Tips for a Better Night's Sleep

Over one-third of American moms are not sleeping well, according to a recent survey. This number is understandable, considering all of the pressures that moms face. New moms often miss out on rest because their kids aren't sleeping through the night, but catching the right amount of sleep doesn't get any easier as moms age.

"Sleep can suffer for a number of reasons," says Andrea Herman of the Better Sleep Council (BSC). "Everything from medication to stress to a bed that just isn't comfortable can cause a bad night's sleep."

An uncomfortable mattress can contribute to having a tough time falling asleep or awakening with stiff muscles. Mattresses should be checked at least twice a year to make sure they are in good condition. Take the "rest test" by laying down on the mattress to see if you have adequate room and feel comfortable.

Moms often need to simply give themselves "permission" to go to bed. Herman says, "It is important to put away to-do lists and worries at least an hour before bed time. Hard as it may be, you need to make sleep a priority." Unwinding before bed helps us prepare our mind and bodies to get a good night's sleep.

In addition, some behavioral changes might improve sleeping patterns -- exercising regularly, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine intake and stopping smoking. Any one of these changes can increase the quality of sleep. If you feel that medication is inhibiting your sleep, talk to your physician to see if there is an alternative. Herman notes, "Taking care of herself is a great way for mom to take care of the family."

For more information on getting a good night's sleep or to download a copy of the Better Sleep Guide, visit the Better Sleep Council's web site at www.bettersleep.org.

Courtesy of ARA Content