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Short Sleeper? You are at Increased Risk for Heart Attack; a New Study


heart attack anatomy


A study in this month’s SLEEP journal shows that men who habitually sleep 6 hours or less have a reduced secretion of tissue Plasminogen Activator, body’s natural clot buster, which dissolves the clot in coronary arteries. This puts short sleepers at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Here are my 5 tips to help you fight this when you cannot get 7-8 hours of sleep every night because of work or family responsibilities.
1. When you cannot get a sufficient amount of sleep, it is absolutely vital that you get maximum percentage of deep sleep by following sound sleep hygiene. A lot of the time we not only get insufficient sleep but also poor quality sleep.
2. Invest 15 min into a strategically placed (usually between 1-3 pm) power nap. It can not only improve your productivity, but also reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, thereby reducing your risk of heart attack.
3. At work, try to walk more than you stand, and stand more than you sit. Conduct walking meetings instead of traditional sitting ones. If you sit at the desk a lot, invest in laptop stand and do the same work by standing.
4. Make salad for lunch a routine. Enjoy nuts and fruits as snacks in the afternoon.
5. Look at the problems with optimism and positivity. Studies have shown that people who interpret workplace events with optimism have a reduced risk of heart attack.
Hope this was helpful.
Sleep Well, Live Well.



10 Tips to Prevent a Road Death This Weekend

English: An advisory sign on Interstate 15 in ...

An advisory sign on Interstate 15 in Utah near Mt. Nebo. It reminds drowsy drivers to get off the freeway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drowsiness, Drunk Driving, & Distractions Kill

Every hour on US roads, 4 people die because of drowsiness, drunk driving, or distractions. This statistics gets worse during busy travel weekend like this one. American Automobile Association projects 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 0.7 percent over the 43.3 million people who traveled last year.

Here are my 10 tips to prevent a death this weekend. Please share these tips freely and it might just save an innocent life.

Please remember that turning on the radio, stretching your neck, putting a fan on high, putting your face out of window, slapping your face, or pushing a sharp pin in your thigh does not work.

  1. Certainly before a long trip, plan and get a good night’s sleep.
  2. Avoid driving from midnight to six o’clock in the morning.
  3. Be extra careful while driving around mid-afternoon.
  4. Do not drive after an overnight flight.
  5. Take a break at least every two hours.
  6. Take a power nap in anticipation of sleepiness.
  7. Remember that a cup of coffee can be lifesaving.
  8. Do not drive if you have untreated sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs, shift work sleep disorder, or narcolepsy.
  9. If your thoughts become dreamy, your eyelids feel heavy, or traffic signs do not mean much pull over. You are about to die!
  10. Keep your eyes on the road and away from the iPhone.
  11. Do not drive drunk.

Watch my interview with Gary Sieber discussing drowsy driving tips.

How Does Drowsy Driving Kill?

To answer this, I will share a story. On the very first day of my internship in this country, I did an initial evaluation of a female executive, who the paramedics had brought to the ER of Englewood Hospital Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey. She was a restrained driver of a Volvo that ran off the road and into a tree on that cloudy afternoon on a drive back to her home in Englewood Cliffs from Newark Airport after a long transcontinental flight. Even though her car was totaled, she fortunately suffered only minor chest contusion. What struck me though was her answer when I asked her what had happened. “I just don’t know.”And that is the commonest answer I have heard during my twenty years of pulmonary practice while evaluating and treating survivors of motor vehicular accidents. I was baffled with that answer until I started my sleep medicine fellowship and learned about micro-sleeps and lack of situational awareness resulting from sleep deprivation.

Micro-sleeps are fatal. Micro sleeps, three to fourteen seconds of sleep activity seen on electroencephalographic recordings (brain waves) of awake individuals, cause uncontrollable sleep attacks without any warning in people with both acute and chronic sleep deprivation.

Loss of situational awareness kills, too. The other dangerous phenomenon seen in sleep-deprived leaders is the loss of situational awareness. With this deficit, the person loses awareness of the surrounding. Is the road ahead curving? Is there a reduced speed limit ahead? Is the car in the front braking? Are the driving conditions dangerous?

Beware of impaired decision-making too. When sleep deprived, your decision-making is impaired such that you may take a left turn when you would have waited. Or you may pass a truck on a curvy road, which you would not have done when rested. You may choose to text back while driving, which you would not have done if you were not sleep deprived.

Under our public awareness campaign, Stay Awake, Drive Safe, We do bulk emailing of above tips to colleges, high schools, hospitals, and companies a week before Thanksgiving, Forth of July, Christmas, and other major travel holidays. Please drop me an email at md4sleep@gmail.com to join that mailing list. Please write Stay Awake, Drive Safe in the subject line.

Spread the Word. Save a Life.

Please share this blog with your friends and family on facebook, twitter, and other social media. God bless you.

Celebrities With Sleep Apnea: Rick Perry And 7 Others With The Condition

Celebrities With Sleep Apnea: Rick Perry And 7 Others With The Condition.

You (don’t) snooze, you lose. The 53-second “oops” heard ’round the world — when Rick Perry hesitated and then admitted that he couldn’t remember the third government agency he’d eliminate as president — may have been caused by severe sleep deprivation from insomnia and sleep apnea, according to a new book, Reuters reports.

English: The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea ...

English: The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that can cause shallow breathing, or even a stop in breathing, during sleep, according to the NIH. Left untreated, the condition can lead to a host of serious medical problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

According to the report, Perry’s sleep apnea had gone undiagnosed for years, but a machine ultimately helped him to, quite literally, breathe easier in his sleep.

Perry certainly isn’t alone — he joins more than 18 million Americans who struggle with sleep apnea, including some other famous faces.

