Getting enough sleep is necessary for physical and emotional well-being. If you are not getting enough sleep daily, it can lead you to many short, and long-term health effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend seven-hour rest at night daily for adults between ages 18 to 60 years. But the studies show almost 35 percent of the people in that age range not getting enough sleep which ultimately leading them to many mental health issues.
According to the CDC sleep recommendation, an adult couldn’t awake for more than 17 hours as you will experience the adverse effects of sleep deprivation within 24 hours.
Table of Content
- What is sleep deprivation?
- Can sleep deprivation kill?
- Short term effects of sleep deprivation
- Long term effects of sleep deprivation
- Let’s see what happens if you stop sleeping for one to four days.
What is sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a body condition, which occurs when a person doesn’t sleep according to his body needs. It mainly occurs in children and teenagers as they are still growing. Sleep deprivation symptoms can vary depending upon your diet and routine.
But the general symptoms are almost the same, including fatigue, memory difficulties, reduced coordination, increased appetite, and mood changes. If you are facing regular sleep deprivation issues, it can lead you to serious health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Can sleep deprivation kill?
Yes, sleep deprivation can be responsible for many life-threatening incidents, including serious road accidents. According to the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety, almost 90,000 motor vehicles are crashed due to sleep deprivation.
Fatal Familial Insomnia is a serious health disorder due to less sleep which can result in death. The death due to this issue usually occurs within the 12-18 months after experiencing weight loss, lack of appetite, and changes in body temperature symptoms.
Short term effects of sleep deprivation
Some short-term sleep deprivation effects include drowsiness, reduced alertness, decreased concentration, impaired judgment, short-term memory problems, and risk of accidents.
Long term effects of sleep deprivation
Some long-term sleep deprivation effects include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Sleep deprivation also affects children as its causes their growth and development issues.
Let’s see what happens if you stop sleeping for one to four days.
24 hours without sleep
If you are not sleeping at least for 7 hours after 17 hours, you will face sleep deprivation issues. According to CDC, if you are not sleeping for 24 hours, it’s equal to 0.10 percent alcohol in your blood. The effects of 24 hours without sleeping include the following.
- Concentration and memory difficulties
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced coordination
- Short-term memory problems
- Increase inn blood sugar level
- Risk of accidents
- Muscle tension
After 24 hours, your brain tries to go into the “Local Sleep” situation to conserve energy. You will feel a decline in your ability to perform tasks.
36 hours without sleep
The initial symptoms become worse when you spend more and more time without sleeping. Even many people start sleeping 30 seconds without realizing it. After 36 hours without sleeping, it’s become very difficult for your brain to communicate with the different parts.
48 hours without sleeping
After 48 hours, the sleep deprivation effects are stronger as it’s badly affecting your cognitive performance. Your brain starts to go into a brief period known as microsleep.
72 hours without sleeping
The sleep deprivation symptoms will intensify when you spend 72 hours without sleeping. You may feel the following problems after spending 72 hours without sleeping.
- Extreme fatigue
- Memory issues
- Difficulty multitasking
- Depressed mood
- Communication issues
96 hours without sleep
Spending 96 hours without sleeping is unbelievable as a person will definitely go into a sleep deprivation psychosis state after four days. Enough sleep is necessary to get rid of this state
How long can a person go without sleep?
Sleeping requirements mostly depend upon age, environment, diet, and daily routine. However, how long a person can go without sleeping is a bit unclear as the record of spending the longest time without sleeping is about 266 hours. A famous sleep deprivation experiment took place in 1964, where a student managed to awake for 264 hours. Both recovered without any long-term physical or psychological effects.
Treatments to recover sleep deprivation
- Treatments for recovering from sleep deprivation mainly depend on the time you have spent without sleep.
- Napping can reduce the symptoms of sleep deprivation if you have only lost a few hours of sleep. But avoid napping for more than thirty minutes as it can affect your night’s sleep.
- Practice healthy sleep habits to prevent, and treat sleep deprivation issues.
- Many people also use sleeping pills, but these are less effective with time.
- Light therapy is also helpful if you have insomnia symptoms, as light therapy reset your body’s internal structure.
How can I improve my sleeping habits?
- Make a proper timetable of sleeping and awakening and strictly follow it.
- Food selection is also important to get a sound sleep. Try to take whole grains and fatty food at dinner.
- Make sure your bedroom environment is perfect for sound sleep. A cool temperature, dark blinds, and comfortable mattress are good to strengthen your brain association.
- Exercise plays an important role in your daily lifestyle. But you know it also helps you to get a restful sound sleep. You can spend 15-30 minutes daily exercising to improve sleep efficiency and sleep cycles.
- Try to prevent the blue light in the evening hours as it activates the hormones that influence your sleep-wake cycle.
- When you are going to sleep, try to get rid of everything which causing stress as it makes it hard to sleep. Find healthy ways to deal with the stress, and worries of the whole day.
- Sometimes the mattresses are not compatible with a person’s sleeping habits, so you need to buy new mattresses to kickstart better sleep.
- Makes sure to expose yourself to natural sunlight daily as its helps to normalize your body’s production of melatonin.
When to go for a doctor
It’s normal if you spend 24 to 30 hours without sleeping, just sleep after 24 to 30 hours according to your body need, you will be feeling well. But you need to visit the doctor if you have difficulty sleeping even after a long awake, experiencing the microsleeps, or fatigue. You can also visit the doctor if you need to take daily naps without a sound sleep of the night.