Congratulations! You’re about to become a parent! This is an amazing, wonderful time that comes with lots of challenges and rewards. One of the challenges you may face is sleep deprivation.
It’s estimated that new parents lose 109 minutes of sleep each night for up to a year after having a baby. This can lead to moodiness, irritability, and a host of other problems. But if you have sleep apnea, this can be even more difficult.
So in this article, we’ll explore:
- What is sleep apnea?
- What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
- How can sleep apnea affect new parents?
- What can you do to get better sleep if you have sleep apnea?
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last for a few seconds to minutes and can happen dozens of times per night.
There are two main types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your airway becomes blocked, preventing you from taking deep breaths. OSA usually occurs in people who are overweight or have large tonsils.
Central sleep apnea (CSA): This is less common, but occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to your muscles that control breathing. CSA can be caused by certain medical conditions, such as heart failure or stroke.
Out of these two, OSA can be treated by the famous continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. If you suffer from OSA, then you may want to consider purchasing a CPAP machine with CPAP Direct.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, you may snore loudly, have pauses in your breathing, or wake up gasping for air. You may also experience fatigue during the day, moodiness, or difficulty concentrating.
Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose because it often happens during sleep. But if you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor so you can get treated.
The condition is usually diagnosed with a sleep study, which involves spending a night in a sleep lab where your breathing will be monitored.
How can sleep apnea affect new parents?
Sleep apnea can be especially difficult for new parents because it can lead to sleep deprivation. This can make it hard to care for your baby and can also put a strain on your relationship.
Sleep deprivation can cause moodiness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. It can also lead to accidents, such as falling asleep while driving. For your baby, this means they may not get the safe environment and proper nutrition they need.
Sleep apnea can also cause other medical problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. This can be worsened by the fact that new parents already have a lot of stress in their lives. Plus, some women develop heart failure after giving birth, and sleep apnea may complicate their condition.
So it’s important to get treated if you think you may have the condition.
What can you do to get better sleep if you have sleep apnea?
If you have sleep apnea, there are a few things you can do to get better sleep.
First, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or sleeping on your side. They may also prescribe a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which forces air into your lungs and keeps your airway open.
Second, you can try some home remedies to improve your sleep. This includes things like sleeping on your side, using a humidifier, and avoiding alcohol before bed.
Finally, make sure to see your doctor regularly so they can monitor your condition. With proper treatment, you can get the rest you need to care for your new baby.
How can new parents get enough sleep?
In addition to strategies aimed at sleep apnea specifically, it’s important to be aware of some general tips that can help you get enough sleep as a new parent.
For starters, create a sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. It can also help to set aside some time each day for a nap. Now, this might be practically difficult when you first have a baby, but naps can become part of your sleep schedule as your baby grows.
Another important tip is to create a relaxing bedtime routine. This can include things like reading or taking a warm bath. By doing this, you’ll signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and sleep.
Finally, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. This will create an environment that is conducive to sleep. If your baby is sleeping in your room, you might need to use a white noise machine to help drown out any noise they make.
For more ideas, check out our post on how a stay at home mom can get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea can be a difficult condition to manage, especially for new parents. But with proper treatment and some lifestyle changes, you can get the rest you need.
Meanwhile, general tips like creating a sleep schedule and making your bedroom more conducive to sleep can also help.
By following these steps, you can make sure you’re getting the sleep you need to care for your new baby.