This is how long you can likely go without sleep

This is how long you can (likely) go without sleep

Linda Nguyen | June 13, 2019

Sometimes the day can slip right through your fingers, leaving you bamboozled as to how you experienced an entire day without finishing your to-do list.

Yes, we all have the same hours in the day as Beyonce, but most of us don’t have a team to help us tackle our responsibilities. This begs the question that we’re guilty of thinking to ourselves: How long can we go without sleep?

Although it’s unclear how long a human can actually survive without sleep, the University of Gdansk in Poland recorded a time of 264 hours, or roughly 11 days, without sleep. This number is baffling to comprehend, but something we can understand is that it doesn’t take almost two weeks to see the repercussions of sleep deprivation. In fact, the effects of sleeplessness is noticeable within 24 hours.

Going 24 hours without sleep is, unfortunately, not that uncommon and won’t have significant effects on your overall health. Still though, as Healthline outlines, you’ll experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Drowsiness

  • Irritability

  • Impaired decision-making

  • Altered perception

  • Memory deficits

  • Vision and hearing impairments

  • Decreased hand-eye coordination

  • Increased muscle tension

  • Tremors

  • Increased risk of accidents or near misses

As you can expect, the symptoms don’t get better the more you deprive yourself of sleep. At 36 hours without sleep, your sleep-cycle is thrown off course, which ultimately affects normal bodily functions like your appetite, metabolism, and stress levels. You’ll experience speech impairments plus decreased motivation and attention, to name a few things.

At 48 hours, individuals not only experience a hit to their immune systems, but they’ll also fall into “microsleeps,” which last for roughly 30 seconds and they happen involuntarily.

The more you go without sleep, the more you increase your chances of experiencing altered perception and hallucinations. These two extremes are also exacerbated if paired with a poor diet.

So what are you to do? For the days in which you experience literally no sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating protein-rich (nuts and things of the sort) will help combat your lack of zzzs.

But overall, we recommend sleeping. Sleep is always the answer.



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