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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Falling asleep !! the importance of sound sleep !!!

Dear (s)

In Corporate World, this is a story of meteoric rise, a success story of will power of Assamese middle class over money, of a person who dreamt big, restless to achieve his dream. Succeeded in all his ambitions but sadly collapsed on 21st Oct 2009 at a very young age of 42. He was very active in sports, a fitness freak and a marathon runner, had his own gym and had work outs daily. It shocked the Corporate World, those who knew him and all those who read the news that such an active person would die at 42 done by a massive heart attack leaving behind wife and two very young kids.

Ranjan Das was the CEO of SAP India. Born in 1967, Das earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He joined SAP as Sr VP when he was 34 and on 2007 he was selected to head the Organisation in India at 39. SAP as you know is top notch ERP Company having IBM, Price Waterhouse, TCS. WIPRO and some more as its clients. This is no attempt to describe in words his multitude talents and qualities but something which each one of us can learn from his death. He was considered to be very unlikely candidate for heart attack due to his scrupulous food habits and his fitness regimen. He was an avid marathoner and had Chennai marathon also.

As the news of his death came, some attributed it to stress. Mere fitness cannot conquer the bad effects of stress. Now it is circulating that the real reason was ‘short sleep’ quoting an interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the programme Boss Day Out where he reported of having 4-5 hours of sleep. Here are some received from a friend on this :

Something distilled from an article of a cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’. Some Excerpts:
· Short sleep duration (<5 or 5-6 hours) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009. As you know, high BP kills.
· Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less.
· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks.
· Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!
· Just one night of sleep loss increases very 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 andheart disease.
· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease.
. all of you know of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Non-REM. Former helps in mental consolidation while latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During night it alternates between both. The latter part is important and is gained by longer sleep.

For those of you who are perturbed there is something known as Epworth Sleepiness scale which will help in checking whether the sleep is adequate.

Ranjan Das had everything right apart from adequate sleep and it will never be know whether it was this or the stress that was the killer. All of us have one easy option that can be practised. Sleep well and sleep for adequate time.

With regards
S Sampathkumar.


  1. Hope you are not advocating sleep in office - Venkatesh

  2. Thoongathe thambi, Thoongathe enbathu thalaivar pattu. Satish