My son is starting to regress in terms of his sleep. At almost two years old, he’s starting to wake up again in the middle of the night similarly to how he did at four months old- the only difference is that now he can actually yell my name over and over and OVER. I’m beginning to realize that this pattern may need to be met by some tough love- NOT my favorite moments of parenting.

There is another unfortunate result from a good week of being woken up in the middle of the night. When Micah finally falls back to sleep, I find myself wide-awake and unable to relax back into my own much needed slumber! This is usually when frustration, anxiety and general mind activity sets in. Before I know it I have lost hours of sleep, as opposed to just 15 minutes. Not pretty.

The other night, I decided it was time to use the powerful tool of pranayama, or breath practice, to slow my mind down and to settle back into relaxation.

I found a comfortable position and began to take some deep breaths right into the center of my belly. Slowly, I would exhale, allowing the breath to patiently move out of my body. Within several rounds I began to relax and most importantly, my mind began to slow down. At some point, I began to drift back to sleep and next thing I knew it was the morning.

I share this little anecdote because I firmly believe that with the challenges of parenthood you have to find the small things to help you to a better place. Lack of sleep is a killer. Stress of balancing our work and family commitments can seem overwhelming. How do we help ourselves? For me, it’s the simple things. Some deep breaths can often be the difference between another sleepless night and some restful, nourishing slumber.