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    Thread: Dangers of Not Sleeping?

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      Dangers of Not Sleeping?

      Hello, my two friends and I are planning to do an experiment in which we stay awake for three or more days. I was wondering if anyone knows the dangers of this. It is obvious that sleep reduction is unhealthy, but I want to know if there are any serious side-effects. Any personal experiences or input would be greatly appreciated.

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      From my own experience, extreme crankiness.

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      Towel42

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      Not sleeping

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      What I can remember learning is that the immediate, short-term effects of not sleeping include hallucinations, increased stress hormones, and a weakened immune system (this is usually repaired through sleep). I'm pretty sure there aren't any SERIOUS side-effects, but every time I've done something like that I've gotten sick afterwards. I think that the serious repercussions from not sleeping are the result of a more long-term lack of sleep. Here's a link to some long-term side-effects of no sleep.

      Not Enough Sleep: 7 Serious Health Risks
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      Don't do it! It apparently can cause serious conditions that could lead to death. Example of possible result of 3 days without sleep in this article:

      Bank of America reviews long-hours culture after intern's death | Reuters

      An overview of various research in an article here: How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body - Seth Maxon - The Atlantic
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      Going without sleep for 2-3 days certainly puts extra strain on the mind and body, and the risk of falling ill will increase. Also, the risk of making mistakes increases a lot (and these can have serious long-term consequences).

      But under controlled conditions, this level of sleep deprivation is probably not very dangerous. I once spent one week during which I only slept twice (the first time was after 60 hours awake). I experienced some short term weight loss, but otherwise nothing bad happened.

      All in all, it's not the sort of thing I would recommend anyone do, unless they have a very good reason for it.
      Last edited by Voldmer; 02-04-2014 at 10:29 PM.
      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

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