Sleep apnea is more common than you think. About 30 million people in the US have sleep apnea, but only 6 million are diagnosed with the condition. Of course, in that list, there are some famous names too. Here are six celebrities that have openly talked about their struggles with sleep apnea.
Shaquille O’Neal – Basketball Player
Shaq participated in a sleep study at Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine, where he was diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea. Shaq’s partner mentioned that he snored loudly and occasionally stopped breathing during his sleep. Nowadays, Shaq is continuously making an effort to help spread awareness around sleep apnea. He was recently quoted saying “I thought, ‘I’m Shaq; it’s not going to happen to me. I am one of the world’s greatest athletes to ever play the game.’ Sleep apnea is very serious. I know for a fact that I stop breathing 72 times per hour. I’m 47, have six children, and I’m starting to come on the other side of the hill. The ‘D-word’ always scares me, so to prevent it, I’m trying to do better.”
Amy Poehler – Actress
Amy Poehler is a firm believer that CPAP will change your life. Poehler said, “Yeah, I don’t know about your listeners, but anybody who’s out there who has a snoring problem or sleep apnea, I’m telling you- I would love to get you into a CPAP today, is what I’m trying to say. It has completely changed my life. I’ve always been a terrible sleeper. I performed most of my career incredibly sleep-deprived. And when I — really, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. So yeah, much like my friend Bradley Cooper, who used his real dog in A Star Is Born, I used my real CPAP machine in this movie” in an interview for her movie Wine Country.
Carrie Fisher – Actress
The beloved Star Wars actress passed away in 2017 due to sleep apnea. Fisher was on tour when she fell asleep on a plane and never woke up. The sleep apnea, along with other complications, had affected her heart.
Shonda Rhimes – Producer & Screenwriter
Shonda Rhimes is the producer and screenwriter of hit shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder. She expressed that her sleep apnea was causing her exhaustion in an interview. After her treatment started, she stated that her symptoms went away.
Tony Robbins – Life Coach & Author
Tony Robbins brought up his sleep apnea diagnosis in one of his seminars. He even made a few jokes about traveling with his “sexy” CPAP machine.
Rosie O’Donnell – Comedian & Actress
Rosie O’Donnell was diagnosed with sleep apnea after she took an at-home sleep study test. She said that her sleep apnea was severe, and she felt a drastic change even after one night of treatment.
Arianna Huffington – Author & Businesswoman
Arianna Huffington has been an advocate for supporting sleep health ever since she collapsed from exhaustion in 2013. After finding out she has sleep apnea, Huffington became invested in sleep health and even wrote books to promote the importance of quality sleep.
Reggie White – Football Player
The NFL Hall of Famer passed away in 2004 due to a heart attack compounded by complications from sleep apnea.
Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health problems, so don’t delay and start your journey to better sleep, today!
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