NBC’s reality show The Biggest Loser has adjusted their pre-show medical work-ups to include a sleep study, and the results have been striking.
Sleep Apnea Predominant
Physicians found that a majority of the contestants had sleep apnea, and in one season every single cast member had a positive sleep apnea diagnosis!
The Biggest Loser doctors used to talk about the three pillars of health – psychological, healthy eating and healthy exercise. Now they’ve added a fourth pillar called “sleep optimization.”
The Biggest Loser Season 8 contestant Sean Algaier weighed 444 pounds when he arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch, and he was only 29 years old. He actually fell asleep in the gym on his first day of exercise. His subsequent sleep study showed that he stopped breathing 100 times an hour at night. They immediately fitted him with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and he slept for 8 hours straight the very first night using the device. He awoke with renewed energy and is now able to sleep in the same bed all night with his wife. Sean continues to follow the four pillars of healthy living advice he received on the show and currently weighs 240 pounds, and credits the CPAP machine with a large part of his weight loss.
“I think [CPAP] changed my life,” said Sean. “I think anybody that’s got a sleep disorder, if they change it, it changes their life. They don’t realize how much they’re missing out when they don’t sleep at night. I never want to go back to that old feeling. I want to feel like I’m awake and alive during the day. I would recommend it to anyone that’s overweight and wants to start a weight loss regimen or just has sleep problems, you could save your own life by having a sleep study done.”