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Q: sleeping ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: sleeping
Category: Health
Asked by: fxfox-ga
List Price: $21.73
Posted: 24 Oct 2004 22:38 PDT
Expires: 23 Nov 2004 21:38 PST
Question ID: 419599
2 parts:

1)What are the consequences of not sleeping for 24 hours(and longer)?
2)What is the world record for staying awake? (by normal, healthy
person, not a person with some medical condition or chronic insomnia)
Subject: Re: sleeping
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 25 Oct 2004 07:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Fxfox,

Consequences of not sleeping:

?The metabolism in the prefrontal and parietal associational areas of
the brain decrease in individuals deprived of sleep for 24 hours.
These areas of the brain are important for judgment, impulse control,
attention, and visual association.?

eMedicine Consumer Health


?Staying awake for 24 hours leads to a reduced hand-to-eye
coordination that is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
This is why sleep deprivation contributes to road accidents and work


?The often-cited study showing that performance declines after 24
hours of sustained wakefulness to a level roughly equivalent to that
of alcohol intoxication with a blood level of 0.1%.?
Dawson D, Reid K. Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment. Nature

?Chronic sleep restriction of 6 hrs or less per night produced
cognitive performance deficits equal to 2 days of total sleep
restriction. Subjective sleepiness ratings indicated that subjects
were unaware of increasing cognitive deficit, meaning that subjects
often did not realize that their performance was impaired.?

Van Dongen H, Maislin G, Mullington J, Dinges D. The cumulative cost
of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral
functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and
total sleep deprivation. Sleep 2003;26(2):117-26.

American Medical Student Association


From the Sleep Foundation: 

How Sleep Affects Performance 

?Besides the connection between inadequate sleep and a number of major
health problems, there is substantial scientific evidence that sleep
deprivation affects cognition and motor performance. A recent study
showed that people who were awake for up to 19 hours scored
substantially worse on performance tests and alertness scales than
those with a blood-alcohol level of .08 ? the definition of being
legally drunk3.

After one night of total sleep deprivation, subjects scored
significantly lower on tests of judgment, simple reaction time,
explicit recall, and inverse words reading.?

?Free recall is sensitive to 24 hours of total sleep deprivation.?

Sleep Foundation


From the abstract of an informative study regarding sleep deprivation:

?Sleep deprivation leads to impairment in performance, loss of
efficiency and deterioration in mood states such as tension,
depression, aggression, fatigue, confusion and vigour.?

(. . .)

?On the time trends of sleep deprivation on the performance tests
measured, a dip in performance was observed in all the tests at 42
hours of sleep deprivation and continuous deterioration of performance
was observed after 72 hours of sleep deprivation. The cognitive,
vigilance, mood and sleepiness tests were substantially affected by
sleep deprivation. Greater effect was observed in tests that involved
cognition, speed and precision and smaller effect was observed in
routine tasks that involved gross manual movement.?

Source: National Library of Medicine
Title: Effects of sleep deprivation on performance of Naval seamen: I.
Total sleep deprivation on performance.
Authors: How JM, Foo SC, Low E, Wong TM, Vijayan A, Siew MG, Kanapathy R.
Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National
University of Singapore


Here are links to a few more studies regarding the effects of sleep deprivation.

A comparison of sleep deprivation and narcolepsy in terms of complex
cognitive performance and subjective sleepiness.

Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation: evidence of
state instability.

Sleep deprivation and resident performance.


The high school student Randy Gardner holds the record for remaining
awake for 264 hours (11 days) in 1964.

Sleep Deprivation Record Breakers

?Until recently, most sleep research tested the limits of how long
people can stay up and the short term effects of sleep deprivation.

?Notorious cases of record-setters include disc jockey Peter Tripp who
in 1959 stayed up for more than eight days as a promotional stunt.
After a few days, he began to hallucinate, seeing kittens, mice, and
cobwebs. He also became paranoid, insisting that an electrician had
dropped a hot electrode into his shoe.?

(. . .)

?Six years later, high school student Randy Gardner attempted to break
the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest time awake -- 260
hours. And after 11 days without sleep he suffered no hallucinations
or paranoia and no psychotic symptoms.?

PBS: Sleep Deprivation


Randy Gardner

?To gain an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, he remained
awake for 264 hours (11 days).

Gardner's symptoms:

?Day 2: Difficulty focusing eyes and signs of astereognosis
(difficulty recognizing objects only by touch).

Day 3: Moodiness, some signs of ataxia (inability to repeat simple
tongue twisters).

