You (don't) snooze, you lose. The 53-second "oops" heard 'round the world -- when Rick Perry hesitated and then admitted that he couldn't remember the third government agency he'd eliminate as president -- may have been caused by severe sleep deprivation from insomnia and sleep apnea, according to a new book, Reuters reports.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can cause shallow breathing, or even a stop in breathing, during sleep, according to the NIH. Left untreated, the condition can lead to a host of serious medical problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
According to the report, Perry's sleep apnea had gone undiagnosed for years, but a machine ultimately helped him to, quite literally, breathe easier in his sleep.
Perry certainly isn't alone -- he joins more than 18 million Americans who struggle with sleep apnea, including some other famous faces.
The entertainer, who just <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/rosie-odonnell-aspirin-heart-attack_n_1818405.html">had a heart attack last month</a>, discussed her sleep apnea diagnosis on an episode of "The View" in 2007 with her doctor (and HuffPost blogger) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/">Michael Breus</a>. According to her sleep study, O'Donnell wakes up more than 200 times a night -- and once stopped breathing for as many as 40 seconds. "I felt the difference, honestly, in one night," she said of the day after she began treatment with a CPAP machine, which she modeled on the show. "Isn't that attractive? Rosie O'Donnell snorkeling and scuba diving in her own bedroom."
The 7-foot-1-inch retired basketball legend's former girlfriend, Nicole Alexander, actually noticed that Shaq would snore deeply through the night and sometimes stop breathing. "I'm like, 'Dude you just stopped breathing in your sleep,'" Alexander said in a video interview produced by Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine. "And I saved him." (For her imitation of his snore, check out the video). O'Neal underwent a sleep study, and was ultimately diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea. The proposed treatment from his doctors? A CPAP nasal mask to wear in his sleep for life. "Can I wear it to the club?" he jokes while trying the mask on in the doctor's office. But all humor aside, he says the device is working -- with it, he's getting plenty of rest at night.
The "American Idol" judge debuted a 100-pound weight loss thanks to gastric bypass surgery in early 2004. At his before weight of 329 pounds, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and Type 2 diabetes, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20149169,00.html">People magazine reported</a>. "I sleep much better. I have more energy," he told the magazine after his weight loss.
Larry The Cable Guy
<a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1249256/">Daniel Lawrence Whitney</a> -- better known as Larry The Cable Guy -- told <em>People</em> in 2011 that he wanted to lose weight, in part because of struggles with sleep apnea. "I can't breathe when I'm heavy," <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20472950,00.html">he told the publication</a>. "That freaks me out."
In an episode of her reality show "Roseanne's Nuts" called <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1993008/">Life's A Snore</a>, Barr attends a sleep clinic to address her snoring problem, where she receives a diagnosis of sleep apnea. "I can’t figure that damn thing out," <a href="http://www.lifetimemoms.com/me-time/blog/roseanne-not-nuts-just-honest">she told LifetimeMoms.com</a> about the mask she needs to wear to bed. "I’m going to try to take a class in the fall."
"I really am in love with my hose," the TV star said of his sleep apnea breathing device on Live! With Regis and Kelly in 2009, according to <a href="http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0,,20307988_20680027,00.html">People.com</a>.
The former NFLer, who died at age 43 from pulmonary sarcoidosis, <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307065_10,00.html">according to Health.com</a>, also suffered from sleep apnea. <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/football/nfl/12/26/bc.fbp.lgns.reggiewhitedies.r/">A preliminary autopsy</a> report found that sleep apnea may have also been a factor in his death. His wife, Sara White, started <a href="http://www.reggiewhitefoundation.org/default.asp">The Reggie White Sleep Disorders Research and Education Foundation</a> after his death -- according to their website, she believes sleep apnea played a role in shortening his life.