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Notre Dame alum and Super Bowl Champ, Aaron Taylor, helps tackle sleep apnea

Posted: 8:26 PM, Dec 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-18 20:26:00-05
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DARIEN, ILL. — The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and former NFL offensive lineman, Aaron Taylor, have partnered to launch a new public service announcement that urges television viewers to “Defend Your Sleep.”

And by defending your sleep, they mean sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening disease involving episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep. According to the AASM, the number of U.S. adults who have sleep apnea is on the rise.

For the CBS Sports Analyst, this is a personal pursuit. Taylor did not seek help until two of his friends with sleep apnea died prematurely.

"At the end of the day, I wasn't going to let unhealthy sleep take away the opportunities I have in life to spend precious time with my wife and children," said Taylor. “My family encouraged me to undergo a sleep study, and it was one of the best decisions of my life…”

According to the AASM, symptoms of sleep apnea include:

• Snoring
• Choking or gasping during sleep
• Fatigue or daytime sleepiness
• Obesity
• High blood pressure

In the 30-second PSA, Taylor speaks with studio host Adam Zucker and fellow football analysts Randy Cross and Brian Jones about sleep apnea warning signs.

Sleep apnea currently affects nearly 30 million American adults – most remain untreated. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

AASM President Dr. Douglas B. Kirsch said, “With Aaron’s help, we hope to further educate the community about the warning signs of sleep apnea and demonstrate that many of the damaging effects of the disease can be stopped, and even reversed, through diagnosis and treatment by the sleep team at an accredited sleep center.”

The PSA will air through the end of 2018.

For more information, visit DefendSleep.com.

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