The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior

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Biology 202
2001 Third Web Report
On Serendip

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior

by S.L.

Sleep deprivation is a commonplace occurrence in modern culture. Every day there seems to be twice as much work and half as much time to complete it in. This results in either extended periods of wakefulness or a decrease in sleep over an extended period of time. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to not require as much sleep as they once did this belief is false (1). Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly effecting a person's behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quite environment. Even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest but rather remains semi-alert in a state of "quiet readiness" (2). Certain stages of sleep are needed for the regeneration of neurons within the cerebral cortex while other stages of sleep seem to be used for forming new memories and generating new synaptic connections. The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation to the presence of activity in different sections of the cerebral cortex.

The temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex is associated with the processing of language. During verbal learning tests on subjects who are fully rested functional magnetic resonance imaging scans show that this area of the brain is very active. However, in sleep deprived subjects there is no activity within this region (3), (4), (5). The effects of this inactivity can be observed by the slurred speech in subjects who have gone for prolonged periods with no sleep (6).

Even severely sleep deprived people are still able to perform to some degree on a verbal learning test. This implies that some other area of the brain must become active to compensate for the loss of temporal lobe functioning. In fact, activity can be seen in the parietal lobe that is not present during verbal learning tests using rested subjects (5). Greater activity within this region corresponded to better performance by subjects in research studies (7). Still, sleep deprived people do not perform as well on these tests as do fully rested subjects (3), (4). One possible reason for the poorer performance after missing sleep, aside from unregenerated neurons, could be the fact that since the parietal lobe is not usually used to performing tasks such as these it is not as adept at carrying them out. Therefore, when control switches from the temporal lobe to the parietal lobe some speed and accuracy is naturally lost. Interestingly, sleep deprived subjects have been shown to have better short-term memory abilities than their well-rested counterparts (6). Since memory is associated with this region of the cerebral cortex the fact that it is already active in sleep deprived people could make it easier for new synapses to be created, thus forming new short-term memories more easily.

While activity is seen within the parietal lobes of rested people as they think through math problems no corresponding activity is visible within the brains of sleep-deprived subjects. Also, no new area of the brain becomes active while the sleep deprived people work on math problems. Since sleep deprived people can still complete math problems, albeit with less speed and accuracy than a well-rested individual, this data implies that a region of the brain already in use is used for this task (1).

The frontal lobe is the most fascinating section of the brain with relation to sleep deprivation. Its functions are associated with speech as well as novel and creative thinking (5). Sleep deprived test subjects have difficulties thinking of imaginative words or ideas. Instead, they tend to choose repetitious words or clichéd phrases. Also, a sleep-deprived individual is less able to deliver a statement well. The subject may show signs of slurred speech, stuttering, speaking in a monotone voice, or speaking at a slower pace than usual (6). Subjects in research studies also have a more difficult time reacting well to unpredicted rapid changes. Sleep deprived people do not have the speed or creative abilities to cope with making quick but logical decisions, nor do they have the ability to implement them well. Studies have demonstrated that a lack of sleep impairs one's ability to simultaneously focus on several different related tasks, reducing the speed as well as the efficiency of one's actions (8). A person may be able to react to a complex scenario when suddenly presented with it but, similar to the verbal tests, the subject will most likely pick an unoriginal solution. If presented with a similar situation multiple times with slight variations in the information presented the subject chooses the same solution, even though it might not be as applicable to the new senario (9).

Part of the frontal lobe, the prefrontal cortex, has several functions specifically coupled with it. Judgment, impulse control, attention, and visual association have all been related to this region of the cerebral cortex (8). A recent study has shown that the prefrontal cortex, usually the most active area of the brain in rested individuals, becomes more active as a person remains awake for long periods of time (3), (4). This region regenerates during the first stage of sleep, giving a person the ability to feel somewhat refreshed after only a short nap (5). The length of the first stage of sleep cycle is somewhat dependant upon how long the person had previously been awake. The longer the period of wakefulness, the longer the brain remains in the first stage of sleep. When the brain enters into the REM stage of sleep the prefrontal cortex is active once more.

The implications of this data seem to be fairly important in supporting the location of the I-function within the brain. The prefrontal cortex is active whenever a person is awake, no matter how little sleep they have had. Also, this area is active while dreaming. Since the individual is aware of him or herself during both of these instances, but is not aware during the stages of sleep when the prefrontal cortex is shut down, it seems logical that the I-function is located within this region. This indicates that the I-function is what is resting and regenerating during the first stage of sleep. It would be interesting to study prefrontal cortex activity while a person is conscious, but unaware of his or her actions, due to an influence such as drugs or alcohol. According to the results of the sleep deprivation studies little or no activity should be seen in the prefrontal cortex at anytime when the individual is unaware of his or herself.

