Don’t be a Cheater, Get Some Sleep!

Don’t be a Cheater, Get Some Sleep!

June 3, 2013 | |

The study of sleep has produced a tremendous amount of new and important research over the last decade.  There are negative implications of sleep deprivation. Some are weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, irritability, and lack of focus. Others are sexual dysfunction, poor personal relationships, traffic accidents, cancer, stroke, and heart attack to name a few.  Conversely, consistent and deep sleep not only helps to combat the aforementioned, but it also aids in fighting disease. It can also curb stress and help you live longer.  Sleep is somewhat like the brain’s food.

Recently, interesting research from Christopher M. Barnes, who is an assistant professor of management at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business was in the Harvard Business Review.  Mr. Barnes worked in the Fatigue Countermeasures branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory before pursuing his PhD in Organizational Behavior at Michigan State University.  So he brings valuable insight and perspective to the study of sleep deprivation and its affect in the workplace.  In his article, he correlates unethical behavior with a person’s self-control.  He postulates that the workplace has many temptations from small things like claiming another’s work as your own to actual criminal acts.  Barnes states “self-control is a key determinant of whether or not people fall to or resist such temptations. When their ability to exert self-control is high, they can resist. When it is low, they cave”.

So what does this have to do with sleep, you ask?  Barnes cites research that indicates the lack of sleep drains glucose from the brain in an area that is responsible for self-control.  Conversely, sleep restores glucose to the brain.  Using this premise, Barnes conducted four studies. They determined that the lack of sleep lead to high levels of unethical behavior.  Associating the lack of sleep to low levels of glucose in the brain followed a pattern leading to a decrease in self-control.  This result is further supported by other research which found that lack of sleep leads to deviant behavior like falsifying receipts.

What did they consider lack of sleep?  Amazingly, the research found that “small amounts of lost sleep that produced noticeable effects on unethical behavior”.  In fact, in one cited example, only a difference of 22 minutes separated the ethical from the unethical.  In the other study, those who slept for less than 6 hours a night were more likely to engage in unethical behavior than those who slept for more than six hours.  Although no research indicates this, it would seem those who suffer from sleep apnea have to shoulder an additional significant burden besides the health concerns which come from lack of sleep.

Barnes theorizes that the more companies and managers push employees to work longer hours and be available constantly; they are actually inviting a culture of unethical behavior by their actions.  However, what is not identified is the growth of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is known to afflict millions with the vast majority of those undiagnosed.  If sleep issues are plaguing various aspects of your life, you may want to take a sleep test. CPAP therapy can generally alleviate sleep apnea through the use of a CPAP machine connected to a CPAP mask.

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Sleep deprivation has proven to be not only a serious health concern but also potentially ruinous to personal and business relationships.  Getting to the root cause for the lack of sleep is necessary to determine the proper course of action.  Knowing that the vast majority of those afflicted by sleep apnea go undiagnosed, a simple in-home test to determine if sleep apnea is present can positively impact your quality of life forever.

The CPAP Shop commits to enhancing the lives of people with sleep apnea through information and high-quality therapeutic products.  If you have questions about CPAP Therapy please call (866) 414-9700. Or, contact us through our website at