Won’t Work! says
    Feb 05, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    [...] five pillars are rest, exercise, nutrition, spiritual health, and a healthy nervous system.  If you’ve got these going [...]

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