Celebrities With Sleep Apnea: Rick Perry And 7 Others With The Condition

UCLA offers back-to-school study tips

UCLA offers back-to-school study tips – Los Angeles health | Examiner.com.
An excellent article by Dr Robin Wulffson.

Another summer is drawing to a close and Los Angeles students will soon be returning to school. Researchers at UCLA conducted a study to determine how students can boost their grades in a manner compatible with a healthy lifestyle. They caution that postponing studying for a big exam until the last minute and then embarking on a caffeine-fueled cram session is not the way to go. They published their findings online on August 20 in the journal Child Development

The researchers note that the problem with all night cram sessions before an exam is the trade-off between study and sleep. Obviously, studying is a key contributor to academic achievement; however, what students may fail to appreciate is that adequate sleep is also important for academics. Senior author Andrew J. Fuligni, a UCLA professor of psychiatry, and colleagues note that sacrificing sleep for extra study time, whether it is cramming for a test or plowing through a pile of homework, is actually counterproductive. They caution that regardless of how much a student generally studies each day, if that student sacrifices sleep time in order to study more than usual, he or she is likely to have more academic problems, not less, on the following day.

Dr. Fuligni explains, “No one is suggesting that students shouldn’t study, but adequate amount of sleep is also critical for academic success. These results are consistent with emerging research suggesting that sleep deprivation impedes leaning.” He notes that students generally learn best when they keep a consistent study schedule. Although a steady pace of learning is ideal, the increasing demands that high school students face may make such a consistent schedule difficult. Socializing with peers and work, for example, both increase across the course of high school. So do academic obligations like homework that requires more time and effort. As a result, many high school students end up with irregular study schedules, often facing nights in which they need to spend substantially more time than usual studying or completing school work.

Dr. Fuligni notes, “The biologically-needed hours of sleep remain constant through their high school years, even as the average amount of sleep students get declines.” He explains that previous research has shown that in 9th grade, the average adolescent sleeps for 7.6 hours per night; then declines to 7.3 hours in 10th grade, 7.0 hours in 11th grade, and 6.9 hours in 12th grade. “So kids start high school getting less sleep then they need, and this lack of sleep gets worse over the course of high school.”

The study group was comprised of 535 Latino, Asian-American, and European-American students in each of the 9th, 10th, and 12th grades who were recruited from three Los Angeles area high schools. They were asked to record in a diary for a 14-day period how long they studied, how long they slept, and whether or not they experienced two academic problems: not understanding something taught the following day in class, or if they did poorly on a test, quiz, or homework. In all instances, the investigators found that study time became increasingly associated with more academic problems because longer study hours were increasingly associated with fewer hours of sleep. In turn, that predicted greater academic problems the following day.

First author Cari Gillen-O’Neel, a graduate student working with Fuligni, notes, “At first it was somewhat surprising to find that in the latter years of high school, cramming tended to be followed by days with more academic problems, but then it made sense once we examined extra studying in the context of sleep. Although we expected that cramming might not be as effective as students think, our results showed that extra time spent studying cut into sleep. And it’s this reduced sleep that accounts for the increase in academic problems that occurs after days of increased studying.” Dr. Fuligni added, that, as expected, students who averaged more study time overall were the students who tended to receive higher grades in school. But, “Academic success may depend on finding strategies to avoid having to give up sleep to study, such as maintaining a consistent study schedule across days, using school time as efficiently as possible, and sacrificing time spent on other, less essential activities.”

Take home message:
In my opinion, this study is very relevant to college students. College is significantly more academically challenging than high school. The courses are more difficult and the competition is keener. Many students who did well in high school not uncommonly get a comeuppance when they receive a poor grade on a midterm or final. Some improve their study habits and persevere; however, some flunk out. Students at any educational should heed the advice given in this study. In so doing, they will maximize their chances of academic success—and lead a more health lifestyle. Here’s another trip that I found effective as a student: after hitting the sack after an evening of study, review important material (i.e., flash cards or notes). This last minute input of information is often absorbed very well.


Lack of Sleep Promotes Cheating! 5 Tips for Ethical Behavior.

People who cheated in an experiment had slept an average of 22.39 minutes less the night before than non-cheaters, according to research led by Christopher M. Barnes of Virginia Tech. The study, in which cheaters over-reported their scores on a test in order to gain financial advantage, shows that low levels of sleep are associated with unethical behavior. Managers who demand results that require employees to stay up late and miss sleep may be increasing the likelihood that workers will fudge results and engage in other forms of cheating, the researchers suggest.

– From Harvard Business Review June 24, 2011

We all have experienced this. We have been working on this project for a while. The presentation is tomorrow. We feel that our case can be more compelling if we bend the truth a little. We convince ourselves saying that this is in the best interest of the company. What can one do to prevent such unethical behavior? Here are a few tips.

1. Promote sound sleep of sufficient duration in yourself and in your colleagues. Use these Twelve tips for Sound Sleep routinely.

2. Be cognizant of the untoward effect of insufficient sleep on ethical behavior and try to resist that temptation to bend the truth. Use LAMP (Leader’s Alertness Maximization Plan) to maximize alertness even when sleep deprived.

3. A prior study did show that leaders who were high on Emotional Intelligence were able to counteract this effect partially. Work on your Emotional Intelligence (intrapersonal management, interpersonal management, motivation, and social skills.)

4.   Use these 4 tips, and cure procrastination. It is the procrastination that makes you stay up at night prior to the big meeting and then bend the truth, fudge the numbers, or distort the reality in the name of greater good. Avoid it. Worship truth and you will be amazed.

5. And lastly, my all-time favorite, develop a deep and unshakable faith in the Almighty that the truth shall always prevail.

Sleep Well, Lead Well

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