One of the symptoms of prolonged sleep deprivation is hallucinations (10). This could also be related to the I-function since it is the system that integrates the input from all other areas of the brain. If the neurons composing the I-function become too taxed then the picture in the head that the I-function produces may be more dissimilar from reality than usual. The neurons, under pressure to continue functioning but unable to perform optimally, create an image useful enough for a person to see most of his or her surroundings. Metabolic activity in the prefrontal cortex can drop as much as eleven percent after a person has missed sleep for only twenty four hours (8). As a person loses more sleep or continues to receive less-than-adequate amounts of sleep the neurons become even more taxed and the I-function may begin to generate even less coherent images possibly resulting in temporary insanity.

Another piece of evidence supporting the location of the I-function is that mammals have REM sleep whereas cold-blooded animals do not and mammals have a neocortex, located within the prefrontal cortex, while cold-blooded animals do not. REM sleep stimulates areas of the brain used for learning and memory (10). When a person is taught a new skill his or her performance does not improve until he or she receives at least eight hours of sleep (11). An extended period of sleep ensures that the brain will be able to complete the full sleep cycle, including REM sleep. The necessity of sleep for learning could be due to the fact that sleep increases the production of proteins while reducing the rate at which they are broken down (10). Proteins are used to regenerate the neurons within the brain. Without them new synapses may not be able to be formed, thus limiting the amount of information a sleep-deprived individual can maintain.

One of the possible side effects of a continued lack of sleep is death. Usually this is the result of the fact that the immune system is weakened without sleep. The number of white blood cells within the body decreases, as does the activity of the remaining white blood cells. The body also decreases the amount of growth hormone produced (8). The ability of the body to metabolize sugar declines, turning sugar into fat. One study stated that people who sleep less than four hours per night are three times more likely to die within the next six years (11). Although the longest a human has remained awake was eleven days rats that are continually deprived of sleep die within two to five weeks, generally due to their severely weakened immune system (10), (11), (12).

In a way sleep deprivation studies help us to study the relationship between the brain and behavior in a very unique way by observing how a person's behavior changes as the brain shuts down. By taking images of the brain showing where activity is located it is possible to correlate the behavior exhibited by a subject with his or her brain patterns. Just like a person cannot jog for three continuous days a person's brain cannot operate without rest breaks. Since different regions of the brain rest during different stages of the sleep cycle, sleep cannot be cut short. In fact, if the brain does not receive a break it will soon begin to shut down for periods of microsleep. This is essentially several seconds of actual sleep; delta waves that interrupt the regular EEG of an awake person thereby impairing his or her continuity of cognitive function. Microsleep generally happens directly before performance failure occurs (8). Without sleep our brains deteriorate, and if the argument that brain=behavior is true, then our behavior will also suffer accordingly.

 

WWW Sources

1) an article written by the military concerning sleep deprivation, on the Marine Corps University web site

2) Sleep Loss and Frontal Lobe Function, Loughborough Sleep Research Centre

3)study of brain activity and sleep deprivation, University of California San Diego

4) study of brain activity and sleep deprivation, Nature

5) Lack of Sleep Takes Toll on Brain Power, on WebMD website

6) This is your Brain without Sleep, on about.com health website

7) Sleep-deprived brain can call in reinforcements, CNEWS science website

8) Normal sleep and sleep deprivation, on emedicine website

9) Sleep Deprivation and Cognitive Function, Loughborough Sleep Research Centre

10) Brain Basics- Understanding Sleep, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

11)a journalist's experience with sleep deprivation, men's journal website

12) psychology class lecture notes, State University of New York Stony Brook

 

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

10/15/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I have a comment and concern with sleep deprivation. Several of my friends actually stay up and get only 3 hours of sleep then go to school and work. They say that they recieve somewhat of a "buzz" as if they smoked a small amount of weed or drank alchohol. Is this anything that has been heard of before?


