‘Friends’ Star Jennifer Aniston Struggled With Insomnia for ‘Decades’: ‘Lost Sleep Isn’t Something You Can Get Back’

Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston discussed her experience with insomnia. She says she had trouble sleeping for “decades.” Here’s what Aniston shared about her efforts to reclaim her nights and the importance of sleep.

Jennifer Aniston took sleep for granted when she was younger

Jennifer Aniston wears a black outfit during a media event.
Jennifer Aniston | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Apple

Aniston values sleep, but she didn’t realize how important it was when she was younger. Today, she is aware of how much sleep contributes to one’s overall well-being.


“Sleep is extraordinary. It’s beautiful,” Aniston tells InStyle. “But, boy, did I take it for granted when we were young. When you’re younger, you kind of take it for granted. You think, ‘I can survive on three to five hours of sleep and I feel great,’ and then, all of a sudden, it just starts not to feel great and your performance isn’t as up to par as it should be.”

Aniston reveals her sleep problems once became so severe that she began sleepwalking. At one point, she was setting off the house alarms.

“I’ve been woken up by house alarms going off that I’ve set off,” she tells People. “And I don’t think I do that anymore — that was when I was super sleep deprived. At least there’s that silver lining. The body is saying, ‘Now don’t go out and set the alarm off again, OK?’”

Sleep deprivation affected Jennifer Aniston’s work performance

Jennifer Aniston attends a media event.
Jennifer Aniston | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Aniston says her sleep troubles affected her work as well as her physical and mental health. She took steps to raise awareness of the importance of sleep through her partnership with pharmaceutical company Idorsia on the Seize the Night and Day campaign. Aniston says she learned how sleep affects the mind and body.

“All of your body is getting all the work done that it put itself through during the day,” Aniston tells In Style. “You realize a lack of sleep leads to all sorts of health issues. Unfortunately, lost sleep isn’t something you can get back. No matter how long you snooze on the weekends, you can’t make up sleep. It’s a deficit you won’t ever get back.”

The moment Jennifer Aniston decided to get help

Aniston knew it was time to get help when she noticed she was continuing to have trouble sleeping. She delayed getting help, but she knew she had to do something when the other parts of her life were affected.

“It became something that I really was struggling with,” she tells People. “It used to be the last thing on the list, but you can’t really abide by the three pillars of health — which are diet, exercise, and sleep — if you can’t really exercise and you can’t really eat right if you haven’t slept well because your body clock is so completely thrown off.”

The Friends actor tells the publication she sought medical help. She also committed to a regular sleep schedule. She’s now on the path toward a better quality of life.

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