Tiger Woods was found to be snoring while lying unconscious after his recent car accident. Many people snore, but snoring alone gives you anywhere from 30 to 80% chance of having undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is known to significantly increase your chances of developing hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
I don’t want to speculate on the events of Tiger’s accident or even any possible medical conditions. I do want to point out, however, how common and prevalent this condition is, and that you can be a fit, elite athlete and still have this condition. Many of these top athletes compensate for their poor quality sleep using intense physical activity, and become very good at it. I alluded to a similar situation regarding Michael Phelps in a past post.
Take a look at Tiger’s profile photo here and here. Notice how recessed his lower jaw sits, compared to his wife’s jaw. If you see his face from the front, you’ll see that it’s relatively narrow. If you want to guess what Tiger may may look like in another 30 to 40 years, take a look at his father’s picture here. Notice the classic sleep apnea features (small, recessed jaw and big neck). Before dying of prostate cancer in 2006, he underwent multiple bypass procedures for heart disease.
This just goes to show how common sleep-breathing problems are in our modern society, almost to the point of being "normal" to have it to some degree. I talk about important reasons why this is the case in my book, Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired.
For the rest of today, make it a point to analyze people’s jaws. You’ll be amazed how many people have small and recessed jaws, especially in younger people. Based on what I’ve presented and his photos, do you agree with me that Tiger may be at risk for sleep apnea? Please enter your responses in the comments box below.