What Would Happen If You Don’t Sleep?


It’s obvious that sleep is beneficial. Sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being. After a good night’s sleep, you feel better, your mind is clear, and your emotions are less breakable.

Most of us have gone a night or two with little or no sleep, but what would happen if you don’t sleep at all? Lack of sleep can cause confusion, dizziness, headaches, and in extreme cases, death.

Here are some sequences of sleep deprivation:

  • 24 hours: you like someone with a blood-alcohol content of 0.1 percent. You are more emotional, attention is decreased, and hearing is impaired.
  • 48 hours: your hand-eye coordination has trouble. General memory function certainly decrease, but short-term memory may improve.
  • 72 hours: your mind is ripe for visual hallucinations. You are suffered from unintentional periods of microsleep (condition where a person suddenly falls asleep for 2-30 seconds).
  • 100 hours: you encounter mental psychosis and diminished organ functions. At this point, medical treatment become increasingly necessary for you to recover fully.
  • 11+ days: you win the prize for longest period a human has voluntarily gone without sleep. Current holder is Randy Gardner.
  • 2 weeks: Experiments with rats showed that they died after 2-4 weeks of researchers keeping them awake in an experimental setting. This could happen to human.
  • 6+ months: You’re having rare disorders like Fatal familial insomnia. If not, you will certainly die.

The bottom line? The requirement of sleep does matter and you should respect it.