3 weeks after the birth of Robin, I was feeling the effects of poor quality, irregular sleep. This was a very new feeling to me and I felt a shadow of my former self. I was easily irritated, my thoughts were hectic and I was only motivated to do whatever really needed to be done, I was very much in survival mode. This was a far cry from the mindset I had been cultivating through meditation, breathing and personal development over the last few years.
I have my meditation practice to thank for becoming aware of these changes quickly and deciding to lean into them rather than shy away. I felt the poor sleep was undoing so much positive work and I needed to make some quick changes.
After the 3rd week, I put myself on an experiment. For 30 days I wanted to see if the deeply restorative brain waves that Effortless Meditation and Yoga Nidra produce would help me compensate for poor sleep. I challenged myself to do one Yoga Nidra and one Effortless Meditation for 30 mins each, everyday for 30 days.
It was 4 days in when I started to notice shades of my former self returning. I was measuring energy, motivation, mood, appetite and pain levels. This all started to improve after day 4. I have kept up the practice and today is day 21. I feel really close to the best I have ever felt and it is great to feel this way even having all these new challenges in my life.
I know sleep is vital for your wellbeing and over the last few years I have been giving it priority. The poorer sleep and tired mindset meant I became anxious about getting enough sleep, feelings of being unable to be at my best or struggling the next day occupied my mind. This started making it harder to fall asleep, the last thing I wanted. When I added the two meditation sessions, I now had extra opportunities for recovery and this took the pressure and anxiety away from getting all my sleep at night. As a result I feel rested and ready each day and when that energy dips, a meditation session is only around the corner.
While meditation and Nidra are no substitute for great sleep, sleep is currently out of my control. An experiment in 2008 claimed that 1 hour of Nidra produced the same brainwaves and relaxation as 4 hours of sleep. I have certainly felt a large portion of this rejuvenation by having Nidra as part of my daily practice.