Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I’m a very high energy person, and it sometimes can be hard to wind down to sleep. I find doing yoga and meditation at night help to “switch” my brain off. This is especially helpful for people who have a frenetic energy, who feel “jagged.” Yoga and meditation help me to make the transition to sleep.
I do 20 minutes to ½ hour of meditation about three times a week and yoga one to two times a week.
Even though meditation has been around for more than 2,000 years, it’s amazing how few people know how to do it. I simply sit quietly in a comfortable place. I let my eyes and body relax. Sometimes I choose a word—a mantra—to focus on, and other times I merely focus on my breathing.
For me, meditating is like taking a wash towel and ringing it out. It helps me to bring focus into my day.
—Nancy Rappaport, MD, a mother of 22- and 18-year-old daughters and a 20-year-old son, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, an attending child and adolescent psychiatrist in the Cambridge, MA, public schools, and the author of The Behavior Code
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: If I don’t get a good night sleep, the next day won’t be what it should be! I take melatonin occasionally to help me to sleep better. I don’t take a lot: I break a 3-milligram tablet in half. I find that helps me to fall asleep better.
—Pam D’Amato, MD, a mom of seven- and four-year-old daughters and an interventional pain management physician with University Spine Center in Wayne, NJ