How Long Can You Go Without Sleep? Every Single Fact You Need To Know!
Have you ever tried not having sleep like the entire day or two? Maybe for some, this could be possible but how long can you go without sleep? Sleeping is known to be one of the most basic needs of every human so it might be impossible that you can survive a day or two without having a sleep. If in case, humans can stay awake for numbers of days, could there be any consequences? Well, let us know more about this topic below.
How Long Can You Go Without Sleep
An Overview of the Sleep Process
Let us first have a glance of the sleep process. There could be five different stages of sleep according to some researchers from Washington University. Follow these stages below:
First, the pre-sleep phase will begin as you turn off the lights and eventually close your eyes. And this is when the brain waves perform the alpha activity which is related with a little wakefulness. During this stage, the brain gradually begins disengaging from the external world.
Second, the transitional sleep stage wherein the brain will exhibit the theta-band activity along with small amount of the alpha-activity which makes you feel still awake though you are in the process of deep sleep. The alpha-activity dies down at this moment, or you will be in a state of true non-REM sleep.
The third and fourth stages come as the brain triggers the delta-band activity or these stages are referred to as the deep sleep stages. And finally, the last step is when you experience the REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. This is also the stage wherein you could begin dreaming.
Being aware of this sleep process could help you understand more if how long can you go without sleep.
The Importance of Sleep
Another crucial thing to consider is the idea whether why sleep is essential. As said earlier, sleep is one of the basic needs but more than that there could be reasons behind the fact that we need sleep.
In most cases, sleep will help the brain to clear the waste or could be a kind of reset system for the bodies. There are studies too which have shown that sleeping for about 7 to 8 hours will lead to healing and proper functioning of the immune system.
Others also suggest that an adequate sleep could make an individual a lot smarter. As you sleep, the brain will sort out from all the things that you did the whole day and so decides what should be remained and what shouldn’t.
If you want to learn something, why not go to bed? There could be good chances that you might recall some important things a lot easier the next day. And a proper amount of sleep will also help in the growth of white cells that could assist in recovering from specific injuries a lot faster.
So, How Long Can You Go Without Sleep?
And for the main issue, how long can you really go without sleep? Well, the answer to this query could be subjective. It might vary based on the ability of an individual to stay awake. However, certain records are showing the duration how a human could stay awake.
Records were showing that soldiers could stay awake for about 4 to 5 days once they are on a mission. A Chinese man also stayed awake for almost 11 days to watch football; unfortunately, he died. These are just some of the cases which proved the duration whether how long can a human go without getting some sleep.
Though there is no clear evidence that having no sleep at all could lead to death, it is not a good idea to ignore sleeping. There are also numbers of studies which explain those adverse effects of sleep deprivation on one’s health.
What Is A No Sleep Timeline?
Let’s get to know the No Sleep Timeline and learn what will happen to you if you don’t get the needed sleep:
- What happens if you don’t sleep for 24 hours?
Once you stay awake all night studying for an exam or you are preparing for a report at work, you might wish that you did not procrastinate.
Having no sleep for almost a day or 24 hours, you might not think clearly at all. Actually, the brain would work the same as someone having a blood alcohol content of .10 that is above the legal limit to be convicted of a DUI in almost all 50 states in the US.
Apart from cognitive impairment, you might also experience impaired memory, lack of good judgment, poor decision making, lower attention span, a decrease in hand-eye coordination, impaired hearing, emotional tendencies and increase the risk of death from a fatal accident.
You might also think that you can survive at 36 hours of no sleep. However, a consecutive stint of 36 hours would begin to affect your physical health negatively. Repeated exposure to such kind of bad habit could lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and also hormone imbalances. You might also experience complete memory lapses and might not remember the things that happened during these hours.
Well, two straight days of sleep deprivation could lead to what is referred as microsleeps. These are miniature blackouts which could last anywhere from half a second to almost 30 seconds. And you might not be aware that it is happening, but if you come to, you could be disoriented.
- Or even worse at 72 hours of no sleep?
And if you plan to go to three days straight without sleep, hallucinations could now be experienced. In fact, the brain is struggling to keep it all together. Staying motivated, concentrating and even having a simple conversation could be like strenuous mental tasks.
Again, how long can you go without sleep? Even if you have the ability not to sleep for long hours, still specific effects could be experienced.
Tips To Achieve A Good Night Sleep
Yes, there are instances wherein you couldn’t control some of the factors which interfere your sleep. However, you could adopt some habits which encourage better sleep. Some simple tips include the following:
- Stick to your sleep schedule
It is advised that you set aside no more than 8 hours for sleep. You are recommended for at least seven hours amount of sleep for a healthy adult. In most cases, you actually don’t need more than 8 hours just to achieve the said goal.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every single day. You should try to limit the difference in between the sleep schedule during weeknights and weekends to at least not more than an hour. If you are consistent, it will reinforce the sleep-wake cycle of the body.
Once you don’t fall asleep for about 20 minutes, leave the bedroom and do something that will make you feel relax. You read or merely listen to soothing music. When you are tired, go back to bed. You can repeat this once needed.
- Create a restful environment
It is also best that you should create a room that is ideal for sleeping. This could be a dark, calm and quiet room. It could be challenging to fall asleep if you are exposed to light. There is also a need to avoid prolonged use of light emitting screens before going to bed. Why not use room-darkening shades, a fan, earplugs or other devices that might create a place that suits your needs?
Better sleep might also be achieved by doing calming activities before going to bed like utilizing relaxation techniques or taking a bath.
- Be aware of what you drink and eat
It is not recommended that you go to bed either stuffed or hungry. Avoid large or heavy meals hours before bedtime since discomfort could keep you awake.
Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine deserve caution as well. Their stimulating effects could take hours to wear off and could also wreak havoc on quality sleep. Though alcohol makes someone sleepy, it still can disrupt the sleep later at night.
- Incorporate physical activities into the daily routine
You can also achieve better sleep if you consider regular physical activities. There is a need to avoid being active just hours before bedtime, though. It is helpful if you will spend time outside every day.
Indeed, long daytime naps could interfere with your nighttime sleep. Once you choose to nap, 30 minutes might already be good and don’t do it late in the day.
And of course, try resolving your concerns or worries before you go to bed. You can jot down what is on your mind and set it aside for the next day.
Finally, did you get the answer to your question? How long can you go without sleep? In fact, you can answer this question by yourself. It is your choice whether how long you can stay awake, however, bear in mind that some factors are going to interfere and so specific impacts might also happen if you will not have a sleep for more extended hours or days. The best thing to do is to follow the recommended amount of sleep and live a healthy life!
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