We have heard repeatedly that we cannot go more than a whole day without drinking water, several without eating, but what about sleeping? We are all aware that rest is essential for our lives to ensure the proper functioning of our bodies and metabolism. Rest correctly and stably; we know that it positively affects us at the body level but also emotionally. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will discover the answer to how long you can go without sleep.
Table of Contents
Sleeping: what does it bring us?
First of all, we must know what sleep is for, what rest gives us and what functionalities it has. Perhaps some experience sleeping as a pleasure, others as a waste of time, and some as a simple necessity. Well, you see, sleeping is essential and is one of the primary regulators of our body.
- Improves the immune system: during the night, the secretion of certain hormones is generated that regulate the immune system and strengthen it. With rest, other bodily functions are relaxed, and our body can cause the secretion of antibodies, preparing us for possible attacks by germs, viruses, or bacteria.
- Repairs the nervous and neuronal system: throughout the hours of sleep, several phases occur, such as REM, when there is no muscle activation but a very active brain activation, which generates new neuronal connections and stimulates our nervous system.
- Relaxes the cardiovascular and blood system: due to muscle relaxation and physical inactivity. This leads to a decrease in blood pressure and a drop in body temperature.
- Releases growth hormone: it is in the sleep state when the body generates this hormone and secretes it, so proper rest is more critical in infants than in adults.
- It promotes learning and memory: learning and memorization processes are created through the neurological connections that we have mentioned above. It is a moment in which knowledge and understanding unconsciously settle in our memory.
- Repairs muscle tissue: with the relaxation of our body, the oxygenation of the blood is superior, which translates into an improvement and repair of muscle tissue. In addition, this involves a corporal and postural relaxation of our physique.
How long can a person go without sleep?
After knowing everything that happens while we sleep, it is easy to understand that its importance is vital for our body since it is a basic need. Still, we find ourselves before a big question when we try to answer how long we can go without sleep.
Although several studies, cases analyzed, and tests have been done, there is no clear answer to this question. Each person has a different body resistance, so their endurance capacity will also be extra. We can say that after three days in a row without sleeping, our body begins to suffer severe consequences from this behavior.
Scientists affirm that the maximum time you can go without sleep is 11 days and they certify it since the world record for time without sleep is in that figure, achieved by Randy Gardner, who, in 1964, and with only 17 years, stayed awake for 264 hours. It was the result of a scientific experiment that he carried out with two of his colleagues, Bruce McAllister and Joe Marciano Junior, who analyzed the reactions and consequences of lack of sleep in Randy Gardner. The previous record was 260 hours and had been made by Tom Rounds.
Other studies on sleep state that people can go between 9 and 10 days without sleep and without severe consequential damage, which can be cured after a few hours of sleep. It is also known for groups of soldiers who are fighting for five days without rest. Therefore, the body can endure those hours in a situation of stress and physical effort.
There is also evidence of Fatal Family Insomnia, a type of disease that affects a minority of the population and that consists of a genetic disorder that generates a degeneration of the nervous system that leads to a state of incurable and irreversible insomnia, which at Nine or ten months can lead to coma leading to death. Few cases are known, and this disease is sporadic.
Finally, some people claim that Jim Thomas subsequently spent 266.5 hours and that in 1977, a British woman, Maureen Weston, spent 449 hours, or almost 19 days. Of these two cases, there are no certainties since no written or developed studies were carried out, which currently continues to consider the record of Randy Gardner valid.
Consequences of not sleeping
We will try to know the problems that can arise when the body does not sleep what it needs.
If you don’t get enough sleep a night, you can suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, tiredness, a weak immune system, eye pain, a changing mood, poor concentration, and slow reflexes.
If you go 24 hours without sleep, the symptoms are the same as in the previous section, or it may be that, oddly enough, the next day, you feel very energetic and active. However, your reflexes are slower, and concentration is not the same. Herself.
After 48 hours without sleep, the risks of behavior begin to appear and are very diverse and different from each other:
- Risk of diabetes: insulin generation stops, and glucose is not accepted, which can lead to the disease of diabetes.
- Suffering hallucinations: neurological connections are damaged since there are no repair processes, and hallucinations and the visualization of witnessing unreal and imaginary images gestated in our mind can be suffered.
- Vision problems: by not creating insulin, retinal tissue damage can occur, causing irreparable damage to sight and, consequently, blindness.
- Speech disability: as the nervous system is damaged, we can find ourselves unable to pronounce words and speak. Stuttering or illogical communication are other aspects that lack of sleep can cause.
- Irreparable brain damage: It can cause irreparable brain damage due to nerve overexposure that can lead to problems in any body organ or any vital function, affecting the entire body.
- Damage to the central nervous system: because it is not repaired. As in the previous point, it can have consequences for any other organ or part of the body.
Recommendations for a good night’s sleep
From FastlyHeal, we want to recommend that in case of insomnia problems, you go to your doctor so that he can help you with your rest, but we also leave you three tips to be able to fall asleep more easily:
- An hour before going to sleep, disconnect all electronic screens. It is proven that the light generated by the screens of electronic devices creates neurological overstimulation and activates the mind, making it difficult to fall asleep after use.
- Set a schedule: our body works based on habits and cyclically. Setting a daily bedtime schedule helps your body stabilize in the daily routine, allowing it to anticipate events. Thus, when bedtime approaches, your body will unconsciously begin to relax earlier.
- Light meals before going to bed. If you have trouble sleeping, another ally will be dinner. Eating light dinners will help your body not generate more energy than necessary and metabolize food more quickly and efficiently so that the body can relax more quickly. It will be easier to fall asleep without feeling heavy.
In addition, we recommend that you consult the advice in the article How to sleep through the night.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.