Transcript for NFL star Ryan Jensen says a sleep apnea diagnosis ‘saved my career’
We turn to a major wake-up call to help save an NFL player’s life and his career and finally discovered he has sleep apnea, a disorder that affects millions of Americans and now working a treatment that helped him get back on the field and T.J. Went one-on-one, not on the feel but one-on-one with him about sleep apnea. Think about this. This guy was off the team, right, and now he’s moved to being an NFL star. So, what did he change his diet? His training, equipment. Nope, he just needed sleep for this guy and millions of other folks, sleep apnea is more than loud snoring and cost you a whole lot more than sleepless nights. Ryan Jensen is one of the biggest, baddest dudes in the NFL. Jensen making his first career start. Reporter: A 6’4″, 30-pound offensive lineman for the Baltimore ravens but three years ago his future was in doubt after he was cut from the team. I lost weight and a bunch of strength and I wasn’t playing — I was getting beat a lot. Reporter: Around that time his parents noticed a change in his behavior. My dad called me and goes, hey, what’s up? I’m like, what do you mean. He said you’re not acting like yourself. We got back from different and went to the hotel and your mom broke down crying. You weren’t being my son. Reporter: What did that do to you to hear you were that nasty to your mom? It broke me down. Reporter: He didn’t know what was happening but his dad suspected. And suggested his son get tested for sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person frequently stops breathing during sleep. I’d go to bed at 9:00, 9:30. Be asleep by 10 and wake up and I’d feel like I got hit in the face with a sledgehammer. What were the complaints? She would smack me. Wake up, you’re not breathing and would do it because she was scared for me because I would stop breathing for an extended period of time. Reporter: He took a study and his doctors told him he was only getting about 90 minutes of sleep total. He was waking up about 15 times an hour. And imagine that happening every hour of your sleep every night. Reporter: Untreated sleep apnea can lead to heart attract, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity and other health problems. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from it and the larger you are, the larger the risk which makes NFL players more vulnerable. In a study published in “The new England journal of medicine.” Nearly one in seven players affected….