How long can humans survive without sleep?

Experts recommend that we should sleep around 7 to 9 hours every night. Our body needs regular sleep to be able to perform important physiological functions, such as to repair muscle (tissue), memory and hormone synthesis.

However, for modern society each time we are required to be constantly productive. Sometimes we sacrifice our sleeping time just for the work until late at the night.

Actually how long can a person be physically capable without sleeping?

American male Randy Gardner who is currently 70 years old is a “world record” holder for not sleeping for 11 days and 25 minutes.

W. Christopher Winter, neurologist and sleep researcher from America, said he was skeptical of this record.

“The research team admitted that he had a constant ‘micro sleep’ or a short sleep period that lasted only a few seconds during the study,” Winter said.

 If someone is unable to sleep for days, of course his mental health will be disrupted.

For example, in 1959 when a radio presenter named Peter Tripp decided to broadcast the show from the middle of Times Square for 201 hours directly to raise funds for a foundation.

 On the third day, the effect of sleep deprivation on Tripp’s mentality began to appear. He began to curse the people around him and hallucinating seeing spiders.

Tripp did succeed in completing his mission and recovered shortly after. However, his family members said he had changed.

There are many stories circulating on social media about people who claim they don’t sleep at all or only sleep one hour per night.

But, Winter said these stories might not be accurate. According to him, many people think they don’t sleep and don’t believe what their doctors say.

In the other words, even if someone says they only sleep one hour or more each night, in fact they sleep without realizing it, even if it only for a few minutes.

The brain forces us to sleep

Actually, it’s almost physically impossible to stay awake for days. This happens because the brain basically forces us to fall asleep.

Winter says as much as possible we try to force ourselves to stay awake, finally the brain is fixated on sleep and at some point we cannot hold it back.

“In addition, there are many health risks associated with lack of sleep for the long term,” said Michael J. Breus, a sleep specialist.

According to him, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, decreased sexual arousal, and weakened immune system. We are also more prone to accidents, especially if we are driving.

According to Winter, there is no set amount of hours for how long a person can stay awake, this trial may not be appropriate. “My record is 48 hours and I hallucinating my mother’s voice who whispers to me,” he said.