Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Power of Rest

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Review - The Power of Rest

About the Book
Award-winning sleep, rest, and body clock expert Dr. Matthew Edlund has identified an ongoing health crisis.  After years of clinical research and consultations with hundreds of patients, he discovered that many people aren’t just sleep-deprived, they’re rest-deprived. The result?  Our hearts, minds, and central nervous systems are overloaded, our health is suffering, and we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be truly refreshed.  Dr. Edlund’s new book THE POWER OF REST: Why Sleep Alone is Not Enough (HarperOne, Hardcover, $24.99, June 8, 2010) provides a comprehensive step-by-step solution to rebuilding our natural ability to rest

Too many people today accept sluggishness and fatigue as the inevitable side effects of hectic lives, and believe that there isn’t much they can do about it besides squeezing in another hour or two of sleep.  Getting enough sleep is important (and Dr. Edlund provides plenty of expert advice on sleeping well) but it’s only one part of a much larger spectrum of rest.  The benefits of making time for rest have proven extraordinary: when people engage the body’s power to restore and renew itself, they look younger, heal faster, lose weight more effectively, and experience greater joy in their work and their relationships. 

Dr. Edlund has isolated the unique benefits of four crucial types of active rest to create a groundbreaking program that fits easily into even the busiest schedules.  The four types of rest include:

·         Physical Rest: Sleep is one form of passive physical rest, but engaging in active forms of physical rest is also crucial.  Dr. Edlund’s 30-day plan provides a range of techniques for active physical rest, including breathing exercises, timed naps, baths, and yoga poses.

·         Mental Rest: While we need to rest the body, it’s equally important to learn to focus and concentrate the mind.  Mental rest involves reconfiguring one’s mind to quickly and easily obtain a sense of relaxed control, and Dr. Edlund has developed exercises—including self-hypnosis, relaxation, and visualization—designed to help maximize this process.

·         Social Rest: Humans are hardwired to be extremely social—social connectedness is built into the structure of our brains.  Studies show that people with strong social connections live longer, cope with stress better, and are healthier.  The Power of Rest explains how to incorporate key social rest techniques into your life.

·         Spiritual Rest: Certain spiritual practices can provide a profound sense of rest, inner peace, connection, and self-healing, and scientific studies have demonstrated that meditation can actually change the structure of the brain over time.  Dr. Edlund provides exercises involving meditation, prayer and contemplation that bring renewal and a sense of well-being.

We wouldn’t expect our bodies to function without food and, Dr. Edlund argues, we shouldn’t expect to feel fully fueled and alert without rest. This step-by-step 30-day plan introduces one simple, no-cost technique each day—many of which can be accomplished in just a minute or two.  Readers will learn to make room in their lives for this basic biological need, and how to quickly create a healthier, more successful, more vital and relaxed life.

About the author:
Matthew Edlund, M. D., M.O.H., is an award-winning expert on rest, body clocks, and sleep. Dr. Edlund’s work had been featured in O, the Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Shape, Redbook, Real Simple, More,, and hundreds of other magazines, newspapers and websites.  He founded the West Coast Regional Sleep Disorders Center, and now runs both the Center for Circadian Medicine and the Gulf Coast Sleep Institute in Sarasota, Florida.

My Take on the Book
As a parent I think most parents have come to realize that sleep is a luxury. For me, I have never needed a lot of sleep and my body typically does not let me sleep long into the morning. Though this is a the case for me, this book brought forward interesting concepts. The book suggests many easy to implement strategies that can help to change your hectic and most of the time sleep-deprived life.

Dr. Edlund seems to make sleep fun and tries to make the reader see this as well. He also spends a lot of time helping the reader to understand the importance of sleep on one's body as well as overall functioning and productivity, which I have even seen in my own life.
I plan to try some of the techniques, and who knows, I too may be finding new ways to sneak in a rest here or never know!
If this book sounds like one you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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