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The importance of taking a break to aid sleep and boost productivity

The importance of taking a break has never been more prominent. And at the core of it sits the ability to reset and recharge.
The English countryside

When seeking ways to improve the quality of our sleep, it’s fundamental that we find a way to switch off. Whilst it’s a simple advice, applying it to our every day lives may prove more difficult when there are seemingly never enough hours in the day. In a book by Eve Rodsky, the New York Times bestselling author, she highlights the importance of taking a break, even for just a moment and how impactful that can be in improving our health, sleep and most interestingly, productivity.

“Creating consistent habits can lead to big moments”

Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author

There’s an undeniable power in the feeling we get when we depart from our everyday lives. Whether it be a long walk in the fresh air, a long, hot bath before bed or an afternoon indulging in reading your favourite book. There’s nothing quite like it. Everything from our mind to our body feels better, somehow lighter. Our senses sharpen and we begin to notice things that seem to have gone unnoticed before. It’s precisely this moment of rest that results in a calmer mind and a wonderful rush of motivation as we return back to our day. With a clear mind, we arrive excited again about all the ideas and projects we’ll put into motion. Our creativity peaks and ambition takes the driving seat again.

At Savoir, our practice is the antithesis of the modern world. When life speeds up, we seek ways to slow down. It’s precisely this non-conformist thinking that led us to a conversation with Dr Rebecca Robbins, where we try to understand the importance of taking a break and reset, and how it affects the quality of our sleep.


We all know that taking a break and allowing ourselves to relax can have a great impact on our overall well-being, but can you explain how taking a break affects the quality of sleep?

Whilst our productivity naturally decreases throughout the day, a fully rested mind and body tend to experience this much more gradually. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, we feel these effects more, usually in a form of an afternoon slump. This is an ideal time to reset and take a break – go for a walk, enjoy the fresh air, or take advantage of working from home and indulge in a power nap. Adding these breaks into our day instead of reaching for a caffeinated beverage will allow our minds to reset. As a result, we enhance our performance and don’t disturb our circadian rhythm, which contributes to the quality of our sleep.


Enjoy time in fresh air

Reset your mind by enjoying a walk in the fresh air


There’s a great amount of advice out there on getting a good night’s rest. But what is the simplest way we can improve the quality of our sleep?

To break down our sleep into the simplest parts, there are two ingredients: duration and consistency of rest. Ideally, aim for 7-8 hours but most importantly keep the times you fall asleep and wake up consistent. That will allow your sleep to become efficient, and your brain to better understand when it should be tired.


Is there a link between disconnecting from our day-to-day lives and enjoying a better night’s rest?

Our ability to sleep is fundamentally tied to our ability to disconnect, but it can be very hard in our hyper-connected, ‘always on’ culture. While the working-from-home movement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has been very positive in many ways, one downside is that it has brought our work into our homes. Disconnecting is harder than ever before.


How often do we need to take a break and what are the best ways to truly relax?

How we disconnect is highly personal and varies from person to person. But I like to ask people when they are most at peace and relaxed. For some, that is at a spa or on a beach, while for others, it’s when they are meditating or doing yoga. Find the practices that relax you the most and do your best to integrate them into your day. Do you love the spa? Consider using aromatherapy or massage oils on your temple or the nape of your neck before bed. Small, relaxing routines like this can go a long way to promote rest, relaxation, and balance.

“I like to ask people when they are most at peace and relaxed. For some, that is at a spa or on a beach, while for others, it’s when they are meditating or doing yoga.”


And finally, do you have any advice on how we can sustain that calm and relaxed state of mind all year long?

All year long is hard! But small daily changes can help manage our stress and promote balance in our fast-paced, ‘always on’ lives. When you discover what really relaxes you, try your best to implement it into your daily routine. When you combine quality rest time with a consistent sleeping pattern, it’ll allow you to feel at ease more often.

Discover more stories on how to improve the quality of your sleep on House of Savoir.