11/06/2005, from a Reader on the Web

i know for a fact that you can go for more then 11 days with out sleep because i went 4 weeks playing computer games on a bet and won but i would never try it again the last 2 weeks it was hard to tell real from not and the stress has caused me some memory loss


11/09/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Just an observation...you suggest a sleep deprived person uses a different portion of the brain for activities such as speech than a rested individual. I have noticed that at times of my own sleep deprivation it's almost as though my subconscious thought processes have been re-routed through my speech centre...or at very least through my "top-of-mind" thought centre. (Please excuse my lack of technical terminology...I'm not especially well researched in this area.) For example I may find myself aware of the fact that I'm short of breath...and subsequently need to remind myself to breathe...or blink...and sometimes find myself verbalising these stream-of-consciousness processes. Perhaps more concerning are those times I have found myself verbalising these processes while driving...along with the other driving-related requirements (ie. indicate now, clutch and brake, left-hand down a bit...) Any thoughts? Has this been observed elswhere or was it something I imagined in my sleep-deprived state? Darren


11/17/2005, from a Reader on the Web

My Colleges and I are begining an independant sleep deprivation study, our goal is to remain awake anywhere from ninety-six to one hundrend sixty-eight hours. We were wondering when the Hallucinations occur\what they entail, and how great the effects are on behavior\health before continuing. Thus far, two of us have been designated to conduct this experiment, and the other two stationed to observe. The two that are being deprived of sleep have been awake for 25 hours, 40 minuets, 45 seconds and still going. Any advise?


12/12/2005, from a Reader on the Web

This is in response to the question posted on 10/15/2005 on the page http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/web3/Ledoux.html: Yes, I believe this effect would happen in case of moderate sleep deprivation. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter which is used up during the sleep cycles, is partially responsible for mood balance. The longer a person sleeps, the more serotnin gets used up in the brain, resulting in somewhat of a depressed state of mind - the lethargy we feel if we sleep, say, 14 hours straight. (Antidepressant drugs such as Prozac work by inhibiting the excessive consumption of serotonin in the brain.) The reverse of this is when we don't get enough sleep, there is a slight excess of serotonin in the brain, resulting in the "buzz" you mentioned. It's tired hyperactivity, not really an energetic state.


12/16/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I think the "buzz" associated with not sleeping has to do with the hallucinations that being to affect the brain after long bouts with no sleep. I suffer from insomnia occasionally and after a long day at work I am definitly not right in the head.


01/04/2006, from a Reader on the Web

hello my forst time here. I was looking for the functions of the 345 cranial nerves. I have a tumor pressing on it and I want to know there functions, Thank you

 

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007

hello,
my mom works most nights from 9:45 pm until 7:30 am. by the time she gets home i am about to go to school so i dont see her during the day. when i am at school she is takind medical classes untill about 2:30 pm. she tries to take a nap until i get home at around 3:30 pm. She hardley eats and she comlains aout gaining weight but no more than 20 lbs. today she threw up. i asked her are u ok. she said its fine ive been doin this for a few months now. "mom , why didnt you tell me?" i said. she replied, " u dont need to kno, its just a fact of survival now." i told her she needs to go see the doctor. she refuses, shes a busy woman. I read somewhere that if u have a serious case of sleep deprevation, then u are able to die within the next 6 years. I love my mom to death and i am starting to get worried , she hardly sleeps and when she does it is for short amounts of time. please email me back and tell me if there is anything i can advise to my mom. I care about her so much and!
i dont want her to be hurt or sick. I would greatly appriciate it. Thank you ... Ty, 31 January 2006

 

Does lack of sleep increase your appetite? ... Jenna McLaughlin, 5 February 2006

 

I have a hard time sleeping sometimes, I am guessing insomnia I dont know for sure. I am a student and also work a very physically demanding job. I have found that I can barely work some days and others I have an incredible amount of enerrgy. I have also realized I suffer bouts of depression and was wondering if this is related to the lack of sleep I suffer from. I also at times break down from what I beleive is stress. Could the lack of sleep cause more stress or even make the already present stress even more, for lack of a better word, stressful? Thank you ... Nathaniel Kiser, 17 February 2006

 

I have suffered from some sort of sleep disorder all of my life. I can sometimes get 2-3 hours a night, usually I do not sleep at all. This lasts for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. I recently completed a sleep study. The test showed that I have leg movements at 60-70x per hour, while the normal rate is 10-15x, when I am actually asleep. However, my brain activity is rapid and constant, as opposed to being stimulated by the leg activity. Doctor's questions seemed to indicate a suspicion of bi-polar disorder, but no other symptoms are present. I was prescribed Requip for the restless legs, but had no success with it.

