4 Kinds of Rest Every Human Needs

Are you constantly tried, despite getting a full 8 hours of shut eye each night? We just might have the answer for you. 

As it turns out, sleep and rest are not the same thing. Although rest is supposed to be the product of a good night’s slumber, sleep doesn’t provide us with all of the kinds of rest we so desperately need, particularly if we are impaired by stress or mentally drained.  

In fact, we actually require four (yes, four!) entirely different types of sleep to feel fully rested. The reality? Most of us probably aren’t getting the right ones we need to restore and recharge our constantly drained batteries. So, if you’re struggling with your snooze, or you’re always tired despite getting enough shut-eye, the issue probably isn’t sleep. It’s likely a rest deficit.

Let’s break it down. 

4 Types of Rest Every Human Needs

  1. Physical Rest

Let’s face it, you’ve probably experienced the effects of physical exhaustion at least once in your lifetime. Struggling to keep your eyes open at work, a weakened immune system, frequent muscle pains or simply lacking the energy to make it through the day, these are all signs that you are in a physical rest deficit. 

The most common remedy to physical exhaustion is, you guessed it, SLEEP. So, consider hitting pause on that Netflix episode, hitting the hay 30 minutes earlier or skipping that gym class. 

Catching up on physical rest can also include activities like getting a massage, taking a hot bath, stretching, breathing exercises, or squeezing in a quick restorative yoga class to give your body more time to stretch. 

  1. Mental Rest

Are you constantly waking up feeling irritable and mentally drained? Perhaps your mind races as soon as your head hits the pillow of a night, or you find yourself reaching for something caffeinated in the morning just to make it through the day? Sound familiar? Then you’re in serious need of some mental rest. 

While it feels like the only solution is to take an 8 week European vacation, achieving mental rest can be as simple as scheduling short brain breaks throughout your day, taking a leisurely stroll to ground yourself, switching off from your screens or meditating to improve your mental stamina. 

  1. Emotional Rest

Where are you spending your emotional energy? Many of us tend to carry around emotional labour by hiding our feelings without giving them the opportunity to be expressed or exposed. Signs that you may be experiencing an emotional rest deficit include beating yourself up for small mistakes, excessive worry or anxiety, feelings of self-doubt or over apologising. 

An emotionally rested person is able to authentically open up about their feelings to a willing listener, without suppressing their emotions. Prevent future emotional overload by scheduling regular therapy sessions, or surrounding yourself with people who you can be 100% yourself around. 

  1. Social Rest

If you need emotional rest, it’s likely you need social rest, too. A social rest deficit occurs when we fail to distinguish between the relationships in our lives that fill our cup and those that deplete our energy. 

Rather than isolating yourself from others or detaching from relationships that are socially exhausting, it’s important to balance draining encounters by surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people who revive you. The best form of self-care is taking a night for yourself. Switch off your phone, run yourself a bath, fluff your pillow and REST.