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Does Rest Help When You Are Short on Sleep?

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

Last night was another bad night of sleep and you are tired. People tell you to take a nap, but you are one of those people who never sleeps during the day. A nap just isn’t an option for you. But you realize that you’ll have an hour in the afternoon where you can simply lie down and rest. That should help, right? Not necessarily.

Certainly, lying quietly isn’t likely to hurt you (with one caveat I’ll come back to in a minute), but is it actually helping you? Can rest be a substitute for sleep? Not according to research. Researchers were curious about this same question and figured out a way to test the idea. They replaced the volunteers’ sleep with anesthesia for a night. The following night, the volunteers were allowed to sleep normally. Researchers monitored the brain waves of the volunteers that night and found that the volunteers showed a kind of sleep waves that follow sleep deprivation. Their brains clearly did not experience the anesthetized “resting” as a substitute for sleep.

Remember the caveat I said I’d mention? Well, here it is: if you decide to do your resting in your bed, you are likely to make your sleep problems worse. If you do decide to rest, do it somewhere other than where you normally want to sleep. Assuming you sleep in your bed, do your resting on a couch or a recliner instead, for example.

If you are frequently having trouble getting a good night of sleep and would like to learn how I can help you change that in just a few sessions, get in touch with me:

By phone/text (816) 226-4678

By email: alicia.polk@polklarson.com

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