Tag sleepy

8 Reasons Why We are Grumpy When Sleepy

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

The following list summarizes the deleterious effects of poor sleep on our emotional intelligence:

  1. When sleep deprived, we are unable to accurately recognize emotions. To make matter worse, negative emotions are more readily recognized than positive ones.
  2. Studies have shown decreased subjective rating of happiness by sleep-deprived people.
  3. Our overactive fear center (Amygdala) exaggerates our fear and anger when sleep deprived.English: MRI coronal view of the amygdala


  4. Sleep deprivation impairs our social interaction and learning because of perception fatigue.
  5. A study from the Neuroscience Lab in Singapore showed that when sleep deprived, we are reactive and not proactive.
  6. Nervousness, irritability, and grumpiness hurt our teamwork.
  7. Impaired self-evaluation resulting from sleep deprivation makes us unaware of our deficits.
  8. Studies have also shown reduced motivation, increased risk taking, and indecisiveness when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Hence, make sure you get 7-8 hours of sound sleep every night. And when you cannot get sound sleep because of unavoidable factors, please beware of these deleterious effects. Smile often, pause before responding, listen more than you talk, and you will be fine.

Sleep Well, Lead Well. God bless you.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Sleepy

1. Make financial decisions. Insufficient sleep affects our judgement, our information management ability, and our risk taking adversely. Please pay up your sleep debt first before making those costly financial decisions.

2. Make career decisions. Insufficient sleep also impairs our creativity, our big picture skills, and our self-assessment ability. Take a lazy vacation with your spouse, catch up on your sleep, relax on the beach, read a spiritual book, and only then make that major decision.

3. Initiate negotiations with a formidable adversary. Sleep debt unfortunately impairs our communication, perception, humor appreciation, and our information management. It makes us a poor negotiator, hence resist that urge to walk into the corner office asking for a favor.

4. Fire back. When we receive an emotional e-mail while sleep deprived, we have an irresistible urge to fire back. Hold your horses. Take a deep breath. Smile. Type a reply, but save it in the draft folder. Sleep on it, edit it , and send it the next morning.

5. Drive. Every hour on US roads, 2 people die because of drowsy driving. If you must drive, take a PREM nap, have a cup of strong coffee, and then drive carefully.

Adopted from my book, Sleep Well, Lead Well.

Excitement Insomnia? Seven Tips for LeBron James!

Sleep Well, Play Well

The Miami Heat star tweeted early Sunday morning: “Can’t sleep! Too excited right now.” Insufficient sleep can adversely affect vigilance, reaction time, perception, and accuracy. Remember MJ losing at Madison Square Garden after a trip to Atlantic City? To avoid similar outcome in Game 2, here are seven tips for LeBron.

  1. Assign ten o’clock at night to six o’clock in the morning as sacred time, reserved for resting and recharging instead of worrying about the big game. Read your favorite lines from the Bible or any other religious book to calm your nerves.
  2. Continue your relaxing bedtime ritual: shower, relaxing reading, cookies and milk, Chamomile tea, and meditation, per your preference.
  3. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Do the best you can to minimize noise. Cool, soothing white noise can help promote deep sleep. Based on your preference, you can use the sounds of ocean, nature, or water running to achieve similar effect. Keep the clock face turned away. Looking at a clock at night will stimulate your brain.
  4. Ignore your laptop or Smartphone completely when in the bed. Watching TV in bed will stimulate your brain and will rob you of your deep sleep.
  5. Avoid intense workout before bedtime.
  6. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine has a duration of action of twenty-four hours, so a cup of coffee consumed at seven in the morning is still in your bloodstream at ten at night when you are trying to fall asleep.
  7. Absolutely avoid alcohol within three hours of bedtime. Alcohol increases numbers of micro arousals (wakefulness activity of ten seconds or longer on an EEG recording) during sleep, robs you of your deep sleep, and makes your sleep non-restorative. It also causes adrenaline over-stimulation when the alcohol level in the blood is coming down.
Best Wishes.

11 Tips for Deeper Sleep

Sleep does not differentiate us from animals, sleep hygiene does!

Overworked humans are not only getting insufficient sleep but also poor quality sleep secondary to their poor sleep hygiene.  And what exactly is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is your personal set of habits that together determine the quality of your sleep. Sleep hygiene helps you stay healthy by keeping your brain (most importantly, the executive center) and your body rested and strong. In order to get the most return on your investment in sleep, you will have to follow sleep hygiene fanatically.

