According to a new study, sleep-deprived workers are causing nations billions of dollars. Marco Hafner, research leader at RAND Europe and the report’s main author said, “Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and well-being but has a significant impact on a nation’s company. According to the study, the “healthy daily sleep range” is between seven to nine hours per night. ASSOCHAM had reported that due to demanding schedules and high stress levels, nearly 78% of the corporate employees sleep less than 6 hours on a daily basis which leads to sleep disorders amongst them.
Why is sleep that important? Sleep is important as when we do not sleep properly we experience psychological stress, daytime fatigue, physical discomfort, performance deterioration, low-pain threshold and increase absenteeism. We need to sleep better as sleep deprivation is connected to mental health problems and depression. There is a tremendous impact on our health when we do not sleep well or enough.
Lot of people think and believe less sleep means more productivity. According to Ariana Huffington, author of the book Sleep Revolution says, “The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity. But in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived.”Dr. Maiken Nedergaard who is Frank P. Smith professor of neurosurgery and co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center thinks she knows why the rest of mankind needs sleep, and why without it, we die. She has showed painstaking scientific evidence that the brain has its own public works system. Yes, a subdural network of utilities—okay, a sewer system—much like we have in big cities. And the odd thing about it is that it has what you might call the discretion to function mainly while a person is asleep. That’s right, it goes to work when you lay down for a bit of sleep. It’s like the housekeeping staff that descends on a midtown office building after hours. I have a question for all of you would you eat fresh food on a dirty plate of course not. So when we do not sleep enough we do not clean our brain and reduce its ability to function at its optimal level.
A new study indicates that just one night of sleep deprivation is enough to cause strain on the heart – forcing it to work around 10 per cent harder the next day.People who work in fire and emergency medical services and other high-stress jobs are often called upon to work 24-hour shifts with little opportunity for sleep.
While it is known that extreme fatigue can affect many physical, cognitive and emotional processes, it is the first study to examine how working a 24-hour shift specifically affects heart function. When we sleep less, our cognitive functions are impaired, so we are more likely to overreact. The study author Dr Daniel Kuetting, of the University of Bonn in Bonn, Germany says, “For the first time, we have shown that short-term sleep deprivation in the context of 24-hour shifts can lead to a significant increase in cardiac contractility, blood pressure and heart rate.” For the study, 20 healthy radiologists, including 19 men and one woman, with a mean age of 31.6 years were recruited and their hearts checked before and after a 24 hour shift, with an average of three hours of sleep.
Following sleep deprivation the participants showed significant increases in the strain on their hearts, with the organ having to work around 10 per cent harder than usual. The participants also had significant increases in levels of thyroid stimulating hormone and cortisol, a hormone released by the body in response to stress.”The study was designed to investigate real-life work-related sleep deprivation,” added DrKuetting.“As people continue to work longer hours or work at more than one job to make ends meet, it is critical to investigate the detrimental effects of too much work and not enough sleep.”
DrKuetting said the results of this pilot study, are transferable to other professions in which long periods of work are common.”These findings may help us better understand how workload and shift duration affect public health,” he said. Following sleep deprivation the participants showed significant increases in the strain on their hearts, with the organ having to work around 10 per cent harder than usual. The participants also had significant increases in levels of thyroid stimulating hormone and cortisol, a hormone released by the body in response to stress.
In the past lack of sleep has been linked with factors such as disrupted metabolism and raised levels of’ cortisol, all of which may lead to higher blood pressure and increased stroke risk. In 2010 a major study by the University of Warwick found that people who slept for less than six hours each night were 12 per cent more likely to die prematurely – before the age of 65 – than those who slept the recommended six to eight hours a night.Studies have found that sleep makes it easier to retrieve nuggets of information that may have got lost in a corner of our brain. In two situations where subjects forgot information over the course of 12 hours of being awake, after a night’s sleep they were about twice as likely to be able to remember it, the University of Exeter study found.
We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.
How to sleep better?
- Do not keep any of your devices like computer, phones, TV’s in your bedroom.
- Create a sleep ritual – Maybe listen to some nice soothing music.
- Do deep breathing exercises.
- Give yourself a gentle foot message – as it will help you relax and induce sleep.
- Make sure you have designated sleep clothes.
- Express Gratitude.
So pay attention to your sleep, and do not sleep over this important aspect of your success.