When sleep becomes a struggle

The rigors of caring for a newborn might leave you so exhausted that you could fall asleep anytime, anywhere — but that's not always the case.

If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your environment is suited for sleep. Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day or at night. Get regular physical activity — not to close to bedtime, if possible. Also, avoid stimulating light and noise around bedtime. In addition, don't agonize over falling asleep. If you're not nodding off within a reasonable amount of time, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed.

If you think you have a sleep problem, consult your health care provider. Identifying and treating any underlying conditions can help you get the rest you need. Remember, taking good care of yourself — including getting adequate sleep — will help you take the best care of your baby.

Sept. 27, 2014 See more In-depth