How to Rest

Three Methods:Resting Your BodyResting Your MindResting When You Can't Sleep

Whether it comes easy to you or you struggle chasing it, rest is sacred to everyone. We all need rest. It’s one of the fundamental needs of the human body. Still, many people often feel overworked and exhausted. There are ways to help make the rest that you do get feel more restful, but resting isn’t only about sleeping. Remember, your mind and your body both get tired.

Method 1
Resting Your Body

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    Exercise. This might seem counter-intuitive, but exercise is proven to make your rest not only more rewarding, but actually more restful. Studies show that exercise can raise the quality of your sleep and boost your mental health too. [1] Exercise will also make resting easier, you will find that you are far less antsy when you are trying to relax. Try not to exercise six hours before bedtime, as this can contribute to poor sleep.
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    Avoid sleeping in. If you start hitting the snooze button too many times you can mess with your internal clock which causes you to start to feel tired at a certain time of the evening. Sleeping in can mess with your sleep cycle just as much as staying up really late can, so try to stick to a schedule. [2] It might be hard, but that means getting up at the same time even when the weekend rolls around.
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    Take an ice bath. Ice baths can do wonders for your body and have you feeling physically rejuvenated. [3] There's a reason why so many professional athletes use ice baths as a way to recover. All you have to do is grab a three bags of ice from a convenience store, fill the bathtub halfway with cold water, pour the ice in, and then jump in yourself. If you find yourself feeling physically worn down this technique may do the trick, especially if you are proactive about the treatment.
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    Take a warm bath! If the ice bath sounds like too much for you, warm baths can help you relax in a different way. As long as you don't stay in the hot water for too long, warm baths can help ease anxiety, soothe your skin, and even make it easier to fall asleep. Going from a warm bath to the bed can help trigger a change in temperature in your body that leads to melatonin production that will help you sleep. [4]
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    Get a massage. Massages are a great way to get your body to relax and you'll find that even a quick one hour massage can help immensely. There are lots of different types of massages, so research which one sounds most appealing to you. Swedish massages are more gentle, deep massages are slower but more forceful, and trigger point massages focus on only very specific sections of your body to release muscle tension. [5]
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    Try aromatherapy. The idea behind aromatherapy is that the essential oils found in plants can help heal and relax your body. The treatment involves inhalation of these essential oils as well as having them massaged into your skin. Researchers aren't totally sure how it works, but they think the smells from these essential oils trigger certain and influence parts of your brain that lead to relaxation. Many people have reported decreased pain, improved mood, and a general sense of relaxation.

Method 2
Resting Your Mind

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    Meditate. [6] There are many types of meditation, so finding the one that works for you is important. Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, and much more. [7] If you’re looking for a way to rest without actually sleeping, meditation is a rewarding and mindful way of achieving that goal. Rather than laying on the coaching tossing and turning trying to feel rested, practicing meditation can actively improve your quality of rest.
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    Take incremental breaks on the micro and macro level. Work breaks into your day before you start to feel exhausted or overtired. If you keep pushing yourself until you actually start to feel awful, it will make it much harder to recover and feel rested. Work breaks into your life on a daily basis, a weekly basis, a monthly basis, and a yearly basis. Everyone needs time to recoup and recharge. This can be as easy as sitting outside for a few minutes before going back to work, taking one day to yourself a week, or a relaxing vacation. [8]
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    Practice not thinking. We all have a strong habit of discursive thinking, which means one thought flows to the next and then the next. This can be exhausting, and if you practice not thinking you can give your mind a valuable break. [9] Open your senses to what is happening around you and pay attention, but don't think about them. Just experience them. When you find yourself drifting back into a line of thought, notice this and go back to paying attention to what you are experiencing.
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    Try to get an appropriate amount of sleep. Sleeping is the one time when we are really able to give our minds a rest. Although meditation can help, sleeping is absolutely necessary to feel rested. Don't sacrifice sleep for other activities because the odds are they won't benefit your well being and happiness nearly as much as those extra hours will.
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    Listen to instrumental music or ambient noise. Sounds like running water, birds chirping, and even storms can help you relax and stop stressing about whatever is going through your head. You can find playlists of these online. Other great options include gongs, chimes, or whatever instrumental music you might like. The brain always wants some sort of sensory input [10], and by supplying these sounds you might be able to let go of the more stressful input that you are supplying.

Method 3
Resting When You Can't Sleep

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    Think about rest before and after you do it. It’s not easy to go from moving full speed all day to relaxation. You have to ease into it, and thinking about how you might like to relax can be a helpful tool. Take a second to think about when you are going to be in bed, what it will be like to be in bed. Basically, try to look forward to it! This will make hopping in bed feel very rewarding and you will fall asleep much quicker.
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    Stay away from electronics when you’re trying to rest, particularly at night. A lot of electronics emit a light that tell your brain that it is daytime out, which can really mess with your sleep cycle and your ability to get some shuteye. If you’re having trouble feeling well rested, electronics might be a part of the problem. [11] Using your laptop in the living room and then leaving it out there is a great way to separate your sleeping arrangement from electronics. The same goes for your cell phone.
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    Switch up your bedtime routine. Nightly rituals can help, but establishing a healthy routine is one of the best ways to fall asleep quicker and rest more easily. Try to avoid eating a snack right before going to bed or drinking caffeinated tea. [12] Instead, set a positive daily cycle that puts you in bed at a similar time each night and without any sugar or caffeine intake too close to that time.


  • If you plan to take a vacation to relax, it might be a better idea just to take one at home. Many people are actually more stressed out after traveling somewhere.
  • Eating and drinking at the right time are very important, so keep an eye on the clock and avoid eating too close to your bedtime.
  • Don't obsess over resting! If you think about it too much, it will become another stress. Take things as they come.
  • Make sure you don't over exercise. Too much exercise will lead to exhaustion rather than relaxation. Work up a sweat without overdoing it.

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Categories: Better Sleeping