I experience some mild exhaustion during the day, but never to the point of needing a nap. I have taken the Epworth test and my final score was 1. I do not feel impaired; actually I am quite energetic. I work out 3-4x a week, do not intake caffeine, sugar or any other stimulants. The longest I have gone without any sleep at all is 5 days, then got flu-like symptoms and slept for about 8 hours-a sleep marathon, so to speak. Then back to the same routine.

I am deeply concerned about the long term effects on my body. I am a 37 year old female with no serious health problems to speak of. I have tried numerous sleep aids, ranging from herbal alternatives, over the counter medicines to hard core prescription medications (ex: 800 mg of Seroquel). Shockingly, none of them have helped my sleeplessness. It is almost like I just simply do not have an "off" button.

If there is anyone out there who might be able to shed some light on this problem, or anyone who may be suffering from the same symptoms, I would certainly welcome any commentary and/or suggestions ... BZ, 21 February 2006

 

I am currently serving in the US Army. I can guaruntee you that i only get around 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night. I work all day and basically all night. I train for war. There are short periods i guess you would call it microsleep, that occur to me when i am driving a humvee. i pass out for i guess 5 seconds which seems like 5 minutes. i do have trouble thinking of solutions and most of the time my words are kind of slurred. Sometimes i cannot stay focus on any task and just sit on a chair staring into the great unknown. Everyone in the army works extremely hard everyday and everynight going without sleep for 3 or 4 days.. probably only getting 2 to 4 hours asleep a night. i feel dead inside. when i am given a task to do and i find it difficult to do that task. i am extremely frustrated and angry and i feel like yelling and screaming at the top of my lungs and then passing out for all eternity. You should do a study of sleep deprivation in the Army. I think you tests would be more accurate than using civilians. the army is said in the army regulation books that we are suppose to get 4 non-consecutive hours of sleep a day. that is bs. you should tell the army that our soldiers need more sleep time. everyday i am angry at not getting enough sleep. i'll stp typing now ... Sean, 26 February 2006

 

just from my own experience I can tell you that I have not slept more than 2 hours in over a week now...due to stress and a terrible mattress...in the past I have often used it as a means to acheive a certain level of consciousness for spiritual reasons. But this week has begun to feel like torture. Today I have distressing pinched nerves in my neck, and excruciating pain all along my spine. I cannot get into a position that doesn't hurt. I cannot lift anything or move freely. It is beginning to effect my speech...a few days ago I noticed an increase in irratability but was able to get a handle on it today...however there are some benefits I would like to share: my subconsious is definitely much more accessible. I have noticed a heightened feeling that I am channelling other people's thoughts in chat rooms, and can tell what they are thinking before they say it in person. A huge amount of insight has been dumped on me that I hope I do not forget. Last night, while laying in the dark for about 6 straight hours just contemplating....I had revelations about the rune & corresponding Norse mythology that I had picked out randomly the hour before during a bath. It was incredibly complex and simple at the same time for me to get a firm grasp on its' archetypical meaning, how it applies to me, my particular situation; as well as to ancient man and also other mythologies (i.e., Christian). I really enjoyed this insight as a lot of new knowledge came to me that had escaped me previously. So it has its advantages. Now that I have had that experience, I went to purchase a better mattress and some Nyquil so that I may sleep at least 6-7 hrs. sometime today or tonight, whenever the conditions in my household permit. At this point my subconscious is telling me that there will be health risks if I don't. I have learned to listen to it.

Thanks for letting me share that ... Lou Anne Cavin, 27 February 2006

 

This was pretty informing thank you. I am doing an open ended investigation in biology on sleep deprivation. Im going to be the experimentation though. Just wondering where I should set my limits for my lack of sleep, I\'ve made sure I have no exams when I do it =P. And I was wondering if this like, was a problem because of the hormones and the insufficient time to like recharge them. So, what hormones they are and what they do. Im gonna go research that now hehe. Thanks. Bye ... Amy, 1 March 2006

 

Everyone says you can't make up lost sleep. Is this true? ... Reader on the web, 3 March 2006

 

If I stay up all night and study I seem to do better on tests than when I study in incrimates. Why is that or am I just imagining it?

Secondly I have migraines. I first got them 5 years ago when I was only getting 4-5 hours of sleep. I've been getting 8 hours of sleep for the past 4 years. Why haven't my migraines subsided?