The following tips will help you improve your return on investment in sleep:

  1. Create a sanctuary for sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
  2. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
    Keep work related items out of bedroom. Do not take Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to bed. Keep Smartphone and laptop out of your bedroom.
  3. Use the might of Mother Nature to your advantage. Going against Mother Nature by ignoring circadian rhythm will result in reduced duration of your deep sleep (stage three and REM sleep). Always maintain a consistent time to rise, even when circumstances prevent you from going to bed at your normal time. And, yes, that includes weekends. There is no point in going to bed two hours late on weekends and waking up two hours late the next day. There is no net gain. In fact, there is a net loss because it disrupts your intrinsic rhythm, the sole cause of reduced productivity on Monday mornings.
    Alcohol robs you of your deep sleep.
  4. Recognize that alcohol induces sleep, but is a poor quality sleep marked by frequent arousals, leading to lighter sleep at the expense of REM sleep.  Alcohol induces sleep but robs you of your deep sleep. Because of this, general recommendation in sleep medicine practice is to avoid consuming alcohol six hours before bedtime.
  5. Make every effort to quit smoking completely because it affects your sleep, too. Nicotine is a stimulant that would rob you of your deep sleep. But if you cannot quit, certainly avoid smoking within three hours of your bedtime.
  6. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime because the process of digestion will interfere with falling asleep and may reduce the amount of deep sleep.
  7. Sweat for sound sleep.  Regularly exercising even for twenty minutes a day has been shown to improve your sleep architecture. Not only does it make you fall asleep quicker, it also increases the duration of deep sleep and thus makes your sleep immensely more restorative.
    Caffeine has a 24 hour duration of action. It robs you of your deep sleep.
  8. Stay away from caffeine, certainly after one o’clock. Caffeine has the duration of action of twenty-four hours, so a cup of coffee in the morning will still be lingering in your bloodstream when you are trying to go to sleep at ten o’clock. Some of my colleagues argue, “I can drink a cup of coffee and go right to bed and fall asleep.” The fact remains, though, that it is still going to rob you of your REM sleep, making your sleep non-restorative. Please taper caffeine off slowly over three to four weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Switch to decaf coffee if you must drink it.
  9. Follow the 2-20 rule of napping. Do not nap after two o’clock, and do not nap for longer than twenty minutes. A ten to fifteen-minute power nap in the early afternoon can energize your day and give you two days in one. But even a brief ten-minute nap in the evening will deconsolidate your sleep at night.
  10. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Listen to the music. Read a nice book. Take a warm shower because the cooling off promotes sleep. Cookies and a glass of milk can help, too, because milk contains tryptophan, a naturally occurring sleep-promoting agent.
    Prayers lead to positive emotions, which get amplified during REM sleep.
  11. REM sleep is a powerful amplifier of emotions, especially negative ones like fear, anxiety, hatred, and anger. To use this amplifier to our advantage, we need to focus on positive emotions all day and then, at bedtime, purge our mind of whatever negative emotions it has collected all day. This is where even a short prayer comes in the picture. Matthew 18:23–26 says, “Have faith in God. I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” Faith drives away fear. Also, do not carry a grudge to bed with you. Bedtime is not the time to review your anger against others who have hurt you in some way. Luke 6:27–29 says it best, “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also.” Forgiveness always brings peace, and there is no better sleep aid than a soul that is at peace. Forgive yourself; forgive others.

Ignore Sleep, Ignore Life.

Sleep Well, Lead Well.

“Sleep is for the weak, Mr. President”

Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense told that to President John F. Kennedy during Cuban Missile Crisis.

“Sleep is for the wise, Mr. McNamara.”

And my overworked colleagues too, unaware of medical research continue to argue against sufficient sleep. Here is a list of arguments made by skeptics of sufficient sleep and my responses.

  • I don’t need eight hours of sleep. Studies have shown that sleep restriction for 4 hours, 6 hours (compared to 8 hours) for 14 days causes a dose dependent decline in neurocognitive performance.
  • I only need five hours of sleep. Short sleeper gene, a rare mutation, is present only 3% of the population (Ying-Hui Fu, University of California, San Francisco.) Majority of leaders get less than 6 hours of sleep certainly at the time of major opportunity or catastrophe.
  • I can fight sleep deprivation with strong motivation. Motivation improves attention but not creativity, flexibility, mood, perception, and information management.
  • I have achieved a lot by sleeping less. You could achieve even more by working on your alertness intelligence.
  • I don’t perceive the deficit in my performance. Sleep deprivation adversely affects frontomedial cortex (the executive center) which is essential for successful self-evaluation. This makes us unaware of our deficit.
  • I am highly productive. You have increased your output as a worker/manager, at the expense of executive output.
  • Stakes are so high that sleep has to be on back burner. This is exactly the reason   you should be giving sleep a top priority. Also there are alertness maximization techniques (discussed in Section II and III of my book Sleep Well, Lead Well) which can help you.
  • I don’t want to spend 1/3 of my life sleeping away. Investment in sleep will enrich your life both at home and at work qualitatively.
  • I will sleep when I am dead. Studies unfortunately have shown increased mortality associated with insufficient sleep. You have to sleep 8 hours every night if you want a successful career that can span 5-6 decades.

Sleep Well, Lead Well.

Sleep Well, Live Well.

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