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How Rest Helps Us Work Less and Produce More

By Sandy Schroeder

Sometimes life feels like a spinning cycle of work, play and rest. Either we are working, out playing/working at home, or resting. That’s how Mondays roll forward into Sundays.

But the way we rest can be more crucial, according to Dr. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. Pang says the brain works while we sleep, and rest can help us work smarter. His book, Rest: Why You Get More Done, When You Work Less, explains how rest rejuvenates the brain.

Rest is like singing; we all know how to sing, but we may need to practice to get the best results.

Put Rest to Work for You

Fine tune rest and work with these tips from

Get an early start – If it works for you, get up an hour early, and set up a work routine to propel forward. Focus on your most demanding projects and use fresh energy to find better answers.

Use walking’s creative powers – Walking may help you create more. The brain operates with a lighter focus, roaming about to create ideas when we walk.

“Walking may not be as beneficial for focused, analytical thinking; but it stimulates creativity and may aid you in solving problems encountered on the job, particularly if you walk when problems are still fresh in your mind,” Pang says.

Recharge with naps – A brief 20-minute nap may be more effective than caffeine to increase alertness and restore creative energy.  If it fits your workday, it may stimulate the brain to work better.  If it helps you skip afternoon coffee breaks, it may help you sleep better at night.

Balance work flow – Sometimes we power ahead, working long hours to get the job done, but there may be penalties with burnout, stress, and loss of productivity. Stopping when you have energy left makes it easier to restart. Stopping before you add the last sentence keeps the idea alive in the back of your mind, inviting you to return.

Understand sleep’s role – Sleep is the body’s repair shop, where we store energy, fix damaged cells, discard toxins, and process the day’s events. We may also work on issues that have been on our minds. When we do not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep, the body and the brain feel the loss.

As our 24/7 culture continues to spin, research tells us rest is a necessary counterbalance that can make us more effective. Pang calls rest “a playground for the creative mind and a springboard for new ideas.”

When we let rest calm us and keep us organized, we may accomplish more as we work less.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Coppell, Tex.

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