Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), one of the most well-studied sleep disorders, is characterized by multiple interruptions in breathing as you sleep, often causing you to wake up gasping. "Over the long run, sleep apnea increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and affects cholesterol levels and sugar levels for the worse," explains Dr. Schulman. OSA can contribute to your risk of "heart failure and heart attacks and may increase the risk of death as well," he added. Retired basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal has been diagnosed with the condition. To counter his sleep disorder, he uses a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help stabilize his breathing at night.
Jimmy Kimmel: Narcolepsy
Comic and late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel rose to celebrity despite the sleep disorder narcolepsy, which causes sufferers to feel intensely sleepy during the day and fall asleep unexpectedly at irregular times. He once told The New York Times that the spontaneous "naps" caused by narcolepsy — for which he took the medication modafinil (Provigil) — were "not the best way to make people feel good about their material."
In an interview with Esquire magazine, Kimmel said: "With narcolepsy, just the inside of your head is tired. It's like somebody's gently sitting on your brain. You have almost no focus. All you're thinking about is not falling asleep."