1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bedtime.
- Exercise regularly during the morning or afternoon.
- Establish a relaxing routine before bedtime.
2. Maintain Sleep Schedules for All Family Members
- Establish a quiet time in the evening when the lights are dimmed and loud music is not permitted.
- Shut off the television, computer and telephone close to bedtime.
- Be consistent, even on weekends and vacations. Avoid staying up later or sleeping in for two or more consecutive nights.
- If you have a bed partner who snores, encourage him/her to be evaluated by a sleep expert.
3. Take Naps
- Enlist the services of a "parent's helper" -- and possibly a pair of earplugs -- while you catch a few extra zzzs.
- If you work outside the home, speak to your employer about permission and accommodations to nap -- perhaps even setting up a "nap room" to help improve productivity and safety.
- Avoid late naps in the afternoon or evening -- especially if you typically have trouble going to sleep at night.
4. Share the Burde
- Consider carpooling or using mass transit instead of driving to work. (You might also be able to catch a "commuter catnap"!)
5. Stay Stimulated When Necessary
- If you are feeling sleepy but a nap is out of the question, do something different or more invigorating (but avoid driving or other potentially hazardous activities).