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Mind-Body Tools for Rest & Wakefulness

January 9th, 2024

Short breathing, movement, and meditation practices can be an effective way to support our own well-being and can complement interventions directed by our doctors. 

We can use them at any point in the day to encourage a sense of balance between the lethargy of body and dullness of mind, as well as restlessness in the body and/or a racing, anxious mind. Here are some practices that we can introduce to our daily routines.

  1. Start your morning with some enlivening movement, such as a walk, mindful movements, or a yoga sequence. Check out this yoga practice from our YouTube channel, which includes relaxation techniques.
  1. Sprinkle bite-sized, simple yoga poses throughout the day. If you are anxious and want to downregulate your nervous system, try a Standing Forward Bend. If you are sleepy and looking for an energizing pose, try an Upward Salute. Both of these yoga poses are simple and easy to learn!
  1. Meditate in the evening to support sleep. Pair it with turning down artificial light and avoiding screens for a sense of relaxation and willingness to let go of the day at bedtime. There are free meditation apps to choose from to help you, such as the Insight Timer. These apps also include a relaxation practice called “Yoga Nidra”, which supports sleep.
  1. Have a night-time rescue at the ready. If you can’t sleep, try 4-7-8 breathing. Count from 1-4 as you slowly inhale through the nose, pause the breath and count from 1-7, and then count from 1-8 as you exhale completely through the mouth or nose. Repeat 4-8 times.

As you explore mind-body practices, keep checking in with yourself. You will become your own best ally in achieving well-being.

Note: This blog post was updated from a Narcolepsy Network article by Sarah Jane Shanegraw, a mindfulness and yoga teacher in the Boston area. To learn more about Sarah Jane, visit: https://www.sarahjaneshangraw.com/.

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Date Created: January 9th, 2024
Last Updated: January 10th, 2024