While sleep is thought of as a time of rest for the average person, it is actually when our body and mind is at its most active. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is when our body repairs muscles, strengthen tissue, and solidify information to long-term memory.
Yes…there is a foundation for sleep. Unknown if there is also one for breathing air.
These 8 to 11 hours of needed recovery are crucial for every age group as they grow as people. Without sleep, a human will inevitably pass away. But how long can a person go without sleep?
To be clear, please do not try this at home. We can’t afford a lawsuit right now.
Before you go developing a phobia, please be aware that no one has ever died of staying awake too long. However, researchers know it can lead to death after deciding to keep rats awake for 32 days. Seriously, imagine watching Ratatouille for 32 straight days…poor rats.
The proposed cause of the rats death was hypothermia, a common symptom of lack of sleep. This has been noticed in humans, either as prisoners or in short-term studies. Observers would notice increases in hormone levels, a shutdown of the body’s insulin processes, and even intestinal bacteria spreading throughout the body leading to possible infection. In modern studies, people have only ever been kept awake 24-72 hours.
That’s a lot of red bull…
So, it seems clear that sleep is very important and that we should make a better effort, right? Maybe even close this article and get some rest…after you promise to read every other article multiple times the next day of course.
However, as is true in most human endeavors…the glitz of fame and our 15 minutes can lead to some interesting yet dangerous events. Hence the reason you are here.
How long can a person stay awake?
While this seems like a pretty straight-forward answer after all the information we’ve given you, apparently it isn’t that simple.
The current record holder for longest time awake is Randy Gardner, who in 1964 stayed awake for a little over 11 days. Yes, you read that right. A 17-year-old stayed awake for over 264 hours…while at 17 I could barely stay awake long enough to fail a math test.
This feat became all the more impressive due to the extensive notes and evidence provided by a medic and 2 shifts of friends who kept watch. Even more impressive? This high schooler beat the medic at pinball on day 10.
This is commonly considered the record after Guinness Book of World Records made the decision to stop encouraging the act itself. Many others have claimed to stay awake longer with just as much documentation as Gardner, including a Guinness Rocking Chair champion, who stayed awake for 449 hours. Not really sure why that isn’t the record…