Rest & Sleep: Essential for Health

By Lawrence Wilson, MD


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Millions of people throughout the world do not get enough rest and sleep.  In fact, they falsely believe that rest and sleep are a waste of time and energy.  This is the opposite of the truth and may be the most ignored cause of disease next to bad nutrition.

This article discusses the great need for sleep, the many benefits of sleep, the harm that occurs when one does not get enough rest and sleep, and finally how to sleep better.  Let us examine why each person today needs much more rest and sleep than in past generations.



Most People Are Exhausted.  Fatigue is epidemic.  Studies by American, British and Australian Traffic Safety Agencies report that 20%-30% of traffic fatalities involve a fatigued driver.  If you need coffee, soda pop, chocolate, anger, worry or other stimulants to get going in the morning or keep going, you are not getting enough sleep.

Prolonged fatigue contributes to nutritional imbalances that may not be so easily undone by just sleeping.  However, rest and sleep are still important steps as part of a total program including nutritional balancing and sauna therapy to recover from chronic fatigue syndrome and many other conditions with fatigue as one of the symptoms. 

All Healing Requires Extra Sleep.  During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic nervous system, associated with spending energy and tearing down the body.  This is balanced by the parasympathetic system, associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues.  This is equally important and takes place when one is resting.  One may call it maintenance or repair time.

If you skimp on regenerative activity by not sleeping enough, physical and mental performance suffers, as well as one’s work and relationships.  Illness develops because there is not enough time to repair damaged tissues in the body.  If you have a chronic illness, you definitely need extra rest and sleep.

Cleansing and Rebuilding the Body Require Energy.  Elimination of toxins, an issue for everyone, occurs primarily at night while the body rests.  The removal process requires energy and one’s energy is finite.  If you use most or all of your energy running around all day, you will not detoxify well.

 Most Emotional Processing Occurs During Sleep.  Often, during the day, thought processes are not completed due to interruptions or other distractions.  The mind completes these processes during sleep.  You may notice that problems that seemed difficult are solvable or even solved after a good night’s rest.  This can be due to increased energy, but is also due to actual problem-solving that goes on during sleep.

In fact, many types of emotional development and processing of one’s past take place during the sleep state in many people.  Thus, not giving yourself enough ‘down time’ is harming yourself in an emotional way as well as a physical one.

Spiritual development and sleep.  Resting is not just about physical and emotional processing.  An area that is not often discussed is spiritual development.  By this I mean a specific progression of development of the subtle human bodies, such as the etheric body or etheric double, as it is sometimes called.

It is called this because it is shaped somewhat like the human body, but a little larger so it looks like a double body to someone who has the ability to see it in the human aura or energy field.  It is also called theetheric double because, when developed fully, it is large and consists of two human bodies, one right side up and the other upside down.

This type of development is of the greatest import today to assure a long, healthy physical life and for the development of wisdom and knowledge as well.  It is spoken of in some Oriental texts, but not mentioned much in most Western spiritual books that often focus more on religious aspects rather than energetic aspects of what may be called development of the higher human faculties.

This particular development requires a tremendous amount of extra rest and sleep.  I cannot overstate this fact.  This is the reason that many so-called “spiritually oriented” types of people need extra rest all the time.  This is also the reason that many teenagers, especially women, need a lot of rest.  They are developing their etheric bodies, although I know this sounds esoteric, and the rest is part of the process.  They often need a nap during the day plus 10 hours or more of sleep, at times.  At other times, they may not need quite this much, and it can vary during the process.

I encourage all readers to pay attention to this need, not to just try to avoid it with stimulants such as caffeine and sugar, and to find jobs and activities in which they can take time in the afternoon, perhaps, to lay down and rest, even if it is just for 15 minutes or so.  State laws in America require a 15-minute break in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Although this is hardly enough time, it is a start and anyone in any job should, if possible, take advantage of this rule.

In short, there is no substitute for sleep.   Also, sleep is anything but a waste of time.  It is an essential part of each person’s daily life that can also be a rich time of not only rejuvenation, but of insights and other healing processes.



Sleeping actually involves at least four aspects of human physiology.  These are: 

1. Rest.  The body simply rests.  This is extremely important for a number of hours each day.  Otherwise, the body literally can wear out sooner.  Rest is the time the body begins to regenerate itself.

