Sep 112011

I previously stated that my next piece was going to be Finding Time for Exercise Part 3, but I think I might take a small detour here to share something that has been on my mind.

“How well do you practice resting?”

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like resting is something that most people should have to “practice”, but hear me out.

Many many people complain that they haven’t “had enough rest”, whether they mean in recovery from a specific event or just in general. However, when you ask these people how much rest they have had, the answers that you get regarding how much they got and how much they “need” vary WILDLY.

Naturally some variance is to be expected, but the large range implies that there is more than meets the eye to the Art of Resting.

Now sleeeeeeep…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen roughly 12 million articles on Sleep Quality that primarily regurgitate the same stuff: black out blinds, no TV before bedtime, no alcohol too close to sleep, blah blah blah. Wow, with all these articles espousing this stuff, obviously we’re all getting awesome sleep now, right?

Or not.

Let me tell you what my strongest association is with a great nights sleep: a good cigar.
I don’t think I have ever felt as rested in recent memory as having a solid sleep after a good cigar, even though the sleep in question may be only 4 hours in length! (Easter 2011, to be specific…)

Funnily enough, I have never read any article advising me to try smoking a cigar before bed… hmmmm…

What I’m getting at

It seems obvious that our state during life swings between “Primarily active” and “Primarily resting”; like a Yin Yang symbol; never truly resolving one way or the other (without Death making the resolution very final). We often attend to making our Active portion more effective, but pay only lip service to the Resting period; assuming that just “stopping or sleeping” will be enough. I ask you to challenge this assumption and look at ways you could improve your own Rest Per Minute, both in sleep and waking. Don’t stop at considering a darker bedroom and some meditation; progress is out there to be had and I am dying to hear some experiment results.

One last thing…

I will share more thoughts on this with you soon, but let me leave you with the phrase (which I may have made up) “Resting Specificity” and see what you make of it…

Would you like “R.P.M. : Discussions on Improving Rest” to be come a regular feature? Comment, share, tweet; let me know, “yea or nay?”

  2 Responses to “R.P.M. : Rest Per Minute? Rest Quality?!”

Comments (2)
  1. I end up sitting/lying a lot more during my rest periods in between sets. It feels better for me.
    Weed makes me have the best sleeps ever (although I don’t do this often) – Alcohol does not. It feels better for me.
    Walking seems to make my rest periods longer or in general any movement. Hence the sitting, lying down. It feels better for me.
    Sleeping on a full stomach (not a bloated one) helps me have better sleep. It feels better for me.

    • Cheers for the contribution, Darryl. Reliably awesome.
      For me, alcohol assists with going to sleep and doesn’t seem to interfere too badly as long as it’s something like a 1.5-2x shot of a spirit chased with about 500ml of water. Anything else and alcohol within approx 2hrs of bed seems to be more negative than positive to me.

      I like the sitting/lying thing; this kind of “waking rest” is where I think perhaps the most improvement (for many) is waiting to be discovered. I find walking is good inter-set IF I have a fresh air area to walk through and inhale deeply; otherwise leaning against a wall and closing my eyes is generally constructive. :)

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