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210: The 7 Types of Rest with Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, Author of Sacred Rest

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Exhaustion is one of the leading causes of performance decline and eventual burnout among people today. Most people don’t realize how many facets of rest they’re missing out on and it’s keeping them depleted. Today’s guest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, says that rest is not about the cessation of activity, but about doing restorative activities – things that help fill you up and make you able to do your best work.

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a physician, speaker, and author of her book Sacred Rest. She is an international resource on wellness expertise and has been featured in media outlets such as MSNBC, Prevention, and the Dr. Oz Show to name a few.

In this episode, Saundra shares her personal experience with burnout and what made her start researching the 7 stages of rest. She explores each type in depth, and shares ideas of how to restore them. 

Saundra discusses how important boundaries are in staying rested and the necessity of getting comfortable saying no. Lastly, she leaves wellness professionals with a tangible tip for helping employees avoid exhaustion.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [7:19] Saundra’s personal experience with burnout
  • [12:30] Sleep and rest are not the same thing
  • [14:26] The 7 different types of rest
  • [22:26] Tips for handling back to back meetings
  • [25:59] The different rest needs of introverts and extroverts
  • [27:43] Creative rest
  • [32:36] Social rest
  • [35:42] Spiritual and emotional rest
  • [39:44] The importance of boundary setting in getting rest
  • [47:14] Saundra’s tangible tip
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician near Birmingham, Alabama. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Georgia and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has practiced clinical medicine for over 20 years. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan teaching courses on health, nutrition, and disease progression.

Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection, and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors’ Secrets. She has been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC, Prevention, Fast Company, Psychology Today, and as a guest on Dr. Oz show. She is the author of Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist).

Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness and live your best life. Over 100,000 people have discovered their personal rest deficits using her free assessment at

She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person. Learn more about Dr. Saundra at and

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