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Sleep & Oxygen Blog

NFL players get sleep apnea too

Monday, September 24, 2018 - Facts about sleep
NFL players also get sleep apnea

It’s September, and NFL fans are excited! The National Football League schedule is out and as you get ready to let the team into your living room, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reminds us: football players get OSA too.

Take Aaron Taylor for example. The former offensive guard for the Green Bay Packers and current college football analyst is successfully treating his sleep apnea, while helping the AASM promote sleep apnea awareness.Taylor is happy to report on the significant improvement in his health and quality of life; his goal is to influence younger athletes to seek early testing and treatment, so that they can both perform better and live longer. 1

Even at a young age, ignoring the symptoms of sleep apnea leads to dangerous consequences – as I’ve seen firsthand for fellow players and friends who have struggled with this condition. I want current and future athletes to understand the serious risks of this disease and know this isn’t something you have to live with. I’ve experienced how sleep apnea treatment can dramatically change your life. – Aaron Taylor

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advising parents, coaches and school administrators that young football players are at increasingly higher risk of sleep apnea. Those with the greatest risk, especially offensive and defensive lineman who are heavier and have larger necks.

Other notable NFL players diagnosed with OSA include Tony Dorsett, Warren Sapp, Aaron Taylor, Percy Harvin and Ja Marcus Russell.2

Research has shown that NFL players generally have a higher prevalence of sleep apnea than other adult men of the same age, which is around 50%.3 By treating their OSA they provide their body with healthy, restorative sleep that’s been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve cognitive function and concentration, and reduce irritability and depression. They can finally play the game with all their might.

So this fall when you watch the NFL games, remember that many NFL linemen are also on CPAP Treatment.