The Art of Rest Book Summary - The Art of Rest Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Art of Rest summary

Claudia Hammond

How to Find Respite in the Modern Age

4.3 (186 ratings)
23 mins
Table of Contents

    The Art of Rest
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Stress causes damaging effects to health and well-being. Rest can help.

    You can find it at your job. You can find it at home. In fact, you can find it pretty much anywhere. Current concerns can be a source of it, as can regrets about the past and worries about the future.

    If all this riddling is stressing you out, well, that’s only appropriate – because stress is precisely what’s being referred to.

    We live in stressful times. The hubbub of the bustling world demands an always-on mentality of chronic busyness. It can feel like there’s no time to slow down. Or, if there is, there’s still that nagging, guilty feeling that rest is undeserved.

    But the consequences of not resting are potentially far more severe than a fleeting pang of guilt.

    The key message here is: Stress causes damaging effects to health and well-being. Rest can help.

    The dangers of too much stress are well documented. A 2018 study by the Mental Health Foundation found that half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress. And according to the same research, nearly three-quarters of Brits felt so stressed at some point during the year that they couldn’t cope.

    People who’re overwhelmed by stress also tend to sleep less. And this can have devastating consequences. One US study found that fatigue was responsible for 13 percent of workplace injuries. Sixteen percent of respondents also admitted to recently falling asleep at the wheel.

    As if this weren’t enough, insufficient sleep is tied to a long list of potential health problems, from hypertension and stroke to mood disorders, obesity, and colorectal cancer. So getting quality sleep is essential.

    Overtiredness – from lack of sleep or lack of rest – also affects your cognitive abilities. Exhaustion can cause memory lapses, trouble focusing, and impaired judgment. And tasks that might normally be a piece of cake can become much more difficult.

    Adults aren’t the only ones suffering from too little rest. In UK schools, the last 20 years have seen break times eliminated to make more time for extra lessons. Today, only 1 percent of English secondary schools have an afternoon break, despite evidence indicating that breaks improve pupil concentration. 

    From baby boomers to millennials to Generation Z, we could all benefit from being more rested.

    But here’s the thing: there’s only really one way to get sleep – by sleeping. Restfulness, on the other hand, can be found in many different activities while we’re awake.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Art of Rest?

    Key ideas in The Art of Rest

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Art of Rest about?

    The Art of Rest (2019) is a deep dive into the world of rest. It takes the results of the Rest Test, an online survey of over 18,000 people across 135 countries about rest, and uses those results as a starting point to examine which activities people find most restful, and why two-thirds of respondents felt they didn’t get enough rest. Drawing on scientific research, it investigates the ten most popular ways to rest, and the difficulties and proven benefits behind each restful activity.

    Best quote from The Art of Rest

    It seems that having an eclectic musical taste might help us to relax better because, after all, we have a wide range of moods too.

    —Claudia Hammond
    example alt text

    Who should read The Art of Rest?

    • Anyone interested in wellness
    • Self-care enthusiasts
    • People who enjoy spending time alone

    About the Author

    Claudia Hammond is an award-winning author and psychology lecturer. She’s also a presenter for podcasts and radio shows such as BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind and the Health Check on BBC World Service. Her other books include Mind Over Money, Time Warped, and Emotional Rollercoaster.

    Categories with The Art of Rest

    Books like The Art of Rest

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial