In an M Live news article, University of Michigan basketball player Ricky Doyle discusses his experience of being diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.
“The doctor told me it was pretty severe,” Ricky Doyle said. “I’d wake up seven times every hour throughout the night. That’s the equivalent of getting only two hours of sleep.”
That’s two hours of sleep per night, every night, while going to classes and working a college basketball player’s workload — practices, travel, games, early morning, late nights, work, work, work.
By Doyle’s description, he was barely functional back in the fall and early winter. The year before, Doyle emerged as Michigan’s primary big man, starting 19 games and averaging 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman.
That player was a ghost this season. The production dropped off, even as Doyle started 11 games after coming off the bench to open the year. He looked lost and listless.
Practices weren’t any better. Doyle couldn’t remember assignments and felt knee-deep in quicksand.
The sleep study explained everything. The doctor told Doyle: “It’s basically like you’re going to practice every day drunk.”