How Long Can You Go Without Sleep?

Depending upon your body, the sleep requirements can vary – age, gender and nature of the activity being the important factors. If you are a student or a working professional who often wonders how long can you go without sleep because of your targets. Well, here is the apt answer for that question, read on to find out!

How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?

Medical researches for Disease Control and Prevention recommend after several analyses that people in the age group from eighteen to sixty years must at least get seven hours of sleep during the night. However, a survey says that nearly 40 per cent of the people sleep much lesser than seven hours. The survey also mentions that if an individual in the mentioned age group is awake for more than seventeen hours then they will experience sleep deprivation effects. Infants, on the other hand, need to sleep for around fourteen hours a day and new-borns up to seventeen hours a day is a must.

How Long Can You Actually Stay Awake?

Now, that you already know how much you must actually be sleeping for your age group, you are about to know how long can you go without sleep. According to another survey done in 2010, the world record for a person to go the longest without sleep is almost eleven days which is approximately 266 hours. Another experiment took place on Randy Gardner, a high school student who stayed awake for around 264 hours straight. As he crossed 2-3 days, Gardener said he began to hallucinate and slowly grew paranoid. However, he did not report and psychological or physical effects in the long run.

24 Hour Continuously Awake

Mostly, people actually tend to feel the effects of sleep deprivation within the 24-hour sleepless span. The symptoms of sleep deprivation include constant drowsiness, difficulties to remember and concentrate, irritability, decreased coordination, short term memory loss, high levels of stressed hormones and impaired judgment. You are also not advised to drive in this condition as it has the same effect as driving with 0.10 per cent alcohol in your blood. 24-hour sleep deprivation can also cause a change in the hormones that actively regulate metabolism, stress, decision making, appetite, immunity and growth.

48 Hours Sleepless

The effects of sleep deprivation get intensified as you stay awake for longer. A person’s cognitive performance and fatigue will increase to higher levels which are not good for them. They can also have short term memory loss and can enter brief periods of unconsciousness. This uncontrollable unconsciousness which lasts for a few seconds is called microsleep.

72 Hours Without Sleep

After multiple microsleep periods now the person enters phases of hallucination. Along with fatigue, the symptoms of sleep deprivation intensify to higher levels. The heart rate will increase and positive emotions stop occurring to the person. They can also find communication difficulties and become victims of paranoia.

The next time you wonder how long can you go without sleep just for a school project or a presentation at work; ask yourself if it is worth it or not. If not please go to bed, if yes, don’t let yourself stay awake more than eighteen hours a day.


The author is a part of one of the leading SEO companies who has been working on various International projects. He expresses his views regularly through his personal blog.

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