The health benefits of rest

In today’s hyperactive world, we at ART understand that productivity is often prioritised over taking time out to recharge. But it’s important to remember the incredible impact that rest can have on our overall health and wellbeing. With up to 36% of the UK experiencing cognitive weariness, a further 32% reporting emotional exhaustion and a massive 44% reporting physical fatigue – it’s obvious that burnout and tiredness are growing issues, especially when it comes to workplace wellness. Our society tends to celebrate busy schedules and constant multitasking, but what if we said that taking a break could be one of the best things you can do for your body – and had the data to back it up? In this blog post, let’s explore the numerous health benefits of rest and why it’s essential to incorporate it into your daily routine. 

Physical Recovery 

Rest plays a crucial role in physical recovery. When we allow ourselves to rest, our bodies get the chance to repair and rejuvenate. For example, during sleep, our muscles recover from the day’s activities, our tissues are repaired, and our brains can switch off. This recovery process is vital for maintaining and even improving physical performance, and a general sense of wellbeing – which is why a lack of sleep can increase your risk for obesity, heart disease and infections. 

Immune System Support 

It’s obvious that rest is good for the body, but in particular, it serves as a natural booster for your immune system. When you’re well-rested, your body can produce more immune cells and antibodies, making it more effective at fighting off infections and illnesses. Consistent rest can help prevent you from getting sick and aid in a quicker recovery if you do fall ill. 

 Longevity 

Research has consistently and conclusively revealed that individuals who regularly get enough rest tend to live considerably longer healthier lives. In a study conducted by the American College of Cardiology, among men and women who reported having all five quality sleep measures, life expectancy was 4.7 years greater for men and 2.4 years greater for women compared to those with poorer quality sleep. Restorative sleep and relaxation can slow down the ageing process, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and contribute to a higher quality of life as you age. These findings could play a part in why wearable devices that track sleep quality are becoming so ubiquitous among various demographics.  

Stress Reduction 

Stress can take a significant toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Regular rest and relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking time off can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and help regulate blood pressure. This, in turn, lowers the risk of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses, while also boosting mental health and your overall mood. Though we all have to deal with stress at some point or another, doing so after a night of good sleep allows us to confront those difficult situations with a clearer, more positive outlook, while minimising the physical impact of those daily anxieties.  

 Mental Health 

Rest isn’t just about physical recovery; it also has a profound impact on mental health. Our ART data shows that up to 61% of survey participants struggled to be productive due to tiredness – an aspect of their mental wellbeing that impacted both their personal and professional lives.  Chronic stress and overwork can lead to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Taking time to rest allows your mind to reset and recharge, reducing stress levels and promoting mental clarity. 

Enhanced Cognitive Function 

Have you ever noticed how much more alert and focused you are after a nice nap or a relaxing vacation? This is because adequate rest is directly linked to improved cognitive function, and it is in fact vital to the brain’s long-term health and development. Getting enough restorative rest enhances memory, problem-solving skills, and creativity, making you more productive when you return to work or daily tasks. 

Improved Mood 

Lack of rest can lead to irritability, mood swings, and an overall negative outlook on life – while exacerbating preexisting physical or mental conditions at the same time, making sleep deprivation not only a nuisance but actively dangerous. On the contrary, adequate and fulfilling rest promotes the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin, which can help improve your mood and optimise your perspective of the day ahead.  

 Conclusion 

In a culture that often values constant activity and productivity, it’s crucial to recognise the undeniable health benefits of rest. Whether it’s a good night’s sleep, investing in a wellness-based wearable device or taking regular breaks throughout the day, giving your body and mind the rest they need is vital to your your overall health and wellbeing. So, don’t forget to make time for rest in your busy schedule – your body and mind will surely thank you for it in the long run. 

   

Sign up to our newsletter updates

More insights by ART

The keys to unlocking professional growth and resilience in the workplace

27th February 2024

Performance

workplace wellbeing

self-care

wellbeing

health

nature

tips and tricks

Physical Health

Mental Wellbeing

Building inner strength and emotional resilience

19th February 2024

workplace wellbeing

self-care

wellbeing

health

nature

tips and tricks

Physical Health

Mental Wellbeing

Performance

Exploring One Wellbeing: The future of self-care

19th February 2024

One Wellbeing

workplace wellbeing

self-care

christmas

mindfulness

wellbeing

Mental Wellbeing

Performance