Despite her A-list acting career and famous love life, Jennifer Aniston is relatable to many of her fans, so much so that she’s “America’s sweetheart.” Another relatable quality: In a world where many of us struggle to get enough sleep, Aniston can sympathize.
The Morning Show star has a sleep disorder. It’s caused Aniston problems in the past. However, her particular issue is pretty rare, especially among adults.
Jennifer Aniston’s sleeping habit ‘terrified’ Brad Pitt
Aniston is incredibly successful, but she’s not so successful with her sleep habits. She has somnambulism, more commonly known as sleepwalking. According to Madame Noire, the experience has frightened her several times. Once, when she was still married to Brad Pitt, she woke up in a startling way.
“I set off our alarm once,” she explained. “I was outside. The alarm scared the s–t out of me and I woke up, and I was out by the pool equipment in the back. I don’t know what I was doing. I heard this yelling because [Pitt’s] terrified, he hears the alarm and I’m not there!”
Sleepwalking is much more common in children than adults. But Aniston seems to be one of the few who experience the disorder as an adult. She once appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and received some advice about how to improve her sleep.
Dr. Oz suggested Aniston avoid light from screens and even bright lighting in the house. He also advised her to stay away from alcohol before bed. These are classic suggestions to improve sleep, but are they actually an effective way to prevent sleepwalking?
What do scientists know about sleepwalking?
The Stanford University School of Medicine conducts research into sleepwalking. They state that it stems from arousal during the phase of sleep known as non-REM. They also found it seems to be associated with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Although the researchers found it’s more common in adults than doctors used to think, it still only affects about 3.6% of the US population. Still, that adds up to roughly 8.4 million people, which is a lot of individuals wandering around in their sleep.
Dr. Oz may have been on to something when he gave Aniston advice to help her sleep better – if it helps her avoid medication. The study also showed that people who use over-the-counter sleep aids were more likely to experience sleepwalking.
Since somnambulism seems to decline with age, Aniston may not experience the problem her whole life. But if she does, she’s not the only celebrity who struggles to have a peaceful night.
Celebrities with sleeping disorders
Everyday Health reports that celebrities often have sleep problems, possibly because of the stress that comes with their lifestyles.
For example, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has narcolepsy, which causes him to feel extremely sleepy during the day. He’s even fallen asleep unexpectedly at times. Political and sports commentator Keith Olbermann has restless leg syndrome, which causes intense discomfort in the legs as people try to sleep.
Rosie O’Donnell experiences episodes of interrupted breathing as she sleeps, a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal also has the same condition.
When people claim that celebrities are just like the rest of us, it often seems hard to believe. But it appears to be true, at least when it comes to the fight for a good night’s sleep.