Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software Are There Any Celebrities with Sleep Apnea?Sleep Source

Are There Any Celebrities with Sleep Apnea?

Posted On June 1, 2014
June 01, 2014

When faced with illnesses that disrupt our lives, it is helpful to know that you aren’t alone. Especially when well-known public figures or celebrities also suffer from these self-same conditions and illnesses. It would be helpful to identify with an individual in the limelight going through what you are facing day in and day out. Think Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox and Parkinson’s Disease. Halle Berry and type 2 diabetes. Montel Williams and multiple sclerosis. But what if you have sleep apnea? Are there any celebrities with sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea, is defined as stoppage in breathing throughout the night. Whether from a partial or complete obstruction, the airway is blocked. The incidence can be as little as five to over 30 times an hour. And breathing pauses can last a few seconds to as long as minutes.

Unfortunately, it is estimated that 80 percent of people with sleep apnea are not diagnosed, or if diagnosed, avoid treatment. When not properly treated, sleep apnea places the person at a high risk for life-threatening illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

After a sleep study has confirmed the diagnosis, usually continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is prescribed. Unfortunately, while CPAP does help decrease symptoms of sleep apnea, such as daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, fatigue and snoring, compliance of the treatment is poor. The CPAP is a bulky mask that the sleep apnea sufferer wears while he or she sleeps to open up the airway. Do celebrities really wear their masks if they have sleep apnea? Have they sought out alternative treatments? Only these individuals and their physicians know for sure. Not knowing whether or not a celebrity is compliant or not should not deter you from following your doctor’s recommendations.

Celebrities with Sleep Apnea

From sports to Hollywood to politics, the following celebrities have publicly announced that they have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Roseanne Barr

Comedienne and TV sitcom star Roseanne Barr shared that her snoring kept her husband from sleeping soundly. Her sleep study did confirm she had sleep apnea.

Jerry Garcia

Lead singer for the iconic Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia had sleep apnea. Of course, this rock legend passed away in 1995 from a heart attack that his physicians believed was due in part to his sleep apnea.

Randy Jackson

Well-known former judge on “American Idol” Randy Jackson was diagnosed with both type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. Both conditions were significantly improved after his gastric bypass surgery.

Quincy Jones

World-renowned jazz musician and composer with 27 Grammy Awards to his name Quincy Jones is yet another star who has sleep apnea.

Larry the Cable Guy (real name

Daniel Lawrence Whitney)

Although his real name is Daniel Lawrence Whitney, Larry the Cable Guy has made himself quite the name as the affable redneck that everyone loves. While promoting his movie “Tooth Fairy 2,” this comedic star admitted that he has sleep apnea.

Rosie O’Donnell

Back in 2007, actress, comic and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell shared live on “The View” that she had sleep apnea. According to her sleep study, she woke up over 200 times during the night with pauses of as high as 40 seconds.

Shaquille O’Neal

After prompting by his girlfriend, former NBA center for 19 seasons Shaquille O’Neal was tested for sleep apnea at Harvard University’s Sleep Lab. The results of his study showed that he had moderate obstructive sleep apnea. This basketball star used his celebrity status to help raise awareness of the disease my working with Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine to create an educational video.

Rick Perry

Governor of Texas since 2000, Rick Perry was diagnosed with sleep apnea during his presidential run. His physicians believed that his sleep apnea went undetected for years.

Regis Philbin

Remember the primetime game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,” hosted by Regis Philbin? His wife, Joy, would probably have coughed up a cool million to not listen to her husband snore every night. After much encouragement, the Emmy-award winning talk show host got tested and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Reggie White

Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White passed in 2004. He was only 43 years of age. Although the cause of his death was a heart attack, it is theorized as being attributed to his sleep apnea diagnosis. In fact, his wife helped to launch the Reggie White Sleep Disorders Research & Education Foundation in his memory and to raise awareness of this condition.

If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.

About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
  • Make Sleep a Priority in 2016

    Dec 30, 2015
    You say you want to bring in the New Year with a positive life change that will benefit you and your health. One of the most beneficial resolutions to your overall health is changing your sleep habits. For years you have heard that sleep is important, but have you really executed a plan to make […]

    Living With Panic Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Dec 17, 2015
    The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Keeping the top down on your convertible is a foregone conclusion. But wait, your palms become clammy, your heart starts to race, you can’t quite catch your breath and you have a sense of unexplainable danger. What is wrong? You might have just experienced a panic […]

    Somniphobia: Can People be Too Scared to Sleep?

    Nov 04, 2015
    You are addicted. You admit it. You can’t seem to get enough of the hit TV shows American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. After binge watching for 6 hours, you have finally unlocked somniphobia. But somniphobia isn’t just about getting to the end of a new series. Somniphobia is something real to people who […]

    Incidence of Gout Double for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

    Oct 29, 2015
    A recent study out of the UK has shown risk of developing gout was up to 60% higher among patients with sleep apnea versus individuals without sleep apnea. Gout is a complex form of arthritis that causes the body to make an excess of uric acid causing pain at the base of the joints. Sleep […]
  • About Us

    Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America was founded for the sole purpose of providing superior sleep solutions for our patients to improve their overall quality of life.

    We seek to gain a thorough understanding of each patient’s sleep disorder and individual medical needs in order to provide the best care and treatment solutions available to effectively treat their sleep condition.
  • What We Do

    We offer a unique and comprehensive form of sleep apnea treatment that effectively seeks to cure sleep apnea over the course of an average of 6 treatments.

    Having the ability to significantly impact our patients’ lives for the better through improved sleep and minimizing health risks is something that we take great pride in. Please take a look at what our patients are saying and view some of our Sleep Apnea success stories.
  • Contact Us


    Email (required)


Copyright © 2013 Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America | Website | Powered by AHP