2. Muscle relaxation.  Although this is similar to rest, it is listed separately because it is somewhat different.  The muscles require a special type of rest that is somewhat unique.  Just putting your feet up on the couch or in bed is excellent to relax most of the musculature of the body, another necessary aspect of rest and sleep.

3. Dreaming and rebuilding the body.  This aspect of rest requires that the conscious mind be put aside for a time.  Also, the best time for this process is the hours before midnight.  The other processes are not time-dependent.  The reasons appear to be complex, but the deep rebuilding of the body seems to occur the most in the hours before midnight to 1 AM.  This is why going to bed as early as is conveniently possible, and no later than 9 or 9:30 PM is excellent.  It is also why if you travel, stay on the local time zone with your sleeping habits.  Do not stay up until midnight just because you are accustomed to a different time zone, even for a few days.

4. Processing and learning.  This is divided into many aspects that are more esoteric.  Most people travel out of the physical body in what is called the finer body.  They literally learn study, teach, heal, assist others and may have other experiences during the sleep state.



Dreaming is another very important activity that only occurs during the sleep state.  Dreaming is not a solitary phenomenon, meaning that it can have many different meanings.  Even higher animals such as cats and dogs engage in dreaming.

Dreams can represent processing of one’s past or even just daily events.  In most people, dreams are often also processing other phenomena such as information from television shows and radio programs that the mind needs to mull over, as it were, and make more sense of.  Dreams can also foretell the future, to a degree, as many people know.  Dreams can also have to do with people and events far away, as many people also know.

Even unpleasant dreams, nightmares, premonitions and other phenomena may be important, at times, and should not be stopped by not resting or with the use of drugs.  Of course, some dreams are due to just overeating or some other physical health condition.  However, dreaming is a fascinating subject that could fill an entire article of this size.

If one does not sleep enough, or does not sleep well for some reason, the dreaming process is interrupted or prevented, and this always impacts one’s health and one’s spiritual and mental development.  It is another reason why adequate rest and sleep are so critical for everyone, particularly the young, who are often the ones who do not “have the time;” or are “too busy” to stop and rest often.



During periods of deep physical rest or sleep, the astral body usually separates from the physical body. This is also an essential process if one is to progress spiritually.  It is a complex phenomenon that is beyond the scope of this article.

Also during the sleep state, everyone works with guides, angels or whatever you prefer to call them, on healing and learning.  While this can occur at any time, it is easiest during the sleep state because waking consciousness often gets in the way of the healing work that needs to take place.  Most people are far more receptive to this help while in the resting state.  Only deep meditation, which is also most restful, compares to sleep in this regard.




Nutritional Balancing is an advanced healing program designed to precisely assess and monitor the biochemistry of the body, creating a tailored Wholistic program for each individual to create long-term health and restore the body and mind to its full potential.

This deep healing approach also removes dozens of toxic metals, hundreds of toxic chemicals, numerous latent and chronic infections, and many hidden mental and emotional blockages through gentle detoxification in the body’s own natural order. Learn more about this and many other benefits of Nutritional Balancing Science.

Part 2: Rest & Sleep

By Lawrence Wilson, MD


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You may envy those who seem to have lots of energy, yet get by on little sleep.  Let go of this envy. Those individuals are either:

  • Burning themselves out.  Many of them don’t know it, or they know it and don’t care, or they care but do not know what to do about it.
  • Using stimulants.  Their energy is false.  One of these days it will catch up with them and they will become ill. Stimulants are not just items such as sugar, caffeine or amphetamines.  They  include factors such as too much worry, fears, anger and other emotional factors that definitely stimulate the body.
  • Victims of illness. Many who do not sleep much are either very toxic with copper and other metals, or have various other physical imbalances such as biounavailable or deficient levels of calcium that prevent them from resting adequately.  They have gotten used to this, and can function quite well.  However, it is not normal and it is certainly not healthful in the least.  They are not really rested when they wake up in the morning.  In fact, they are just driven, often by toxins in the body or other imbalances.
  • They are energy vampires.  This is unfortunately common as well.   Many people consciously or unconsciously have learned to steal energy from others by upsetting them in some way.  They may talk too loudly, act intimidating or confusing, or they use some other method to draw energy fro other to themselves.

