Anonymous

Can A Person Really Die From Lack Of Sleep?

18 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Indeed they can! A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without sleep whilst starvation will take a few weeks. 

Going without sleep for any length of time causes long and short-term effects. People quickly lose the ability to act and think coherently. Although it leave no physical marks, the psychological affects of sleep deprivation are phenomenal.

Many prisoners of war were tortured using methods of sleep deprivation and although a person initially thinks that this form of torture is nothing more than feeling tired, if a person goes for more than three days without any sleep at all, they lose orientation in place and time, hallucinations start and eventually the body cannot cope and begins to break down. 

The average human body requires between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. People over 60 can get away with between five and six hours. This enables the body to repair and refresh itself in order to start the new day. If you try to burn the candle at both ends and don't get enough sleep, it will affect everything that you do. Mistakes can be made, accidents can happen and there is evidence of short-term memory.

thanked the writer.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
This is not true; studies have shown that rats will die after a few weeks without sleep, but human sleep deprivation studies have shown no such dangers, nor any long-term effects. The only cases of humans dying from lack of sleep have been people with the extremely rare genetic prion disease Fatal Familial Insomnia, a disease which destroys the brain and leaves people unable to sleep for months (and in these cases, it's probably not the lack of sleep but the enormous brain damage sustained from the prion disease which kills the victim.)
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
I mean. Its true that you can only live for about 10 days with no sleep.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes! However, it takes a certain amount of numerous days in order for this to happen. You may start out by have problems (like seizers, sudden cold feeling,ect.) BUt I myself have done an experiment and you will eventually be so tired that you are not able to go to sleep which will cause some parts in your body to be disfunctional.
Bruce Bates Profile
Bruce Bates answered
A person cannot die from sleep deprivation. The truth is studies show a person COULD die from lack of sleep but that study assumes people and animals are the same in nature. The studies done show ANIMALS have died from lack of sleep. However never once in recorded history has a person died from it. This is actually one of the very arguments used by the CIA of the USA when they were using sleep deprivation as a means of interrogation at Guantanamo Bay. There were dozens of inmates kept awake for between 10 and 20 days at a time. However what we also know is that sleep deprivation causes changes in the way our body breaks down sugars, specifically that of glucose. People who are deprived of sleep begin to have huge cravings of carbohydrates for this reason. Because of these changes there are other RELATED things that can cause death, but lack of sleep itself, has never once in the history of man kind been known to actually kill a person.
Tony Yolanda Profile
Tony Yolanda answered
I stayed up 72 hours (3 days) once and I then started to hallucinate a bit but I knocked right out and I felt like weird and like a black hole in my head was sucking me in deep sleep it was interesting lol and fun but ever since then I am not able to stay up for more than 48 hours I don't know why
but yeah.. Sleep wont kill you.. I sure did not feel like dying
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I've had serious insomnia my entire life, to the point where I'm lucky if I get 4 or 5 hours sleep per week. I am unable to take medication, as I've got bi-polar disorder, and everything I've tried sends me manic or suicidally depressed. I also get really terrible nightmares, which scare me so badly I'm unable to sleep for days afterwards. I've got ADD, and I often get really bad migraines, but considering I've been seriously sleep deprived from birth, I don't think it's really that big an issue. Only people with really serious cases actually die from sleep deprivation, and your instincts will not let you stay awake long enough for that to happen. You will only die if you try to counteract tiredness by taking caffeine pills or something. Otherwise, you'll just fall asleep after a while. So long as you don't purposely try to keep yourself awake, which you would only do if you were  a complete idiot anyway, it's pretty much impossible to die from sleep deprivation, so don't bother yourself over it, and don't try and keep yourself awake. Sleep is a gift, I don't know why anyone would ever try and keep themselves from sleeping, beyond the occasional all-nighter.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As far as I am aware of there is no medical documentation of a person dieing from sleeplessness alone. Depending on who you are most people will have a drastic decrease in motor functions and eventual hallucinations. The current record holder on document for the longest person without sleep was set at 11 days in 1965 by a man named Randy Gardner. And I am pretty confident that there has many other people who have bested this record, though undocumented. Personally, my best has been 3 whole days. I felt very odd but experienced no hallucinations.
Sarah Hailington Profile
