NBA star Shaquille O’Neal along with his girlfriend Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander teamed up with Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine to get tested for sleep apnea.
Shaq says his girlfriend, “Hoopz”, first told him he had sleep apnea and convinced him to get evaluated. “It happens when he’s on his back,” Alexander says. “It’s like he stops; his chest will stop moving and everything. It’s like he stops breathing,” Hoopz adds.
For the evaluation, Shaq had to sleep overnight at Harvard’s sleep lab with a breathing mask, electrodes and monitoring devices hooked to his body to assess brainwave patterns, airflow, oxygen levels, and other vital signs.
Sleep apnea is a common problem defined by pauses in breathing while someone sleeps. Sleep apnea is often, but not always,accompanied by snoring and is far more common in those who are overweight.
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Photo Credit: Harvard Medical School