It’s that time of year when we all think about setting our intentions for the year ahead. Wouldn’t it be great if we could commit to just one life changing habit that would naturally help all our other goals fall into place? Well, I believe that one habit is meditation. If meditation were a pill, we would all take it. It has no downside, only an upside. There are numerous benefits, such as better sleep, stress management, slowing down the aging process and increased energy and productivity – just to name a few. The countless benefits of meditation have been well documented by many credible sources, including Harvard Medical School, UCLA, NYT’s and CNN.

I am so passionate about meditation that I became a meditation teacher. Meditation has changed my life in so many positive ways, far beyond the general benefits mentioned above.  It has made me a more compassionate person, not just with myself, but with others. Meditation has also helped me tremendously throughout my own journey of being a first time mom. In my experience, one of the most challenging aspects of being a new mom is the sleep deprivation.

Before I became a mother, I would think nothing of sleeping eight hours a night during the week and nine on the weekends – with a few lazy midday naps with my husband in between. Looking back on those days, I realize what a luxury that was. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but the lack of sleep can take its toll. I quickly found that meditation helped me to better cope with the day to day. It allowed me to stop and take a breath when I needed it, plus it helped me get by during those first few months of sleepless nights. (Not to mention my irrational fears that made me question whether or not I was doing everything right!) I truly believe that the practice of meditation helped me tune out all the outside noise, listen to my inner voice and go with my maternal instincts.

One meditation I did almost every day was “Yoga Nidra.” This particular meditation is practiced lying down in savasana. Studies show that 20-30 minutes of practicing “Yoga Nidra” is the equivalent to four hours of sleep! This was a lifesaver in getting me through those difficult days and nights. After practicing I would feel calm, refreshed, alert and ready to take care of myself, my son and my family. To this day, I practice “Yoga Nidra” whenever I need it. In fact, it has become part of my company Vie’s annual membership subscription as one of five foundational guided meditations.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed and need more sleep, a meditation practice can help you feel better almost immediately. Plus, the long-term benefits will positively change your life in so many ways.