Sleep Apnea Burns Out NFL’s #1 Draft Pick

JaMarcus RussellSleep apnea is rarely associated with athletes and other people we think of as being pretty healthy. Sadly, outward appearance of overall general good health doesn’t always rule out the chances that someone may be suffering from sleep apnea. Take legendary NFL lineman Reggie White, for instance. In 2004, he died in his sleep at just 43. While linebackers are generally bigger than the average person, they run up and down the field, spend hours at practice, and are pretty active. You might not immediately assume that he could be suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

Another NFL player who also suffers from a sleep disorder has recently spoken out. JaMarcus Russell, the Oakland Raiders’ #1 draft pick of 2007 seemed to have a promising career. At 6’7, Russell had an amazing throwing arm, though when the regular season began, he played as though he had no skills at all. But Russell blames his lacking work ethic on sleep apnea, a condition that he says interfered with his overall physical condition.

According to Russell, sleep apnea caused him to become lethargic at practices and less-than-alert when the team sat down to watch films. Russell didn’t know that he had sleep apnea until the Raider’s quarterback coach John DeFilippo suggested that he undergo a sleep study after getting tired during each practice despite the fact that his nightlife was rather calm and was spent at home relaxing.

A Sleep Study Can Be Life-changing

After undergoing a sleep test, Russell was diagnosed with sleep apnea though there is no word as to whether or not he has undergone treatment for his sleep apnea either through the use of CPAP or oral appliances.

Whether you’re a quarterback for an NFL team or just an average person, it’s clear that sleep apnea can impact anyone at anytime. If left untreated, sleep apnea can ruin careers and even lead to death. If you find that you are commonly fatigued, restless when you try to sleep, or have issues concentrating, now is the time to undergo a sleep study provided by a sleep physician. A positive diagnosis means that you’ll want to seek sleep apnea treatment. Dr. Roubal can provide you with a variety of sleep apnea treatment options for you to try before having to resort to CPAP or surgery. Call or click here to email our office today.