By Monica Le Baron / Guidely
Having a hard time trying to fall asleep?
If you’re an ambitious woman who is not getting enough sleep at night or you’re not waking up feeling rested in the morning, then this is for you! Most women think that prioritizing their sleep is a waste of time, and they feel lazy if they sleep more than 5 hours at night. If sleeping fewer hours was the answer, then people like Arianna Huffington would work all night instead of turning sleep into their secret ingredient for success.
Unfortunately, people aren’t aware that adding even a five-minute routine of mindfulness or meditation into their busy schedule can help reset their nervous system to prepare the body to fall asleep for a good night’s rest. I know what you might be saying right now; “5 minutes won’t make a difference; I tried to meditate in the past, and it didn’t work; it just got me more anxious”. But here’s the thing, your body sends you signs to slow down and rest, and if you don’t listen, your body will demand rest through chronic illness, brain fog, aches, and pains…
The good news is that you don’t need to wait to hit rock bottom to get the deep sleep you need and deserve. I’ve made it my mission to simplify sleep for ambitious women so that they can enjoy life to the fullest again and make a bigger impact in the world.
I suffered from depression, anxiety, and insomnia in the past and depended on sleep aids to help me fall asleep, but they didn’t work long-term and left me worse off. It felt like I had hit rock bottom and failed at life. I’d almost given up hope, but as a last resort, I tried Yoga Therapy. And it helped me uncover the issues that were keeping me from getting the sleep I needed.
It’s taken me a few years and training in Yoga Therapy to finally learn the tips, tricks and tactics that actually help me get better sleep consistently. I’ve turned my years of education and experience into a simple 12-week coaching program to help my clients create their own Sleep Simplified recipe. The tools I bring you today are my client’s favorites. I hope they also help you to fall asleep in minutes and support your mental health all year long.
Let’s get started!
10 minutes of Yoga Nidra = 1 hour of rest!
Yoga Nidra is the sleep gem everyone should know about! This yogic tool supports healing, relaxation, deep rest or sleep, and restoration. It’s the living proof that your body has the capacity to heal itself.
Yoga Nidra has many benefits; the ones my clients rave about are being able to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel rested and refreshed. The best part is that all you have to do is to sit or lay down in a comfortable position and listen to the yoga Nidra audio.
Ready to try it? Click HERE to download my free 10-minute audio to get the equivalent of one hour of rest in just 10 minutes. I recommend you try it during the day and have it ready to listen to at night right before you plan to fall asleep.
Calm the brain before bed:
Yogic breathing, or three-part breathing, is one of the first breathing exercises I bring to my clients because it is easy to practice, and I find that it helps my clients relax their nervous system and it calms the brain before bed. You can try this exercise in bed or sitting in a comfortable position.
To get started:
- Place your hands on your abdomen and inflate it as you inhale, as though you were inflating a balloon. Exhale and release. Repeat three times.
- Place your hands on your ribs and take three breaths, just as before.
- Place your hands on your chest and breathe in this area.
- Finally, inhale from your abdomen and bring it upward toward your chest as you continue to inhale. As you release the air, lengthen your exhalations.
- If you try this exercise again, you can even add a pause between inhaling and exhaling. (Inhale; pause at the top of the inhalation; then exhale in a long, slow manner.)
Alternatively, you can simplify your breathing meditation by practicing it as follows:
- Set your timer for one to five minutes.
- Take an inhale and count “one”, exhale and count “two”, inhale count “three”, until you get to “ten”.
- Then you start all over again.
- If you get distracted and don’t remember where you were, just start again from the beginning, and please remember to be kind to yourself. Enjoy!
Healing at your fingertips:
Mudras are hand gestures that are powerful, simple to use, portable to take everywhere and very effective. A 2018 study by the National Library of Medicine suggested that mudras may help improve the quality of sleep for patients with snoring problems as well as sleep apnea.
Adhi mudra is one of the most calming gestures, perfect for supporting a good night’s sleep. This gesture sends breath, awareness, and energy into the center of the chest, supporting us to look inside, listen, and cultivate inner silence.
You may follow these simple instructions while lying in bed, sitting for meditation, or any other time you need some grounding.
- Tuck the thumbs into the palms and curl the fingers loosely around the thumbs, forming soft fists with both hands.
- Rest the hands onto the thighs or knees, with the palms facing down.
- Relax the shoulders back and down, with the spine naturally aligned.
- Breath naturally and stay in this position for 3-5 minutes or until you naturally fall asleep.
Cautions: As this gesture can lower blood pressure, people with low blood pressure should carefully monitor the effects.
Remember that no tool is going to magically help you fall sleep if you don’t practice and use it.
I encourage you to pick one of the tools, for example, the yogic breath, and use it for the next week and see how it supports you to get deeper rest at night. Then if you like, you can add yoga Nidra or incorporate ahi mudra while you breathe in bed.
If you find this article helpful, please share it with someone who could benefit from a good night’s sleep.
Monica Le Baron – Sleep Coach and Certified Yoga Therapist.
Want customized guidance to fall asleep easier and fell more rested in the morning?
Reach out to Guide Monica Le Baron to get better quality sleep, have more energy to enjoy life, and unlock powerful self-healing.