There are many factors which describe the difference between rest and sleep. Rest occurs with conscious breathing. This allows the automatic nervous system to rest. The automatic nervous system belongs to the peripheral nervous system, which controls many organs and muscles in the body. Sleep is the natural state of rest for mind and body. It happens is cyclic pattern. This can be one of the reasons to describe the difference between rest and sleep. There are four stages of sleep. In the first stage of sleep there is a low-frequency, low-amplitude theta-waves. This lasts a couple of minutes before you enter into the next stage of sleep. In stage two of sleep, your brain moves into low frequency. In the third wave of sleep, you receive more high-amplitude delta waves. During stage four, the delta waves account for more of your brain activity and then they return back to stage one.

asim jalalRest is important for health and sleep is necessary factor. The only major difference is sleep occurs in a cyclic pattern and rest can be done anytime just lie down on a couch. You need both for your physical and mental activity to create energy. When the energy level goes down and wastes increase, there is tiredness and the body needs rest. When you take rest, energy is restored. Rest and sleep are dependent on each individual’s ability to relax. If an individual is tensed, he cannot be in a state of rest. Rest is taken to counteract fatigue. Fatigue gives the signal that the body needs rest.

Rest can be defined as a period of bodily inactivity. Not only does one stay quiet still and motionless while resting but their bodily functions decrease in speed as well. One can rest and not have to be asleep while doing so. For example, laying in bed and watching television is one way to define rest. The stillness of one’s body can help their bodily functions decrease in pace and they are overcome by a state of relaxation.

Sleep is a bit different from rest. When one is sleeping their body shuts down much more than when they were in a state of rest. The individual who is sleeping will go through a stage of REM sleep and four stages of non-REM sleep.

How Sleep and Rest Differ?

Sleep and rest are different in that one who is about to go to sleep will have to b in a restful state first. On the other hand, one who rests does not always have to sleep. One can rest with their eyes open whereas individuals who sleep do so with their eyes shut. In addition, an individual who is asleep will have slower bodily motions and functions than a person who is simply resting. One can rest and still be alert while one who is sleeping is without the alertness that individuals who are awake possess.

How Sleep and Rest are related?

The concepts of sleep and rest do have some points in common. They both deal with the individual being in a relaxed state. Even though one concept deals with a person in a state of unconsciousness, individuals in both states will experience the slowing down of bodily movements, motions and functions.

Disorders affecting Sleep and Rest?

There are many disorders which disrupt an individual’s states of sleep and rest. Conditions such as nightmares, bedwetting, insomnia and restless leg syndrome are some of the issues which can disturb while they are trying to sleep or rest.


It is important to note that there is a difference between a period of rest and the stage of sleep. Although both allow an individual’s body to slow down in various ways, the intensity of these periods will vary depending on whether on is sleeping or resting. In order to fully recharge the body, a period of sleep and not just rest is a necessary requirement for every individual.