Checklist: Pregnancy Sleep-Better Secrets (That Really Work!)

So you're not exactly sleeping like a baby these days. We get it. Try some of these snooze-savvy tips to fall asleep faster -- by tonight.

___ Snag 20- to 30-minute catnaps on the weekends and if you get home from work on the early side -- but don't snooze for much more than this. Long naps can actually make you feel more tired than you were before you started.

___ Get some exercise (we know it's tough these days, but even a walk'll do). Active gals tend to sleep more soundly than couch potatoes. Just don't work out too close to bedtime (wrap it up at least two hours before) because you'll be hopped up on endorphins and may actually have a harder time dozing off.

___ Have a small, pre-bed snack. Try a handful of peanuts and a few crackers or whole-grain cereal with skim milk. These combos of carbs and tryptophan are known sleep-promoters.

___ Keep your bedroom on the cool side. Yes, even if it's winter! Feeling overheated is so common during pregnancy -- and you're never going to rest well if you're boiling. Tend to go hot-and-cold? Tuck an extra quilt at the foot of the bed to pull up if you start to feel chilly.

___ Go to bed with a clear head. To unload any worries before you turn in, keep a notebook on the night table. Much insomnia among preggo women stems from unresolved stresses -- especially with issues about the baby (labor, how you'll be as a mom, balancing work and fam, etc.).

___ Get yourself comfy! (Okay, no position may feel that cozy right about now.) But those long pregnancy pillows you always hear new moms raving about can help -- or you can also just build a little wall with a couple of regular pillows, roll onto your side, and throw a leg over one of them. Same idea.

Parents Magazine


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