The Power of Rest

Why Sleep Alone Is Not Enough
by Matthew Edlund | harpercollins © 2011 · 288 pages

Rest. You getting enough? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. Leading medical doctor, Matthew Edlund shows us how sleep isn't enough. We need to cultivate "active rest" into our day-to-day lives. In this Note, we'll look at how to integrate active Mental + Physical + Social + Spiritual rest while working out our brain, breathing and optimizing our lives.

In order to fully know the peak experiences people describe as their best memories, indeed just to heal and survive illness, people need to learn how to rest.
Matthew Edlund

“I used to think rest was a waste of time. I’m a doctor—why rest when you can be seeing patients, teaching, and writing research papers? It took me a long time to figure out that most medical people and far more of the general public have gotten the basic facts wrong. Rest is not a waste of time. It is a biological need—a process for restoration and rebuilding. Rest is not useless but a major pathway to our renewal, our survival. The process of aging need not mean the inevitable decline of a youthful healthy human machine into a rusting, decayed hulk. Rather, we should see aging as a script in which the body experiences, learns, rebuilds, and regrows (including our brains) throughout our lives. We re-create, renew, and reorganize ourselves through the process of rest.”

~ Matthew Edlund, M.D., from The Power of Rest


As the title of this great book suggests, it’s more powerful than we may think.

Dr. Matthew Edlund, M.D. is known as The Rest Doctor (check him out at He’s the Director of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota, Florida (sounds awesome) and he’s an award-winning expert on rest, body clocks, and sleep.

This book is packed with Big Ideas on how we can optimize our lives by focusing more on the power of rest—not just passive forms of rest like sleep, but “active rest” techniques to restore ourselves physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually.

As The (Good) Rest Doctor tells us: “Rest is powerful. Effective rest can help you succeed by making you alert, whole, productive, and happy. It can also provide meaning, making you and your life both more interesting and more complex. With this book, you can learn the rudiments of rest, techniques that you can take with you anywhere. With a little practice, you can then apply these techniques to work, love, leisure, and spirit. It’s time to learn how to rest, to build inner and external strength, to feel healthy and alive, to obtain greater control of your life and consciousness, to get more time to do what you really want to do—and to do more with less.”

Let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Matthew Edlund

The Rest Doctor