Day 4: Irritability and uncooperative attitude, memory lapses and
difficulty concentrating. Gardner's first hallucination was that a
street sign was a person, followed by a delusional episode in which he
imagined that he was a famous black football player.

Day 5: More hallucinations (e.g., seeing a path extending from the
room in front of him down through a quiet forest). These were
sometimes described as "hypnagogic reveries" since Gardner recognized,
at least after a short while, that the visions were illusionary in

Day 6: Speech slowing and difficulty naming common objects.

Day 7 and 8: Irritability, speech slurring and increased memory lapses.

Day 9: Episodes of fragmented thinking; frequently beginning, but not
finishing, his sentences.

Day 10: Paranoia focused on a radio show host who Gardner felt was
trying to make him appear foolish because he ws having difficulty
remembering some details about his vigil.

Day 11: Expressionless appearance, speech slurred and without
intonation; had to be encouraged to talk to get him to respond at all.
His attention span was very short and his mental abilities were
diminished. In a serial sevens test, where the respondent starts with
the number 100 and proceeds downward by subtracting seven each time,
Gardner got back to 65 (only five subtractions) and then stopped. When
asked why he had stopped he claimed that he couldn't remember what he
was supposed to be doing.?

Psychiatric Times


?. . . 17-year-old San Diego student named Randy Gardner had in mind
when, in 1964, he stayed awake for 264 hours (11 days), a record that
won him a place in The Guinness Book of Records. After staving off
sleep for a few days with cold showers and loud music, he could no
longer focus his eyes and had to give up TV. His speech slurred, and
he fell into a silent stupor. Sleep experts now believe that long
sleepless stints like Randy's can be dangerous. An experiment
conducted at the University of Chicago in 1983 showed that rats died
when kept from sleeping for two and a half weeks.?



The longest anyone has gone without sleep

?Reports say Gardner staved off sleep with cold showers and loud music.

His amazing feat landed him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Another notorious case of sleep deprivation is disc jockey Peter Tripp
who in 1959 stayed up for more than eight days as a promotional stunt.

After a few days, he began to hallucinate, seeing kittens, mice, and
cobwebs. He also became paranoid, insisting a hot electrode had been
dropped into his shoe.

Sleep experts now believe that long sleepless stints can be dangerous,
so attempting to break the record is probably not a wise thing to

News Shopper Newspaper


Search Criteria:
Effects of Sleep Loss
Sleep deprivation "24 hours
Record of staying awake ?* days?
Record of staying awake ?* hours?
Randy Gardner

I hope this response has provided you with the information you were seeking.

Best regards,
fxfox-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

Subject: Re: sleeping
From: silver777-ga on 25 Oct 2004 04:32 PDT
Hi Fxfox,

I typed a lengthy answer in response. As I hit send, the question was
locked out .. now it's open again.

I will recompose soon.

Subject: Re: sleeping
From: silver777-ga on 25 Oct 2004 14:58 PDT
Hi guys,

The 1981 Guinness Book of Records. Maureen Weston of Peterborough,
Cambridgeshire. 449 hours (18 days, 17 hours) in a rocking chair

The Marathon Monks may also be of interest to you.

Subject: Re: sleeping
From: bobbie7-ga on 26 Oct 2004 16:56 PDT
Hi Fxfox,

Thank you for the five stars and generous tip.
I'm delighted that you are pleased with my answer.

Subject: Re: sleeping
From: cashme24-ga on 09 Dec 2004 21:14 PST
i have found this topic interesting ever since i was in 11th grade (i
am 21 and a senior in college now).  I had a marathon session of
voluntarily staying awake for what i figured out to be about 54+
hours.  i went to my girlfriend's senior prom on a friday night,
stayed out all night, and we got back to my house at about 7:30 am.  I
planned on trying to sleep for at least a little while, because i had
SAT's that morning, but it was too late.  I took the SAT's, then spent
the rest of my day out with my friends, as that night was our junior
prom.  I then proceeded to stay out all Saturday night, take a limo
from Long Island, NY to a Manhattan comedy club and back, and end up
at the shore in Long Beach in time to see the sunrise (about 6am).  We
then took the cab back to a friend's house, but i couldn't fall asleep
(because everyone was making so much noise).  I finally got home
around 1pm on Sunday after being awake since 7am Friday.

I had pretty severe memory loss going back to early afternoon on
friday, which was the middle of baseball practice.  i actually
remember even less now, with the exception of bits and pieces of being
in Manhattan.  I can't really put together any meaningful memories
about that experience, except for facts about the length of time i was

*my apologies for the length of my comment, but maybe someone looking
for info, or looking to post info will find my story at least somewhat

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