Even Celebrities Struggle with Sleep Apnea

March 29, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — healthsleeptul @ 6:00 pm
Writing the words “sleep apnea” on a clipboard

Have you been unable to get a good night’s rest lately thanks to sleep apnea? You’re far from alone. It is estimated that around 30 million people in the United States are suffering from this disorder – and among that number are quite a few famous faces. Here’s a brief look at sleep apnea as well as some of the celebrities who have it.

What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?

You have sleep apnea if your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts while you’re slumbering. Each pause in your breathing can cause your brain to briefly wake your body up for air. Since these awakenings are extremely short, you may not remember them; nevertheless, they can still interrupt the sleep cycle and prevent you from getting quality rest.

Most of the time, sleep apnea occurs when the airway is physically blocked; this is known as obstructive sleep apnea. However, there is also central sleep apnea, which can happen if the brain does not send the signals needed to control breathing while you’re asleep.

Celebrities with Sleep Apnea

Below are just a few examples of celebrities who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea:

  • Shaquille O’Neal: This famous basketball player found out that he had sleep apnea thanks to a sleep study at Harvard. Shaquille O’Neal sometimes experiences as many as 72 breathing interruptions per hour.
  • Amy Poehler: Known for her appearances on Saturday Night Live, Amy Poehler has suffered from sleep apnea throughout much of her life.
  • William Shatner:  Famed for his role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek, William Shatner uses a CPAP machine to keep his sleep apnea under control.
  • Rosie O’Donnell: Television personality Rosie O’Donnell discovered she had sleep apnea via a sleep test and was surprised at the difference that just one night of treatment made.

What Can You Do About Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is not a disorder that you want to leave untreated for too long. As soon as you notice any symptoms that indicate that you might be suffering from sleep-disordered breathing (such as loud snoring, chronic fatigue, or recurring headaches), you should arrange to have a sleep study performed. The results of the study will help determine whether or not you currently have sleep apnea.

Treating sleep apnea traditionally involves a CPAP machine. However, many patients prefer to use an oral appliance instead. A customized oral appliance can move your lower jaw forward so that your airway remains unblocked; this can be a viable option for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms.

No matter who you are, sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that needs to be taken seriously. Do you suspect that you have this disorder? Get in touch with a professional today to figure out what steps you need to take to address the problem and enjoy quality slumber again.

About the Author

Dr. Lori Hare was introduced to sleep apnea during her Spear training. This ultimately led to her offering sleep apnea treatments at her practice. Today, she helps her patients enjoy more restful nights with comfortable, personalized oral appliances. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hare at Healthy Sleep Tulsa, visit her website or call (918) 300-4325.

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