The longest anyone has been able to scientifically prove and record that they haven’t slept was 264.4 hours, which is 11 days and 24 minutes. A 17 year old American set the record back in 1964 and because I couldn’t be bothered to read any more information than that I’ll just assume he’d left a lot of assignments to the last minute and had to pull quite a few all nighters to catch up. Though the last few would have sucked because your ability to focus is significantly impaired before you’re even through 24 hours.
But sleep, despite a lot of scientists spending a lot of time researching, apparently remains a relatively mysterious necessity. Sleep is important for healing, particularly the blood vessels and you’re heart. I have done zero research for this next bit so fact check if you want to, when you sleep your body sort of partly shuts down for the night (much like a city) the less vital production systems close up shop and thus you need less pressure pumping blood with oxygen and other goodies around the body. Less blood pressure probably makes it a whole lot easier to fix things. I mean a smart sensible plumber would shut off the water before fixing the leak. On a side note, and this is something I actually do know so shouldn’t need to be fact checked, another function that shuts down during sleep is your saliva production. During the day your saliva provides a constant mouth cleansing service, at night it does not, this is why it’s extra important to brush your teeth before bed. However, scientists still haven’t figured out exactly why sleep deprivation can be fatal, or so I read.
I did a brief bit of research on sleep and discovered that after just 24 hours of no sleep you blood pressure and stress levels rise. After 1 to 2 days without sleep your body isn’t metabolising glucose as well, your temperature drops and your immune system weakens. I’d have to say these all sound like reason you would die for not sleeping…
There are a number of side effects to regularly not getting your proper amount of sleep too. Side effects such as an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, heart problems and even car accidents. But worst of all and almost like some kind of sick joke one of the side effects of a lack of sleep is depression… Are you kidding me?! Of late my body has decided that it would only like to sleep for 6 hours maximum, although the past two days it’s decided on 4 hours. This has lead to me being very tired and my eyes stinging constantly. There is literally only one thing wrong with me right now that could cause a lack of sleep. It’s name is depression. Depression is causing a lack of sleep that will lead to depression…
I was so tired the other day I smashed through all my jobs at work and hid away in the warehouse to take a nap. I would not recommend this as not only was the floor incredibly uncomfortable but the constant fear of being caught and then fired meant I didn’t sleep for long.
Now I’m confident I’m not about to set any records for not sleeping, mostly because I still get some sleep. Which hopefully also means I’m not about to die from a lack of sleep. And that hope is a good sign, it means I haven’t entirely given up on life yet. I’ll just shake my fist angrily at nothing in particular and shout ‘why have you forsaken me cruel world?’
Fingers crossed for the full 8 hours tonight.