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When my children were young I would kneel down beside my bed and pray.

Please, give me a really bad flu, a high fever…anything that will allow me to lay in bed and do nothing.

I never got sick. So, you guessed it, I never slept.

Why is it that mothers only rest when we’re sick or in a dark depression? What will it take to give ourselves permission to rest?

Unfortunately rest has had an image problem for a long time. Plato said, "No one when asleep is good for anything." Even Thomas Edison, who loved to take 10-minute naps, considered sleep "a deplorable regression to the primitive state of the caveman."

Today, despite science now clearly on the side of resting with studies suggesting that napping is a preprogrammed part of our natural circadian rhythms, that we need to lie down between 2pm and 5pm every day to feel good, mothers often believe they have too much to do so we don’t rest. We put our little ones down for a nap and keep going, ignoring that circadian alarm clock going off.

There’s certainly truth to a mother’s never ending to-do list.

There’s also truth to rest as a remedy for health and healing.

The question we as mothers who live busy modern lives need to confront today is this: is the art of lying down a luxury or a necessity?

Perhaps think of it this way: is rest a luxury or necessity for your child?

Who wants a child throwing temper tantrums? Not me. So instead we try to get our kids to rest. We read books on how to get our kids to take naps and get enough night time sleep.

We hire sleep consultants for our children. To help them stay regulated in their bodies, minds, in spirits.

Meanwhile, how’s mama? We’re exhausted zombies not getting enough rest and quality sleep. Then we head to our doctors and leave with antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills.

Depression and anxiety live everywhere today. One in every 10 Americans reports being depressed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. But mothers are clearly the most vulnerable to these issues.

When my children were young I had severe anxiety and thought there was no hope. Never a good napper, I decided resting wasn’t an option for me. Then one day I walked into a yoga studio, saw 25 people lying down looking blissed out, guided by the instructor’s voice, and I thought: I want what they got.

I discovered yoga nidra meditation, a guided sleep-based meditation technique that provides deep rest and relaxation.

It has even been call an “antidote for modern life.”

Slowly my nervous system began to unwind.

I got off the anti-anxiety pills.

I felt more well-rested than ever before.

Imagine that, the well-rested mother.

Time for a rest revolution mamas. Want to join me?

 

Karen

Karen Brody is the founder of Bold Tranquility, a yoga nidra meditation company helping people be good to themselves. She is also the playwright of the critically acclaimed play Birth and founder of the BOLD Method for Birth, called “a powerful and poetic union of women’s empowerment and childbirth education.”