A truism taught to anesthesiologist during their training is that, “A time to sleep is a time to heal.”
When you sleep, your brain and body actually go to work. Detoxification activity increases, and regeneration and repair of the cells, organs and even DNA occur. Rest, however, incorporates more than just sleep.
The compounding effect and combination of physical, emotional, chemical and spiritual stressors of life can easily overwhelm your bodies ability to adapt to your environment. The constant activation of the sympathetic nervous system (think “fight or flight” response) depletes your adaptability and contributes to chronic disease. Rest would be considered anything that activates your parasympathetic nervous system and dampens the fight or flight response. Activities such as deep breathing, meditation, prayer, walking, massage, napping, vacationing, among others, have the potential of calming the fight or flight response and can, therefore, be considered Rest.