Tired New Zealanders told to get more rest

Man enjoying his rest (file)
Man enjoying his rest (file)

Half-way through the school holidays, and heading into a weekend, you may find yourself dreaming of a rest.

A new survey reveals more than two-thirds of us would like more down-time, and for most of us that means time alone.

Over 18,000 people from 134 different countries took part in the online Rest Test, led by Durham University researchers.

When questioned, 68 percent said they'd like more rest, and the activities people found most restful often included time alone.

However, whether it's zoning out with a book or tuning in to nature, in today's busy world rest can be hard to find.

Dr Tom Mulholland says many of us don't get the balance right.

"My belief is that we need work, rest and play divided - one third, one third, one third. So a third of your time working, a third of your time resting and the rest of the time playing," says Dr Mulholland.

"We're like an electric car, so we're designed to rest, so we need stop and recharge our batteries, just plug in, and if we don't we recharge our batteries we burn out, simple as that."

So what happens if we don't get enough rest?

"We just burn through serotonin and dopamine so we get irritable, so irritability is a real early sign that we're not getting enough rest in and that can lead into stress, depression, anxiety."

However you choose to do it, the message is most of us could do with getting a bit more rest.