How Long Can You Stay Awake Without Sleep

How Long Can You Stay Awake Without Sleep

Deadlines, side hustles, staying up all night watching cat videos, a newborn, insomnia- there are many reasons people aren’t sleeping the required number of hours every night. Around seven to nine percent of adults suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation means you don’t get enough sleep. Most adults need seven to nine hours every night. You can be sleep deficient even if you sleep at timings that are out of sync with your natural rhythm. Sleep deficiency could be a serious condition that will result in physical and psychological state problems like cardiovascular disease, renal disorder, high pressure levels, diabetes, stroke, various disorders, and depression. Not sleeping enough also puts you at greater risk for accidents and death.

Will Insomnia kill you? 

If you spend those sleepless hours contemplating your mortality, it is situationally appropriate. Extreme fatigue is related to a higher risk for driving accidents, other injuries, and potentially life-shortening conditions. And for people with the rare disease fatal familial insomnia (FFI), not sleeping is one of the primary signs they are unwell. FFI is a genetic defect caused by prions within the part of the brain that controls waking and sleeping. Prions destroy neurons within the thalamus, causing insomnia, weight gain or loss, high or low vital signs, and dementia. In most cases, symptoms begin in mid-life and cause death within Twelve to eighteen months. Because FFI is genetic, you almost certainly have had a close one with the condition. Spontaneous cases can happen but are less common.

So, if you do not have this disease, insomnia will not likely kill you, but the effects rising from chronic sleep deprivation might. It is best to consult a doctor and get your problems checked out. 

How Long can You Go without Sleep? 

The longest recorded time without sleep is approximately 264 hours or a little over 11 continuous days. Although it is unclear exactly how long humans can survive without any sleep, it isn’t long before the results of sleep deprivation start to show up. After only three or four sleepless nights, you will start to hallucinate. Prolonged deprivation can lead to:

  • cognitive impairments
  • irritability
  • delusions
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • Although dying from deprivation is not possible, it can rarely happen

24 hours without sleep

The implications of sleep deprivation at 24 hours is resembling the cognitive impairment of somebody with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, per a study published by the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health. Judgment is affected, memory is impaired, there is deterioration in decision-making, and a decline in eye-hand coordination. You are more emotional, attention is decreased, hearing is impaired, and there is a rise in your risk of death from an accident.

36 Hours without Sleep

Now your health begins to be in danger. High levels of inflammatory markers are within the bloodstream, which might eventually result in sleep disorder and high blood pressure levels. Additionally, hormones are affected- your emotions are everywhere, all over the place. As a result, going without sleep for an extended time can alter several bodily functions. This includes your:

  • appetite
  • metabolism
  • temperature
  • mood
  • stress level

Some effects of going 36 hours without any sleep:

  • extreme fatigue
  • hormonal imbalances
  • decreased motivation
  • risky decisions
  • Lack of reasoning
  • Very low attention span
  • speech impairments, such as poor word choice

No sleep for 48 hours

After two days of no sleep, the body begins compensating by shutting down for microsleeps, episodes that can last half a second or half a minute and are usually followed by a period of disorientation. The person experiencing a microsleep falls asleep no matter the activity they are doing right then. Microsleeps are just like blackouts, and someone experiencing them is not consciously aware that they are occurring. Staying awake for straight 48 hours can also disrupt the immune system. Inflammatory markers that help your body prevent and target illnesses, start to circulate at increased levels.

Sleepless 72 hours

Expect significant deficits in concentration, motivation, perception, and other higher mental processes after many sleepless hours. Even simple conversations are a chore. This is often when the mind is ripe for hallucinations. Some effects of staying awake straight for 72 hours also include:

  • extreme fatigue
  • difficulty multitasking
  • severe concentration and memory issues
  • paranoia
  • depressed mood
  • difficulty communicating with others

Effects of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have several harmful effects on your health that will resolve once a person starts to get back on the sleep wagon.

Short-term effects of sleep deprivation can include:

  • All-day drowsiness
  • reduced alertness
  • decreased concentration
  • impaired judgment
  • short-term memory problems
  • High levels of stress
  • a higher risk of accidents than normal

Long-term effects of sleep deprivation

  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • anxiety or depression

Chronic sleep deprivation can also have many long-term effects in children, that includes: 

  • poor academics
  • problems in socializing
  • a higher risk of engaging in dangerous and antisocial behaviors
  • restrictions with physical growth and development

How to sleep well

Some cases of sleep deprivation can come from underlying issues such as disorders, health problems, etc. But good sleep hygiene can start the way to conquer and defeat deprivation. Some of the things that you can start practicing today to have more peaceful pillow time are as follows: 

  • Exercise regularly 
  • Catch some sunlight in the morning. It helps control our circadian rhythms. 
  • Eat healthy food and do not consume food too close to bedtime. 
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine as much as you can. Any of these are a no-no too close to bedtime. 
  • Avoid taking short naps throughout the day. 

Your bedroom environment is essential for good sleep. Check your mattress, pillows, and rest of the bedding to see if it has worn out its lifetime or if they are giving you trouble otherwise. If you see that they are the reason behind you not sleeping properly, it’s time to change them. Livpure offers a variety of mattresses, pillows, and other beds and home needs to give you a guaranteed good sleep. Explore all-year discounts and warranties so that you can snooze peacefully. 

The bottom line

Pulling a couple of all-nighters once or twice when you need them would not have long-term health impairments, but if it is a regular thing, it is a matter of definite concern. If you are not able to solve the problem of insomnia at home, seek out a expert or a doctor who can help you fix it. 

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