Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The four types of rest

- Ritche T. Salgado, PTRP -

Did it ever happen to you waking up late in the morning yet feeling like you’ve never rested at all? In a 2007 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 68 percent of the respondents claim that they only get a good night’s sleep a few nights a month or even less, with 40 percent taking 30 minutes or more to fall asleep.

And then there are also those who have enough time to sleep, or was at least able to sleep for an adequate period of time yet still feel that they’ve never rested at all?

First we must realize that sleep is different from rest. We sleep in order for us to rest, but resting doesn’t require us to be in the state of sleep. Sometimes we experience sleeping to be not restful at all, and then sometimes, even with lack of sleep, we surprisingly feel so much rested.

BK Meera Nagananda, an expert on the study of the conscious mind and the regional head of the Brahma Kumaris for Southeast Asia, classifies rest into four: sensory rest, emotional rest, mental rest and physical rest.

Sensory rest is the state of denying one’s senses the experience of the physical world for a few minutes or so. An example for this is when you close your eyes after hours of being in front of a computer.

BK Meera advised that for one to be able to take full advantage of his senses he must, from time to time, rest it for a minute or two.

Another kind of rest is emotional rest. “Many times we get other people’s emotions and take it as our own,” she said. “This creates in us a kind of emotional overwork. We must create an emotional balance (in ourselves).”

Mental rest on the other hand is to stop one’s mind from thinking. “We mind other people’s business too much, this makes us tired,” she explained.

BK Meera said that for one to be able to achieve mental rest he must stop thinking waste about others or the self, the past or the future. “Don’t think too much. Give your mind a rest. Create space between one thought to the other. Don’t overlap thoughts,” she advised.

Of the four types of rest, what would take up most of our time, and what most of us would have a hard time getting out of or getting into, is physical rest. BK Meera said that physical rest entails the relaxation of the body. She calls this type of rest the “dead body posture”.

“You lie like a dead body. This is the bodiless stage where there is dead silence and you experience freedom,” she explained. However, she said, that one need not be on the state of sleep to experience this kind of rest.

She advised that in order to experience a good night’s sleep, even for just two hours, one must practice these four types of rest during the day. She also said that being careless with one’s discipline and established rules could also contribute in the lack of adequate rest.

“Sometimes we do not create awareness on the importance of time,” she added, explaining that we must sleep early in order for us to be able to wake up early.

Lastly, BK Meera, shared that knowing one’s body would help in getting a good night’s rest. “There are people who eat late but still they can sleep well, but there are also those who can’t sleep when they are full. Also, some people can sleep well even if they drink coffee before sleeping, while others can’t,” she elaborated.

So, still wondering how to get that most coveted good night’s sleep? Take a minute or two to rest. It’s not too much, but it will surely make a difference when you tuck yourself in bed at night.

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