Recently, many of us must have heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das of Mumbai, CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was 42. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra’s Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.
The Real Reason
While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress that is a common element in most of our lives. However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program ‘Boss’ Day Out’.
He admitted that he would love to get more sleep and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled.
Lack of Sleep – Some Facts :
- Short sleep duration of less than 5 hours a day increases the risk for high Blood pressure by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night.
- Young people in the age group of 25 to 49 years are twice as likely to get high Blood Pressure if they sleep less.
- Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. The reason for the same is complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks.
- Just one night of sleep loss increases number of toxic substances in body such as Interleukin- 6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
Sleep is composed of two stages: REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.
The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During non-REM sleep, many of the restorative functions of sleep occur. Hormones are released which help the body rebuild itself from damage done during the day. During REM sleep, memories and thoughts from the day are processed. REM sleep is the stage of sleep in which vivid dreams occur. The purpose of dreaming is not well understood, but it probably relates to processing mental information that was received during the day. During REM sleep, we normally lose the use of our limb muscles. Thus, we have an active mind in an inactive body. This normal loss of muscle activity in REM (or dream) sleep helps prevent us from acting out our dreams. For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important.
Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising, maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep.
Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance.
Lead for this content was shared with GConnect by Shri.A.Jebastin, Intelligence Officer, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Tuticorin, Tamilnadu