Alaska Sleep Education Center

Celebrities and sleep disorders: Who suffers from what?

Posted by Laci Michaud on Apr 7, 2016 4:17:54 PM


70 million + Americans suffer from sleep deprivation.  Celebrities are not immune. Below is a list of celebrities and sleep disorders in which they have admitted to suffering from. 

Click here if the presentation doesn't load.



Insomnia is a consistent problem with falling asleep and staying asleep.  It is the most common sleep disorder in as many as 70 million Americans at some point in their lives.  It has been reported that 10 – 15% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia and that women are 3 xs more likely to suffer bouts of insomnia than men. 

Celebrities with Insomnia

  1. Madonna
    In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine Madonna discusses how she has been plagued with decades long insomnia stating “…one of my assistants just found one of my journals from 1991. I’m complaining the same way about not being able to sleep in 1991 as I am right now. Like, some things never change…”

  2. George Clooney

    George Clooney has admitted on various occasions Flickr_-_csztova_-_George_Clooney_-_TIFF_09_1-855240-edited.jpgthat he doesn’t sleep well. His mind will race and to turn it off he will watch TV to drown out his thoughts.  Sleep experts know this isn’t the best way for insomniacs to get sleep and would most likely suggest he go through some cognitive behavior theory to treat his insomnia.

  3. Lady Gaga

    Similar to Madonna in more ways than one, Lady Gaga also suffers from sleep deprivation.  Her ability to perform consistently weighs heavy on the star and in 2010 she was quoted saying by the UK’s OK! Magazine “…my passion is so strong I can’t sleep – I haven’t slept for three days.”

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea.  This condition happens during sleep when your breathing stops periodically in the night for a few seconds. These lapses in breathing can occur for up to ten seconds or more and can happen up to hundreds of times a night in severe cases.

Celebrities with Sleep Apnea

  1. Rosie O’DonnellRosie_ODonnell_2077797183_1.jpg

    Rosie O’Donnell was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2007. She openly discussed her diagnosis when she was a co-host on The View.  Her polysomnogram revealed she had 200+ micro-awakenings a night and once stopped breathing for 40 seconds. 

  2. Shaquille O’Neal

    In 2011 Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) was featured in a sleep apnea video created by the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. This video in an excellent resource to learn about sleep apnea and its effects, what to expect from a polysomnogram (sleep study), and how important it is to find the perfect CPAP mask to fit your face.

  3. Reggie WhiteReggie_White-877649-edited.jpg

    Reggie White, known as the “Minister of Defense” was a famous NFL hall of famer, part time minister, WWE wrestler and twice named NFL Defensive Player of the year.   In 2004, White was at home when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia (heart attack) compounded by complications of sleep apnea.   Untreated sleep apnea creates great stress on the heart.  He was 43.  His memory continues in the form of The Reggie White Foundation for sleep disorder research and education.  


Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder that is characterized by a persistent, sometimes overwhelming need to move one's legs.  The need to move the legs is often (but not always) accompanied by unpleasant sensations in the legs that can range from mildly unpleasant to quite painful.

Celebrities with Restless Leg SyndromeStewart_-_USO-Metro_Merit_Awards_2-830827-edited.jpg

  1. Jon Stewart

    Not only did Jon Stewart state he suffers from insomnia he also revealed he suffers from restless leg syndrome or what he joking refers to it as “the Jimmy Legs".

  2. Keith_Olbermann-1.jpgKeith Olbermann

    Keith Olbermann reflects about his restless nights and interview with President Bush in a 2008 interview with the New Yorker.



Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder where the brain does not have the ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.  Those with narcolepsy experience bouts of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden uncontrollable urges to sleep that can come about at any time.  

Celebrities with NarcolepsySir_Winston_Churchill_souriant.jpg

  1. Winston Churchill

    Winston Churchill is the most famous narcoleptic “You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner... Take off your clothes and get into bed... You get two days in one. Well, at least one-and-a-half."

  2. Jimmy Kimmel
    Comedian and Late Night Talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, discussed his narcolepsy in a column for Esquire magazine back in 2003: "I have a pretty mild case with no other symptoms. Some narcoleptics experience cataplexy, which is a limpness in the arms and legs. I don't have that. I'd like to, though. It sounds great." 


A parasomnia is abnormal or unwanted behavior of the nervous system during sleep. They can include sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleep talking and bedwetting to name a few. 

Celebrities with Parasomnias 
  1. Florence Welch
    Florence Welch (lead singer from Florence and the Machine) spoke about her childhood sleep terrors to the Irish Independent saying, “I have it when I'm tired or stressed, or over-tired. My body just keeps me on overdrive. I'm just dreaming loads. I can't quite sleep in a dark room by myself, because I'm always imagining something creeping in the dark corner, or looking through the window.”

  2. Jennifer Aniston
    Jennifer Aniston is an apparent sleep walker. She discussed how her sleep walking scared her then husband Brad Pitt: “I sleepwalk. I set off our alarm once. I was outside…and I was out by the pool equipment in the back. I don’t know what I was doing. I heard this yelling because he’s terrified, he hears the alarm and I’m not there!”

  3. Josh Groban
    Josh Groban discussed with Jimmy Kimmel (ironic) how he talks in his sleep. Watch this video of their interview

At The Alaska Sleep Clinic we specialize in diagnosing and  treating patients with all kinds of sleep disorders including narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apean. For more information about sleep disorders or sleep studies, please contact us by clicking the link below.

New Call-to-action


Topics: tired

Subscribe to our Blog

Alaska Sleep Clinic's Blog

Our weekly updated blog aims to provide you with answers and information to all of your sleeping questions.

New Call-to-action
Got Sleep Troubles

New Call-to-action

New Call-to-action


Popular Articles

Posts by Topic

see all