When sleep becomes a struggle
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 dark, quiet and cool. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol late in the day or at night. Get regular physical activity — not too close to bedtime, if possible. Also, avoid stimulating light, such as from screens, and noise around bedtime.
Try not to agonize over falling asleep. If you're not nodding off within a reasonable amount of time, get up and do a quiet activity, such as reading, until you feel sleepy. Then try going back to bed.
If you think you have a sleep problem, talk to your doctor. 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.
Oct. 12, 2017
See more In-depth
- Berkowitz CD. Sleep: Normal patterns and common disorders. In: Berkowitz's Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach. 5th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2014.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2014.
- Insomnia. Womenshealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/insomnia. Accessed Sept. 11, 2017.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: Updated 2016 recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2016;138:1.