Blog Posts by Redbook

  • Insomnia Epidemic Among Moms: Are Pills the Answer?

    Insomniac womanInsomniac woman

    By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK

    Doors locked, lights off, kids tucked in bed (finally), and face washed: I was ready for bed. Or was I? As I snuggled into my pillows, my mind kicked into high gear. Had I changed my laundry? Was the garage door closed? Did I actually check my 4th grader's homework, or had I taken his word that he'd finished it? It wasn't long before a worry about an unanswered e-mail drove me from bed and back downstairs to spend another 20 minutes basking in the glow of my monitor. And while I was eventually able to go to sleep on my own (I'm such a big girl now, Mom!) I certainly didn't get enough hours asleep.

    Sleeplessness is rising to epidemic proportions, with 80% of mothers in a recent study saying they are "too stressed or worried" to sleep. These worries are leading to another, less discussed, trend among mothers: sleeping pills.

    Related: 25 Personal Health Secrets From Top Doctors

    The New York Times reports that last year

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  • The 8 Parenting Jobs I Wish I Could Outsource

    By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK

    baby with binky
    Anyone who thinks taking candy from a baby is the epitome of cruel hasn't tried taking their binky away. After a proper shaming from my kids' dentist, I decided that the time has come to wean my 24-month-old off her binky before she gets too attached to it. News flash: too late! The look she gave me when I took her binkies and put them in a box on a high shelf will haunt me forever. It was like that moment when the Gremlins change from adorable bug-eyed critters to fanged flesh-eating monsters. All of a sudden I wanted someone-anyone!-else to do this job. I briefly considered hiring a nanny for one week to be in charge of handling the Great Binky Depression. Then it occurred to me there are a few other parenting jobs I'd love to outsource. (Yeah, yeah I know it's good for me-I'm not really going to do it-I'm just saying it would be nice.)

    Related: Keep Your Kids Active This Winter

    1. Potty training. This is the bane of my

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  • 3 Risks to Take in Your Marriage


    Sometimes it feels like the same marriage advice has been around since Adam and Eve--and you know how that panned out. So for her book
    The Secret Lives of Wives, journalist Iris Krasnow talked to more than 200 married women to see if they follow traditional wisdom. Um, no, they said. They stay in love by taking chances like these:

    Risk #1: Call a time-out. The happiest couples Krasnow spoke with spent lots of time apart. Gail, who has been married to Stan for 48 years, told Krasnow that taking summers off from each other saved their marriage. "When the kids went to college, I spent some summers alone in Italy taking art classes," Gail said. "I came back totally energized, and the time apart made us appreciate each other more."

    Related: 26 Fun, Cheap Date Ideas

    Risk #2: Have another man in your life. "A third of the women I interviewed had close friendships with men," says Krasnow. Meeting up with platonic male friends allows us to innocently flirt and experience that rush

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  • 4 Sneaky Reasons Your Back Hurts

    By Jessica Girdwain, REDBOOK

    Ever bend down to pick up a dust bunny or whatever and then--agh!--something gets tweaked on the way up? "Back pain is one of the most common reasons women see their doctors, and a full 80 percent of people will suffer from an episode in their lifetime," says Martin Leland, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Chicago Medical Center. But you can outsmart these surprising triggers:

    Related: 10 Questions Men Are Too Scared to Ask Women

    1. YOUR CUTE FLATS: Some ballet-style flats can cause more pain than you'd imagine. Ultra-thin soles don't absorb the shock of your steps, explains Michael Hisey, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Texas Back Institute: "The discs in your lower back are filled with cushiony fluid, but walking in flimsy shoes all day long wrings them out like a sponge." Use an insert for support; try Dr. Scholl's Back Pain Relief Orthotics ($9.99;

    Related: Eat to Shrink Your Belly

    2. KIDS! If you have little

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  • The Best Love Advice. Period.

    By Nicole Yorio, REDBOOK

    What makes these little gems so good? No therapy, no Big Talks, no vow renewal ceremony. Just fun things you can sprinkle into the mix to improve your relationship instantaneously.

    1. The Best Two Things to Keep in Your Bedside Table: "Every couple needs a toy they can share-it practically guarantees orgasm," says REDBOOK columnist Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., an ob/gyn and a professor at Columbia University. She recommends a finger vibrator like the Ipo Finger Vibe from Picobong ($44, because it feels much more natural than a bulky vibrator. Hutcherson is also a big fan of lube: "Slippery sex is good sex!" she says. Proof: Women who used water or silicone-based personal lubricant reported higher ratings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction than those who didn't, according to a study from Indiana University of nearly 2,500 women.

