Opinions on parenting are as diverse as can be, but on one topic there seems to be strong consensus…

Expanding your family means dismissing dependable, quality sleep.

As a new parent, surely you know how hard it can be to get a solid night of shut-eye. You finally manage to settle the baby, and if you’re lucky enough that the lil’ one stays down, you still need to tackle all of your chores and duties before you can finally fall into bed and get some rest for yourself. Then, the mind starts a-whirring… Before you know it, it’s time to get out of bed and get the trooper dressed, fed and ready to conquer the world.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, two-thirds of women suffer from insomnia at least a few nights a week, and the majority of all new parents are severely sleep deprived. Despite sleep seeming like a waste of precious hours when trying to balance starting a family with work and real life, it is essential for balanced emotional and physical health.

As a new Mom or Pop, it’s entirely likely that you are in (desperate) need of some quality shut-eye. Here are 5 sleeping tips for new parents, so that when you wake up you can be the super-parent you’re meant to be!

1) Unwind

Parenting usually entails a to-do list miles long. Actually, scratch that… This bad boy is never-ending. As soon as you feel you’re finally approaching a moment of relaxation something else always seems to pop up that you need to attend to. Try to avoid running around like a chicken with your head cut off until the last minute before you go to bed, and instead reserve the last hour (or at least half hour!) before you hit the hay for YOU, and you alone. Read, catch up with your partner, or run a hot bath. We give you permission!

2) Use the Right Tools

There will be many times that you will have to get up in the night to soothe your crying baby. Avoid turning lights on and instead use night lights. If you use a monitor, be sure to also have a white-noise machine in place. Not only will this help your baby or toddler sleep, but it can also prevent you from hearing small noises throughout the night.

3) Cut-Off Screen Time

Set a strict time at which no more tech is allowed (this means TV’s, phones, iPads…) and stick to it. Much recent research has found that exposure to light from devices and screens tampers with melatonin levels, which are essential to regulating sleep patterns. While having your baby interact with an iPad may seem like a good way to get some stimulation in before bedtime, in the end it will likely backfire. Also, try to avoid having your baby with you while you watch the evening news before putting them down. Less screen, more ZZZ’s!

4) Eat Dinner Early, and Skip the Wine

Having supper after you put your baby down can cause indigestion, leading to a restless nights sleep. Not only does this routine help you get a better slumber, but it gives a chance to have quality time with the family! Also, refrain from drinking a glass of wine before bed to calm those new Mommy or Daddy nerves. Although it may help you relax and even fall asleep faster, it’s been proven that consuming alcohol before bed can give you a more restless nights sleep.

Being a new parent is hard enough as it is, but running on low fumes it’s even harder! Implement these tips and see if they make a difference!

How as a parent do you make sure you get enough sleep? Share with the community below!

This article was written by Paige Mayer, a leading researcher and writer at ParentsWare, an online parenting community geared towards helping Parents raise children in a wired society.