Lindsey Vonn Opens Up About Struggling with Insomnia Following Her First Knee Surgery

The Olympic skier opened up about her sleep disorder and other personal battles in her memoir Rise

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn. Photo: Michael Loccisano/WireImage

Lindsey Vonn is talking about her sleep disorder for the first time.

The four-time Olympic skier, 37, appeared on the Today show Tuesday and revealed that she has struggled with insomnia since her 2019 surgery to repair her torn LCL.

"I've actually had insomnia for quite some time, and it started when I had my first big knee surgery," she told co-host Craig Melvin.

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

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Lindsey Vonn
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Vonn, a four-time World Cup champion and one of the most decorated U.S. skiers in history, compared her insomnia struggles to her athletic career before being forced to retire due to her knee injuries.

"I approach my sleep just like I approach my skiing career. I've tried so many different things to try to rectify that," she said.

But Vonn said that she is feeling great after finally finding a treatment that helps her get a good night's sleep.

"I'm healthy, I'm happy, I'm well rested," she said. "I'm approaching life every day with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and I get a lot of that from my mom but from my sleep as well."

"For me, it was important to share this and help others along the way," Vonn added, noting that she's glad to have opened up about many of her personal experiences in her memoir, Rise.

RELATED VIDEO: Lindsey Vonn Says 'Success Does Not Equal Happiness' While Addressing Her Mental Health

In the book, Vonn also details her battle with depression. Earlier this year, she spoke to PEOPLE about her mental health struggle, which sometimes made it difficult to get out of bed.

"I've been dealing with it since I was 18. It's definitely been a roller coaster of a journey," she told PEOPLE in January. "I've come a long way and I'm proud of that. But I'm a work in progress and I continue to work on myself every day."

Along with taking antidepressants, Vonn said she's learned to do everything she can "to make sure I'm maintaining good mental health by doing all those things that help me stay positive like journaling, being with friends and working out."

In general, Vonn said she thinks athletes are often viewed as "superheroes, but we're human like everybody else."

Fortunately, says Vonn, since she first spoke out about her mental health, the culture has changed, and she is "happy we're destigmatizing this."

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