Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising ( marathoning), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and
adequate sleep. In our opinion, that killed him.
Ranjan Das, CEO and MD of SAP Indian subcontinent died after a massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai few years back . One of the youngest CEOs, he was just 42 year old.
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. That day he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died.
It was certainly a wake-up call for every busy person. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner, the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at age of 42.
Was it the stress?
While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in lives of most of us.
We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress.
The Real Reason However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. It was in an earlier interview on NDTV, he said this. Well-known cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’ have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.
1. 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.
2. Young people ( 25-49 years of age ) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less.
3. Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. 4 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!!
5. 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 and heart disease. 6. 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.
Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.
Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising, maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In our opinion, that killed him.
If you are not getting enough sleep, you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.
Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many
of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance.
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