    Related: Our Best Sex Tips Ever

    2. The Best Time of Day for O-mazing Sex: Everyone knows that men's libidos rise with the

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  • 5 Tricks to Sexy, Shiny Bouncy Hair

    By Kayleigh Donahue, REDBOOK

    Does your hair suffer from seasonal affective disorder? This pro intervention will bring lifeless strands back to a healthy, happy state.

    1. Trim ends, add bounce. If your haircut suddenly looks blah, ask your hairstylist for a graduated cut--that's pro-speak for soft, angled layers along the bottom of the hair (check out Jessica Alba's style). "They can be worked into just about any style that's chin-length or longer to give it more shape and swing," Tosler says.

    Related: 75 Most Iconic Hairstyles of All Time

    2. Do a deep treatment. Combat dryness and flyaways by using a deep conditioner or hair mask once a week (or every other week if you have fine hair). They're like regular conditioners on steroids, loaded with moisturizers and strengthening nutrients. Look for one with panthenol, which helps repair damage and boosts shine, or glycerin, a mega-nourisher that's ideal for curly or coarse hair. If you're fine-haired, pick a mask without silicone or

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  • Don't Wear Sweatshirts for TV Interviews (And Other Life Lessons)

    By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK

    I recently took the day and traveled to New York City for a taping of a segment for The Thread on Yahoo's Shine Web-broadcast thing.

    I'm from Philadelphia, and normally the only time Philadelphians are asked to be on TV (or internet TV) is when it turns out one of our neighbors is a serial killer, or you're stuck at the airport thanks to a major snow storm, or you get Tased at a baseball game. So, needless to say, this experience was completely alien to me. It turned out not to be nearly as intimidating as you might think and I learned some valuable lessons that I thought I'd share with you so that the next time you get Tased at your favorite sporting event, you're prepared to meet the press.

    Related: The 5 Outfits Guys Secretly Hope You'll Wear

    1. Don't wear sweatshirts. They are not flattering. The camera adds 10 lbs., and a sweatshirt adds another 150. My favorite comfy sweater betrayed me in front of the cameras and gave me moobs and a spare

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  • Don't Get Ripped Off on Repairs

    By Melanie Abrahams, REDBOOK

    No offense, repair guys, but we don't always trust your fuzzy math. So we asked three Ms. Fix-Its how a sister can avoid getting suckered.

    THE #1 CAR-REPAIR RIP-OFF: engine work. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says that auto shops - one of the 10 most complained-about industries last year - routinely charge customers for replacing engine parts they never even touched! BEAT THE SWINDLE: Tell your mechanic that you want to see any parts they remove and replace. "That way, they have to come clean about exactly what they did under your hood," says Bogi Lateiner, owner of 180 Degrees Automotive in Phoenix. And visit, where you can find the reasonable price range for many common fixes at shops in your city.

    Related: Learning to Live With Kid Clutter...and Imperfections

    THE #1 PLUMBING RIP-OFF: leaky pipes or faucets. Many plumbers will stick you with a higher bill claiming that the original estimate was for "labor only" and didn't include travel

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  • 8 Anti-Aging Makeup Tricks

    By Krista Bennett Demaio, REDBOOK

    With all due respect to wrinkle cream, the right foundation or lipcolor can shave off years-instantly. See for yourself with these super-fast solutions.

    1. Try a pink pucker. "Everyone looks younger with cherubic rosy lips," says makeup artist Christian McCulloch, who works with Demi Moore and Naomi Watts. If you're fair, slick on a mauve-y rose shade such as Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum, $7.49; for deeper skin tones, go with a bolder color like Berry Smoothie.

    Related: Love Can Make You Skinny

    2. Illuminate your skin with foundation.
    If your skin seems dull, try a foundation with light-reflecting particles (they're tiny, so you won't look like a showgirl). "They hide flaws and make skin look radiant," says makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. Any formula labeled illuminating, brightening, or luminous will do the trick. Try Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation, $10.49.

    3. Smooth lids with shimmer. A neutral-colored shimmery shadow is like

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  • 3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active This Winter

    By Blake Miller, REDBOOK

    The recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day for kids still applies in winter. Here's how to get them up off the couch, without yelling, "Get up off the couch!"

    1. TOYS! The more choices, the merrier. When researchers at the University at Buffalo gave kids the option of playing with one, three, or five toys that promote movement-think jump ropes, basketballs, and sleds-active time nearly doubled among those with the most choices, compared with kids who had only one. "When you increase food variety, people eat more," says lead researcher Denise Feda, Ph.D. "Same goes for physical activity and toys."

    Related: 4 Sneaky Reasons Your Back Hurts

    2. HANG WITH FIT FAMILIES. Children with friends who are active tend to have more physical activity in their lives than those with slacker buds, says a recent study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Read: Skip playdates with the neighbor whose Nintendo DS is glued to his wrist.

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