Checklist: Smart Ways For New Parents To Sleep Better

As any bleary-eyed mother (or mother-to-be) knows, just because you lie down does not guarantee you will get a good night's sleep, or even fall asleep. Avoid these sleep pitfalls.

___ Stop surfing the web or checking email an hour before you plan to go to bed--the bright light from the computer can wake up your brain and make it harder to doze off.

___ Keep the end of your evenings calm instead of multitasking like a madwoman. When you finally do fall into bed your mind will still be racing--not exactly the relaxed state you want.

___ Cut down on your caffeine intake. If you're really sensitive to it, don't drink any soda, coffee or tea from the 2 p.m. or so on.

___ Lower the temp in your bedroom. A coolish space is most conducive to sound sleep.

___ Turn off the boob tube in your bedroom. If you do watch for a bit before bed, skip the news, scary movies, and crime programs. They may get your adrenaline pumping, making it harder to fall asleep afterwards.

___ If you listen to tunes at night, opt for soft, gentle or slow melodies rather than fast-paced beats.

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