Get-to-Sleep Strategies - for YOU!
As a new parent, one of the most precious commodities in your life is sleep - you need every precious minute you can get. So it's especially frustrating when your head finally hits your pillow and... you're still awake minutes or even hours later. You may feel exhausted, but you just can't drift off. Try these sleep strategies for new moms and dads.
- Unplug for at least an hour before you try to go to sleep. Whether you're surfing the web, checking your e-mail or texting with friends, cut off your screen time well before you hit the hay. Why? The glow from all of those screens actually wakes your brain up, making it harder for YOU to power down at the end of the night.
- Lay off the lattes after mid-afternoon. Yes, caffeine is often a new parent's best friend, helping you make it through the day. But it can also be a double-edged sword, keeping your body buzzing with unwanted, exhausted energy long after you need it. You don't need to skip your morning pick-me-up, but you should significantly limit caffeine intake after 2 or 3 in the afternoon to be sure it's not affecting your sleep.
- Keep it cool. Keeping your bedroom a little cool might make it easier to crash -- and stay sound asleep.
- Click off the TV. If you keep a TV in your bedroom, try not to watch it before you go to bed -- and definitely skip the news, crime shows or action movies. The last thing a sleepy parent needs right before bedtime is the jolt of adrenaline you'll get from watching an intense program.
- Consider your soundtrack. Do you like to fall asleep to music? Keep it quiet, subdued and ambient. You might love punk rock or dance music in your everyday life, but neither one will be your friend when you're trying to catch some zzzzs.
- Make evenings as chill as possible. This one might be easier said than done: Try to keep your end-of-the-night routine as calm as you can. If you're multitasking until the minute you slip between the sheets, your brain will keep on racing even when your body is trying to shut down. Give yourself a few well-earned minutes at the end of every night to calm down and relax -- and get some much-needed sleep!