Some energy vampires recognize the trait, even if they don’t know what to do about it.  Many others do not even realize what they are doing.  Unfortunately, for example, many parents do this to their children, stealing the innocence of the child.  This is sadly a reason why many young people unconsciously want to have a child or several children.

If you are feel exhausted around someone, it is important to protect yourself by removing yourself or reducing interaction with such people.  Having your energy drained  leads to serious illnesses like cancer. This is a challenge for many people.



Here are guidelines for the best sleeping experience.  The hours before midnight are far more valuable for rejuvenation than those after midnight.  Some say they are two or three times more useful for healing the body and mind.  The hours after midnight are less conducive because the energy of the earth has shifted and the new day is starting.  This brings a crescendo of solar energy that can tend to cause lighter sleep in many people.

When To Go To Sleep.  Thus, going to bed early is the first rule of ideal sleep.  I recommend going to bed between eight and nine PM every night.

While this may seem early, it is the way primitive mankind slept before there was electricity, and it is one of the reasons that primitive peoples often enjoyed and continue to enjoy superb health.  It is also the reason these people are more intuitive and aware, as adequate rest and sleep are essential for these subtle mental faculties.

How Long To Sleep.  If one goes to bed early, less sleep time is required.  Eight or nine hours of actual sleep is usually enough.  However:

1. Many people have a ‘sleep deficit’.  That is, they will require much more rest at first, often for several years or more, when they begin to renew their bodies using nutritional balancing, meditation, saunas and other methods recommended at this website.  Thus, many people, especially those who are ill, may require 12 hours daily for two or three years.  Most of that can come from resting at night, while napping is also excellent to make up for a sleep deficit.

2. This means 8 to 9 hours of actual sleep, not lying in bed falling asleep or lounging in the morning as you wake up.  In order to obtain a full 8 or 9 hours of sleep, most people need to set aside another half hour to an hour in bed for this reason.

3. For best health, do not make exceptions to this rule for holidays, weekend parties or anything else.  If one must party late at night, then at least sleep in the next day, although going to bed early each night is a key to having excellent energy.


Children and Teens.  Children and especially adolescents need 11 hours or more of rest, though a little of that could be rest time in bed but not strictly all sleep.  Again, there should be no exceptions for sleepovers, camping trips, late movies or other distractions.  I realize this is difficult, so do your best as a parent to guide children with this.  If a child is up late one night, be sure he or she can sleep in and that the next night the child goes to bed very early.

College-Age Students.  College students are often the most sleep-deprived, due to many activities, parties, outings, late classes or other distractions at this age.  Young people also have more natural or hormonal activity in most instances, so they “get away with it”, as they say.  This is a lie.  They just develop problems and illnesses as a result.

Sleeping Positions.  The best position for sleeping is on your back without a pillow.  If you prefer a pillow, it should be soft enough so that your spine remains fairly straight.  Also, the pillow should not cut off your air supply in any way.

Also, the pillow case needs to be cleaned often, as otherwise you will be breathing lots of dust, bacteria from your scalp and other debris all night.

If possible, sleep with your legs and arms straight and slightly out to the sides.  This prevents you from crossing your own energy field with your arms or legs.

Head toward the pole.  Another suggestion, if possible, is that if you live in the northern hemisphere, sleep with your head to the north, more or less, and legs facing to the south or west if possible.  If you live in the southern hemisphere, it is reversed with your head facing south.  If you live very near the equator, this is less important.  This has to do with very subtle energies that some people can feel.  There is a flow of magnetic energy from the poles to the equator of the earth.  When you align with it, it helps release negative energies that everyone picks up during the day from other people, from computers, televisions and other stray electromagnetic fields.  It does even more than this, however.

Mattresses. Avoid sleeping on very soft mattresses that distort your posture.  Air beds are about the best.  They include the Sleep Number bed or a less costly competitor, the ComfortAire mattress.  Memory foam mattresses are good, too, if the smell is not too bad.  Other mattresses may be fine if they are in good shape and not too soft or too hard.  I do not recommend water beds, although some people like them.  I don’t think it is ideal to be sleeping on water.

