Shutting your brain off can provide some rest in certain situations, but it’s just one of the seven forms of rest that help us to function as humans.
According to physician Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Renew Your Sanity, humans need physical, mental, social, creative, emotional, spiritual, and sensory rest. “Most people, when they think about rest, they have a very one-sided approach—they lounge around, don’t do anything, and think that’s what rest is,” Dalton-Smith tells Shine. “We try it, and then when we’re still rest-deprived we think it doesn’t work.” You’re likely in need of better rest if you feel the way I have leaving the nail salon. “People say, ‘I’m tired all the time, I’m drained,’” Dalton-Smith explains of her patients. “If they’re waking up (after sleeping) and still exhausted, the issue probably isn’t sleep. It’s likely a rest deficit.” Getting the proper type of rest requires ID’ing what, exactly, you're missing. “For a lot of people, if you have a deficit in an area, you’re likely to experience specific symptoms,” Dalton-Smith says. “If your deficit is in mental rest, you might have trouble with concentration. If you have an emotional deficit, you may find you're snapping at your spouse and they haven’t done anything. If you have a sensory rest deficit, maybe you used to love 4th of July fireworks, but now you’re jumping out of your skin, or you’re chronically anxious when getting out of the car.” Once you’ve figured out the type of rest you need, it’s time to adapt your rest to fit that specific need.