As eating and breathing, sleeping is a fundamental part of human's life. In order a human's body to function properly, daily dose of sleep is required. But what if you can't fall asleep? What if that happens again, and again, multiple nights in a row? Are you wondering how long can you survive without sleep? Science has your answer.
Sleep is able to reset our body system and restore our health. Along with diet and exercise, sleep is the very foundation of good health. Night sleep promotes healing, improves metabolism and the immune system and much more. 6 hours of sleep is minimum, while 8 hours of sleep a day is required for a human's brain to function properly. However, the number varies with every person as everyone is different. According to some studies, 6 hours of sleep over a long period can reduce the reaction time. Can you imagine how terrible not sleeping for days can be?
Life can be tough and when it's tough, we're struggling to get a good night sleep. Long, exhaustive and stressful shifts usually leave people unable to fall into a deep sleep. Traveling through multiple time zones and sleep disorders, such as stress, insomnia, depression and the menopause, can also affect one's sleeping regime. The health risks of sleepless night/s can be severe, because scientists have discovered that sleeping is as much important for human's health as food, water and air. Without sleep for a long period of time, you could die.
Despite all the researches conducted on sleeping, there are still a lot of unexplained facts. First off, nobody knows how long would it take for a person who lacks sleep to die. There are people, however, who decide not to sleep for days for their own purposes. Randy Gardner is the person who set the record for the longest period a person has ever gone without sleep and he did it voluntarily. In 1965, the 17-year-old Randy stayed awake for 264 hours (11 days) for a school science project.
In an effort to watch every single game in the UEFA Euro 2012, a Chinese 26-year-old man has died after going 11 days without sleep. As reported, this football fan, who tried to survive after staying awake for days as Gardner did, was healthy before he started his football-watching marathon. In addition to his lack of sleep, he was drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes throughout his sleepless marathon, which makes it impossible to point out a primary cause of his death.
It might be unknown how long does it take for the sleepless nights to take their toll on a person, but it's surely known what does lack of sleep cause. Dizziness, weakened immune system, fainting, color blindness, depression, blurred vision, muscle aches, headaches, tremors, irritability, slurred speech, inability to focus and slow reaction times are just some of the myriad symptoms that lack of sleep causes. But sleep deprivation can easily go out of control and cause even bigger physical and emotional damage, including death.
After going 2-3 days without sleep, you may start hallucinating and having dreams while being awake. After 5 days without sleep, your mental health is under a serious threat. All of the aforementioned symptoms will start manifesting themselves over time and your life will feel like a torture. How long can you stay awake without sleep is still a question without an ultimate answer. However, no person should ignore the need for sleep, because there is a whole lot of side effects of sleep deprivation that could make one's life miserable. If you want to keep your body and mind healthy and strong, never delay sleep.