Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn details decade-long struggle with insomnia

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, 37, details decade-long struggle with insomnia brought on by anxiety, revealing that her sleep issues began after she had knee surgery in 2013 and was left up all night in severe pain

  • The retired athlete – who is one of the most successful skiers of all time – opened up about her battle with the sleep disorder during to the Today show
  • The 37-year-old, from Minnesota , has won a total of three Olympic medals and four World Cup championships throughout her highly acclaimed career
  • However, she was plagued with severe sleep issues throughout her time as an Olympic athlete
  • Vonn told the outlet that her insomnia began due to the ‘pain’ she was in after underdoing knee surgery a decade ago, and that her ‘anxiety’ made things worse
  • However, after struggling for years, Vonn has finally fixed the problem, with the skier explaining, ‘I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m well rested’

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, 37, has detailed her decade-long struggle with insomnia, which was brought on by severe anxiety and began after she got knee surgery in 2013.

The retired athlete – who is one of the most successful female skiers of all time – opened up about her battle with the sleep disorder during a recent interview with the Today show. 

The 37-year-old, from Minnesota, has won a total of three Olympic medals – including the gold medal for downhill skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics – and four World Cup championships throughout her highly acclaimed career.

However, she was plagued with severe sleep issues throughout her time as an Olympic athlete, with Vonn telling the outlet that her insomnia began due to the ‘pain’ she was in after underdoing knee surgery nearly a decade ago, and that her ‘anxiety’ over it just made things worse.

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, 37, has detailed her decade-long struggle with insomnia, which was brought on by severe anxiety and began after she got knee surgery in 2013 

The retired athlete – who is one of the most successful female skiers of all time – opened up about her battle with the sleep disorder during a recent interview with the Today show

The athlete shared her sleep problems as part of her new approach to be more open about her life, following the release of her memoir, Rise: My Story

How insomnia takes over your life

  • According to Mayo Clinic, insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or go back to sleep after waking up. 
  • People who suffer from insomnia, often feel its affects throughout the day as well. 
  • The sleeping disorder can cause low energy levels, changes in your mood and affect your overall work performance and quality of life. 
  • Although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. 
  • Many adults may experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks and is often the result of stress or a traumatic event. 
  • Some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. 
  • Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications
  • Those who suffer from insomnia are recommended to see a sleep medicine specialist or even a therapist to deal with whatever issues is at the root of their troubles

‘As an athlete, you know how important sleep is. I was lying in bed after surgery in a lot of pain and trying to sleep, and I couldn’t,’ she explained. ‘The anxiety behind it just got me down this really bad path of repetitively not sleeping.

‘I approach my sleep just like I approach my skiing career. I’ve tried so many different things to try to rectify that.’ 

The three-time gold medalist noted that she has finally found a treatment for her insomnia, adding: ‘I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’m well rested.’ 

According to Mayo Clinic, insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or go back to sleep after waking up. 

People who suffer from insomnia often feel its affects throughout the day as well.

The sleeping disorder can cause low energy levels, changes in your mood, and affect your overall work performance and quality of life.

Although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. 

Many adults may experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks and is often the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. 

Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications. 

The athlete shared her sleep problems as part of her new approach to be more open about her life, following the release of her memoir, Rise: My Story, where she opened up about her long battle with depression after retiring from skiing, which she called her ‘crutch.’ 

She told Today: ‘Lately, I’ve been really talking more about different things that I’ve encountered in my life. And through my book, I feel like I’ve gotten so much good feedback, positive feedback.’ 

Following numerous injuries in 2019, the athlete regrettably announced her retirement from the Olympic sport. 

The athlete’s decision to share the news of her sleep disorder with the world comes just one month after she dedicated her induction to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame to mother, Linda Krohn, who suffers from ALS.

At her induction to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, Vonn began her emotional speech by saying: ‘I would like to dedicate this to my mother.

‘She’s having her own battle right now with ALS. She’s taught me so much about strength and character, and it’s because of the example that my mother set that I was able to overcome whatever obstacle was thrown at me. Thank you, Mom.’

Two weeks later, Vonn paid tribute to her mother on her Instagram, highlighting her ‘resilience’ and ‘strength’ a year after she was diagnosed with the condition. 

Vonn shared photos of herself with her mom in her home state of Minnesota, writing that she ‘wants to show her battle in order to help others.’ 

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