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Rest is what we do to let stress subside. Rest at the end of the day and the end of the week helps us to calm down.

Doing fun things that we enjoy in our leisure time compensates us for the unpleasant stress we may experience, bringing some balance back into our world. This is particularly important if we routinely experience unpleasant levels of stress.

A good way of getting rest and reducing long-term stress is to take up an enjoyable, non-rushed sport or hobby. If you spend all your working day competing, then it can be very pleasant to be completely noncompetitive for some of your free time. Slow physical activities such as sailing or walking are suitable for this, as are others where there is little or no pressure for performance. Reading novels, watching television, or socializing can also be very restful. Find what is good for you and take some time to do it.


On average, people need seven to eight hours of sleep a night (although this can vary between as much as three - to eleven hours, depending on the person and his or her age). If we are regularly short of sleep, our concentration and effectiveness suffer, and our energy levels decline.

This diminishes our effectiveness in our daily lives and can increase stress. As our concentration wanders, we start to make mistakes. As our energy declines, we become less proactive in what we do, reducing our control over events. This means that a situation that is already difficult and stressful can worsen, needing even more sacrifice to bring it back under control.

Make sure that you get enough sleep. If you have become used to being tired all the time, you will be amazed by how sharp and energetic you feel once you start sleeping.

Tips for Improving the Quality and Quantity of Your Sleep

  • Limit caffeine late at night. Caffeine achieves its maximal effects two hours after ingestion, so if you want to be alert at 9 p.m., you should have caffeine at 7 p.m. Since it can inhibit sleep if it is consumed too close to going to bed, it is a good idea to stop all caffeine intake after 7 p.m.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Although alcohol can promote drowsiness and is in fact a depressant, it can cause a restless sleep and may actually deprive you of necessary REM sleep.
  • Avoid exercise in the evening. Exercising before bed will increase your heart rate and metabolism. Your body will need time to resume a resting heart rate, which will delay the onset of sleep, so exercise earlier in the day.
  • Eat the right foods. A glass of milk before bed really will help you become drowsy. Milk contains an enzyme called tryptophan, which induces drowsiness. Tryptophan is also found in turkey and peanuts.
  • Keep your bed for sleep. Psychologically, it is not a good idea to get into the habit of studying, reading, or watching television in bed. Keeping your bed as a place for sleep only trains your body to go to sleep when it gets there.
  • Take time to relax before bed. Stop studying or working at least 30 minutes before bed and use this time to relax instead. Thinking about your reading or writing can prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Make notes instead of worrying. Keep a paper and pencil next to your bed so you can write down thoughts that keep running through your head, such as "Things I have to do tomorrow." This will help you forget them until the morning, helping you to relax.
  • Turn the face of your clock away from your bed. Watching the time pass will only induce more anxiety and further compound the problem of not being able to fall asleep.
  • Try relaxation techniques. If you are feeling tense, try listening to peaceful music or visualizing yourself in a relaxing atmosphere. Muscle relaxation, beginning with your facial muscles and working to your toes, can help induce sleep.
  • Avoid eating late. Eating too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep and make you feel less rested the next day. If you are hungry, stick to carbohydrates, such as popcorn, bread, or crackers, which are easier for your system to digest.
  • Don’t nap during the day. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try not to nap during the day because you will throw off your body clock and make it even more challenging to sleep at night. If you are exhausted and feel you must nap, be sure to sleep for less than 30 minutes early in the day.
  • Don't smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after awakening. This will help to regulate your body's natural biological clock. Likewise, keep your bedroom dark while sleeping so the light will not interfere with your rest.
  • Check your iron level. Iron-deficient women tend to have more problems sleeping, so if your blood is iron-poor, a supplement might help your health and your ability to sleep.
  • Make sure your bed is large enough and comfortable. If you are disturbed by a restless bedmate, switch to a queen- or king-size bed. Test different types of mattresses. Try therapeutic-shaped foam pillows that cradle your neck or extra pillows that help you sleep on your side. Get comfortable cotton sheets.
  • Keep a regular schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Keeping a regular schedule will help your body expect sleep at the same time each day. Don’t oversleep to make up for a poor night’s sleep—doing that for even a couple of days can reset your body clock and make it hard for you to get to sleep at night.

    If sleep problems persist over a long period, you should contact your physician