How Long Can You Go Without Sleep?

We all have many things that we need to do each day. We all wish that there were more hours in a day than there are. But we all need to get enough sleep so we can stay healthy and focused. Some people try to cut back on their sleep as a means of doing more each day. But how long can you go without sleep? As it turns out, it can be dangerous for you to consistently miss sleep.

What’s the Maximum? 

It is estimated that a person could go for days without sleep. The longest certified time period that someone has gone without sleep is 264 hours. That is a total of around eleven days. 

What Will You Experience Without Sleep? 

You could attempt to go without sleep for a few days if you wanted. But the effects of going without sleep can be dramatic. You will start to develop cognitive issues. The fatigue you experience will keep you from making proper decisions. It may become difficult for you to remember things. You will struggle with paying attention to things where you are. You may become increasingly irritated by even the smallest stimuli. Hallucinations can even develop as you see things that are not there. 

Other Significant Threats 

There are times when you might struggle to get enough sleep over the course of a week or longer. There are several problems that accompany chronic sleep deprivation. Your immune system will weaken as your body will not receive enough time to recover. You may be at risk of heart disease, a stroke, or type 2 diabetes due to your body’s metabolic processes not resetting. Your body will not produce the hormones needed for regulating your appetite and how well your body processes glucose. Cortisol levels will increase in your body. The stress hormone can cause you to feel tired with little effort. Your mood will become harder to manage. You might develop intense anxiety or instability in your attitude. It might be difficult for you to concentrate at work or school. You will not be as alert as you usually would be. 

Can You Change Things With Your Diet? 

The effects of sleep deprivation can be reduced if you consume a diet that is rich in lean protein. You would also require more water to help you stay focused. But a healthy diet is not going to keep you from feeling worn out from sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep will reduce the body’s ability to release insulin after eating, thus causing blood glucose levels to rise and stay elevated for a while. So, you have to ensure you get enough sleep every night. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is critical for ensuring your body will stay healthy.