Watch out for toxic mattresses like Tempur-pedic and the copies.  These can outgas for months. They bother some people much more than others.

Sheets. Silk or plain cotton sheets may be a little better than synthetic sheets.  Use a Dacron pillow if you are allergic to feathers and foam rubber.  Keep pillows clean, as they can accumulate dust mites, germs and more.  Place in the washing machine or replace when dirty.



I hear many excuses why more sleep is impossible.  Here are some common ones:

1) I don’t have time.  If this is really the case, then it is time to restructure your life.  Schedule naps, nap with your children after lunch or even after all meals, get help so that you are freed up, take on fewer projects or otherwise restructure.
It may mean you become a more relaxed  person and your house is not as clean.  Perhaps you will not bake as many cakes or volunteer at church.  This needs to be acceptable and understood by family members.
In our Western culture, to simply put your feet up or lie down and rest in the afternoon is difficult for many people.  This  is particularly true if you identify yourself with what you do, instead of with whom you are. Resting more, you may feel guilty, lazy or unproductive.   In fact, whom you are is much more important than what you do.
Although perhaps it is not obvious, you affect others much more by whom you are than by what you do.  For example, if you work for peace but are full of anxiety and tension inside, you will radiate the vibration of stress and anxiety, the opposite of peace.  If you are good to others, but not good to yourself by resting enough, you radiate the non-respectful vibration, although this can be very subtle.

In fact, many people remain busy and active because they are afraid or uncomfortable resting and relaxing.  One may busy oneself with the problems of others, because in a resting state, one is faced with one’s own life, and one’s own concerns.   A key to learning to rest more is to be at peace and fully accepting and loving of yourself.  Otherwise, resting more may bring up vague feelings of anxiety or even panicky feelings.

In order to slow down, know that these feelings may come up and do not let them get in the way of your rest periods.  Also, let go of any guilt or feelings of laziness associated with resting and live within your sleep limits.

2) Sleep is a waste of time.  I hope I have explained why this is not so.  Plenty of sleep is an absolute necessity.

3) I could sleep for days and sleeping more doesn’t make me feel better, so why bother. Most likely your body chemistry is out of balance .  Correction might be simple, but usually requires a nutritional balancing program.  Ninety percent of city dwellers  have exhausted adrenal glands and often sluggish thyroid glands, which makes one very tired.  The answer is not to just take hormones or sleeping pills, but to begin correcting body chemistry.  However, not sleeping will only make the problem worse.  If a sleeping pill is needed for a while, it is okay.

4) I’ll miss my favorite television programs, movies, parties, etc.  It is possible to leave parties earlier, schedule parties and movies earlier and record late television programs.

5) I can’t go to sleep earlier.  If I do, I’ll be up at 3 AM.  This is a common excuse.   The section below regarding sleep difficulties may be helpful.  Many people are stimulated by toxic substances in the body that prevent them from relaxing thoroughly.  Blood sugar imbalances may also prevent one from sleeping through the night, for example.

6) I have loads of energy.  Occasionally, this is the case.  A few people are healthy enough to get along on less sleep.  Most often, however, one is out of touch, stimulated by toxic metals in the body or using stimulants that irritate the nervous system.  It only appears one has loads of energy.  If this is the case, you will eventually become exhausted.   You might as well slow down now, before complete burnout occurs.

7) I just love staying up.  Many people are night owls.  They enjoy the peaceful feeling at night when activities slow down.  It is a pleasure for many sensitive souls.  Sometimes creative work is easier to do at night.

However, depriving yourself of sleep is not the answer.  You may need to live in a quieter environment so you can experience  peace during the day.  Otherwise, arrange your schedule so that if you stay up, you can sleep in the morning or nap so you get enough sleep.  Ideally, go to bed very early and get up early when the world is still peaceful and quiet to experience the peace you need.




Nutritional Balancing is an advanced healing program designed to precisely assess and monitor the biochemistry of the body, creating a tailored Wholistic program for each individual to create long-term health and restore the body and mind to its full potential.

This deep healing approach also removes dozens of toxic metals, hundreds of toxic chemicals, numerous latent and chronic infections, and many hidden mental and emotional blockages through gentle detoxification in the body’s own natural order. Learn more about this and many other benefits of Nutritional Balancing Science.