The sudden death of a 35-year-old anesthesiologist, Dr. Stefanus Taofik of Indonesia, raised the awareness of the severe side-effects of sleep deprivation many people often ignore.
Namely, his death in June of 2017 was due to a heart failure, after he spent 4 consecutive days working at multiple hospitals during Eid al-Fitr.
He volunteered to take on extra shifts at his own hospital, Bintaro Jaya Hospital, but in order to help his colleagues to celebrate the holiday, he also volunteered additional time at 2 separate hospitals to help cover the shifts.
After the four days, he was found dead in a hospital ward. His death came as a result of his extreme determination to help his colleagues and patients.
Yet, from a scientific point of view, his death as caused by the extreme sleep deprivation, which altered his cardiovascular functions, including heart rate and blood pressure, which led to an altered hormonal stress response, and significantly increased the risk of a cardiovascular event.
Heart failure is not a disease, in fact, it is a diverse set of problems; which can occur quickly, or over a very long period of time. In general, it is the loss of ability of the heart to pump the needed amounts of blood by the body.
It might be a result of narrowed heart valves, thinning or weakening of the muscles, improper closing of the heart valves, or loss of elasticity in heart muscles.
Therefore, in all likelihood, the heart failure of Dr. Dao Fei came as a result of an unhealthy set of factors, such as his chronic sleep deprivation.
Unfortunately, numerous people lack proper rest and sleep these days, and the risks of being overworked are severe.
The findings of a 2010 research study led by Anoop Shankar, Shirmila Syamala, and Sita Kalidindi of West Virginia University School of Medicine, indicate that insufficient sleep leads to an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Researchers found that the less rest participants got, the higher their risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
There is no doubt that chronic sleep deprivation poses serious health risks, but even short-term sleep deprivation negatively affects health.
According to the National Lung, Heart, and Blood Institute:
“As part of a health survey for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7–19 percent of adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day.
Nearly 40 percent of adults report falling asleep during the day without meaning to at least once a month. Also, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans have chronic (ongoing) sleep disorders.”
Therefore, it is of high importance to make sure you are getting the needed sleep every single day.
These are the most common signs of sleep deprivation:
- Trouble focusing
- Muscle fatigue or muscle pain
- Constantly feeling sleepy
- Slow reaction times
- Unexplained mood swings
The lack of proper rest always takes its toll, so make sure you get the needed sleep and thus avoid serious health risks.