Posted by: Lisa | May 15, 2013

Rest is Fine

Yesterday while attending a training at the YMCA, I overheard a young woman talking to a senior in high school who was counting down the days to his graduation.  They discussed how busy and hectic their lives are.  She told him:  “Just wait until you get into college.  You’ll be getting about eight hours of sleep a week.”  He said, “I’m running on about three right now.”  They chuckled together.

When I hear claims like this, I wonder:

How can they do that?  I need my regular seven or eight hours of sleep every night if I want to function at my best during the day.  (Yes, sometimes I even sneak in a nap in the afternoon to get my allotted time.)  I have met people who really, genuinely need only about four or five hours of sleep a night, but my guess is that this must be rare.

Could they be lying? If so, why? Our culture glorifies busyness, so people fear being labelled as lazy or unproductive. Everything has to be a competition, so people need to show off how tough they are.

I refuse to fall for this type of thinking.  While it isn’t wise to overindulge in anything – including food and sleep – we do need to take proper care of our bodies.  When we eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and arrange our schedule to obtain the proper amount of sleep each day, we’re able to put our very best efforts into our work and studies.  Sure, sometimes we’ll have to get by with less – but we shouldn’t allow this to become a habit.  (For example, we might need to give up some TV or internet time to get our work done and go to bed earlier.)

There’s no need to feel guilty for taking care of ourselves.  Our bodies are designed with a requirement for rest – so there’s no point in pretending we’re superheroes.  We’re all just human beings doing our best.

Try this mantra:  “Rest is fine.”

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