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Famous People With Sleep Apnea

May 3, 2022


Sleep apnea affects about 26% of adults aged 30 to 70. With that many people having the same issue, it only makes sense that many famous people would also suffer from sleep apnea. 

Here are five famous people that suffer from sleep apnea: 

Amy Poehler

Image: Boston Magazine

Saturday Night Live alumnus Amy Poehler likens sleep deprivation after children “to what it must feel like to walk on the moon and cry the whole time because you had heard that the moon was supposed to be great but in truth it totally sucks.” (Amy Poehler) At 40, the comedian visited a sleep center and was diagnosed with 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.” Amy said in an interview with npr.org

Carrie Fischer

Image: Hello Magazine

Carrie Fischer may be the celebrity that brought the most focus to sleep apnea after dying from its complications in 2016. The Star Wars actress 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 Lynn Rhimes

Image: Elite Daily

Shonda Rhimes may be known as a woman with a Midas touch, but a relentless work schedule drove her to eat poorly and put on weight, as she recounts in her book, “Year of Yes.” She was diagnosed with sleep apnea around that time. After a year of taking better care of herself, she lost weight and started paying more attention to herself. 

Reggie White

Image: Sports Illustrated

The NFL Hall of Famer, well known as the “Minister of Defense,” died on December 26, 2004, at age 43 from a cardiac arrhythmia, which many believe was partly caused by his untreated sleep apnea. A CPAP was on the table beside his bed when he died and had not been used. 

After his death, Reggie’s wife started the Reggie White Foundation in the hopes of helping others with sleep apnea. 

Regis Philbin


Regis Philbin announced that he had been diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2009. Regis had suffered from heart issues before his diagnosis, but using a CPAP machine helped him – and his wife – sleep better. Regis passed away at the age of 88 due to a heart attack. 

Sleep apnea is a problem that can and should, be treated. If there’s one thing we can learn from celebrities that suffer from sleep apnea, it’s that a CPAP can be a life-saving device that must be used. 

If you, or someone you know, is having issues sleeping, please get in touch. We can set up a sleep study and help you get the rest you need. 

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Are you - or someone you love - suffering from sleep apnea?

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