Depends what you mean by lack of sleep. Everyone else replied in the context that the person did not sleep at all. But I think you meant, still having sleep, but not as much as necessary for the body to regenerate? I would say that lack of sleep is known to reduce a persons immunity, which as we all know has the consequence of being more susceptible to illness or disease. Which therefore could possibly kill you... Eventually. Kind of like you die from dehydration, not diarrhea.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm not so sure, but the first one cannot be true because I haven't slept in around 10 days before. The second one is definitely correct because you definitely hallucinate, and you will have a short term memory loss..
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm up two 2 days I mean no sleep at all no sleep I see the sunrise come up and I'm scare di don't want to die
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well, I should have died hours ago.   I am now in my 260th hour without sleep.  This is the only real way to get an answer, a subject under the circumstance.. Maybe? I would say most of what you have read is true.  I have experienced hallucinations since my late 60's hour.  Cognition is significantly reduced, as I have had to think for at least a minute for each word written here, when usually I could have finished this by now. 40 wpm, and off my head. My brain is so dysfunctional that I need to hunt and peck when I type.  Another thing,   you lose time.  I have had to look at the date every day now, every day seems like 3.   Now, to the physical part.  Stress is definitely elevated.  My nervous system feels like it would .5 seconds from impact by a speeding train! It ranges from a cold feeling in my whole body, like after you cut circulation off somewhere.  Numb.  I am not sure due to medical circumstances if the loss of use to my foot in one certain direction, is from the nerves in my back, or from the lack of sleep. I can say that I havent had to use pain meds since my 70th hour.. Which is strange and probably one of the reasons why I can't sleep.  The main reason is the doctor changed my prescription from 6 mg of xanax a day, to 8 mg of valium. Then none for all of my hours awake now.. So, if you are a doctor, THIS IS NOT THE CORRECT WAY!  I have an appointment in 30 more hours, and it is his responsibility.  6mg of xanax for over 2 years now, then to cut off in just one month? No. During my regular dosage of 2mg every 6 hr of valium, I did not have seizures.   But I also did not sleep...so I would skip a few days then take a couple day dose in two 12hr doses, sleep for 6 hr then repeat.  That was last month.  Another big effect is weight loss. I have lost about 20 lbs in the last month.  I am having kidney pains also.  I think I am starting to feel like I can not tell if I am dreaming what I am thinking, or is it real? Phase of this.  I def. Could see someone going crazy from this. Serious mental damage at this hour. Ill keep you posted. Mark. Hr 262
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I haven't been sleep deprived for more than a few day at a time but being up for 48 hours sleeping 2 hours and up for another 48 is stressful my muscle don't grow I am 24 frail and over the counter meds don't help nyquil gives me erections for some reason and excedrin p.m. Make me   trip also giving me lock jaw I more often pass out rather than fall asleep I haven't went to a doctor for it seem to increase my blood pressure I anger quickly get light headed have no appetite so it sucks
mary hill Profile
mary hill answered
No but they will start to get white hairs and you will have no energy and probally wil see things.. You wil be really tired.. Not getting any sleep is not good for you. I mean if you like staying up late thats fine but if your staying up for weeks without sleep thats not good
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Wouldnt you pass out. I mean I have worked 26 hours stright as a line cook. ( 2 differnt jobs only took breaks to pee, and 26 min to drive to second job after the first 11 hours) when I was done I     sat in my car and lit a cigarette and passed out, not sure how long I was asleep but I awoke to a dishwasher knocking on my window. Needless to say its probely better I didnt drive home.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Take seroquel it will make you feel sick at first but will most deff knock you out I was on 80 mgs of methadone and my dose wass gettin lower and couldent sleep and seroquel helped me but plz don't abuse
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Well I'm 12 and for the past 3 or 4 days ive been going to bed at 5:30am and I am going a bit loopy! I must admit I get confused and think that something that actually happened didnt and was just a dream and all other sorts of funny things so I don't actually think you can actually die but you can definately go crazy so I'm going to catch up on my sleep now because I don't want to end up in an asylem! Hope that helps :)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Not True! I haven't slept for over 10 days! Then again I have insomnia.. But this is not true! X
Tabitha Kramer Profile
Tabitha Kramer answered
You can not die from lack of sleep.
It is in fact other things that cause a person to die, but not lack of sleep itself.
It has only ever been proven that lack of sleep can cause death in lab test animals, not humans.
sharon scott Profile
sharon scott answered
Looks like we'll find out before long. Sure won't take anymore serequel, makes you feel like your body is in a coffin and a 747 jet in your head

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