Sunday, March 20, 2011

3 Reasons Why You Should Rest

Sleeping in is good for your health.
(Photo © istockphoto/Yuri Arcurs)

It’s a cold, gray and rainy day here in the Bay Area, which makes me just want to stay in bed snuggled up in a soft, cozy blanket all afternoon. But instead I’m trying to get a head start on my work week. I often wonder why I feel guilty about taking a load off. It’s kind of ironic since as a wellness expert, that’s what I tell everyone they should be doing. So, if like me, you need to justify why rest is actually necessary before you can feel good about taking a slow day, here are three good reasons to laze around:

1. Too much stress now could lead to dementia later on. According to a recent research study released by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, psychological stress in middle age can lead to dementia later in life, mainly in the form of Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Sleeping today can actually make you more creative tomorrow. In an article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, researchers found that the brain is not only consolidating memories during sleep, it is also reorganizing them—a process that is believed to enhance our ability to come up with creative, new ideas during waking hours.

3. A daytime nap may lead to better cardiovascular health. Ryan Brindle and Sarah Conklin, PhD, from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania conducted an experiment to examine the effects of daytime sleep on cardiovascular recovery. The results: Sleeping between 45 and 60 minutes during the day appears to facilitate blood pressure recovery after a mental stress task in the laboratory.

Related Links:
University of Gothenburg (2010, August 19). Stress in middle age could contribute to late-life dementia.
Association for Psychological Science (2010, December 17). Sleep makes your memories stronger, and helps with creativity.
Springer Science+Business Media (2011, February 28). Napping may help with blood pressure management.


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