Thank you ... Beth, 3 March 2006

 

I thought id just add some of my experiences of sleep deprivation and hope it helps this site and anyone with their research.

normally after the first 24 hours i begin to fell as would be expected 'stupid'. in the sense i tend to vier of track of whatever i was doing and easily loose focus. speech is still fine although it may take me a few secoonds more than usual to think of what im actually going to say or do. this cant often lead to me being paused and just stood there in a total blank for 10 seconds or so. after 48 hours aside from being tired logic seems to go out the window. simple tasks become hard to do without concotraing very hard for as something like putting a shoe on.often whilst doing this i can do much like i did before and just stare blankly wondering what i as doing before i carry on again. coming up to the third day which is the most ive been awake, lead me into sort of a dream world where i could doze off standing up and walking. conversations were hard to understand due to the amount of concontration needed. i was pretty much in my own world, so to speak. from the outside i looked as if i were inder sedativews or something with an open mouth and just blank thinking. very simple thoughts ran through my head and life seemed simple to me. thoughts of the weel ahead or anything like that came to mind. just the simple task i have to do in the next hour or so. towards the end of the 3 days even eating became a complicated task and required full concontration. having DESCENT conversation was near impossibe.

as for what was mentioned earlier about a 'buzz' after smoking weed and mixed with lack of sleep. i can describe it as the same as sleep deprivation, but its how you view the effect of it on yourself... you can view it as fun and just another way to be not in the right state of mind , as is the point of most drugs and alcohol.

as a matter of fact im actually going without sleep now, not quite 24 hours but long enough for me.. im going to bed!

hope this was of some help ... Dom, 7 March 2007

 

i have a severe sleep disorder. i have been going on maybe 8 hours sleep every 2 weeks for the last 6 months. And before that i was sleeping maybe a good 8 hours a week and this has been going on for 4 years almost. can anybody beat this. surely if i am out there and do this other people are too. i am surprised i still am even here ... Sandy, 13 March 2006

 

As part of a bizarre school project, myself and a group of mates are attempting a sleep deprevation experiment later on in the year(i fell upon your website as part of my researsh stage). The idea is to see who will last the longest without sleep (with a slab of beer at the end to the winner, thats to keep them motivated). i would like it very much to hear from you with an idea of what to expect and also some info of previous experiments done from the past.
Cheers ... Louis Van Pelt, 22 March 2006

 

well i wuz doin this science project with my friends and we found out that it does cause it can erase your memory and y r u doin this u dont even know wat your doin cause i tryed sleeping late 2 see wat happens and after a while i couldnt remember wat wuz i doin or y wuz i doin this so just remember next time u try sleepin late just remember not sleepin does effect your behavior ... Carolina, 28 March 2006

 

How does Al Herpin fit into all this? He reportedly suffered from total insomnia. Did his brain learn to recover, or simply move activity to another portion of the brain without sleep? Did he suffer a long but slow degradation of memory? Sorry I can't find any good mention of him on the net, or provide any more information on the net on him than this: http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI/1.3.4.htm (look at 5. Unwanted Syndromes) and http://www.freepres-markethill.org/witness/manneverslept.htm

Do you know anything about this case? ... Mifune, 28 March 2006

 

Your article by SL on sleep deprivation really has helped me. I am a semi-retired radio broadcaster who recently began working a couple hours a day hosting early morning radio programming and doing occasional news anchor duties in order to keep my fingers in the business. I have not yet been able to develop some consistent sleep hours, so I may have 6 or 7 hours of nighttime sleep and other times get only 4 or 5 hours, followed by short afternoon naps, then usually crashing for a major late morning nap at some time during the week.

I noticed that my speech on the air is effected. Yesterday, "inexplicably," I didn\'t finish a word while doing the morning host gig...while I don't remember the word in question, it was something like "spoken" which I pronounced "spokuh," not finishing it with the "n" sound. And on the same day, while doing the news, on too-many newscasts I mispronounced at least one word in a way that just didn\'t add up. From time to time, its possible to mispronounce a word while on the air, but it seemed like there was a disconnect between the split second that I read the word on the copy in front of me and the time the word came out of my mouth. It was a totally different feeling psychologically, than a "normal" on-air mispronounciation. And then a week or two ago, when I had to make a routine "timing" decision whether I had time to do a planned story before the commercial or if I had to make a quick switch to a shorter, unplanned story (this decision had to be made while I was in the newscast reading the copy but thinking ahead to how much time I had left)...it felt like I was clueless as to what to do. Though this is routine, my thinking was definitely impaired.

All this is to say that Ms. L's article has really helped me understand what sleep deprivation has been doing to my brain. It seems to effect (or is the word "affect") my "thinking" more dramatically than my physicality (though I find myself working out at the gym less than my usually disciplined 5 or 6 day a week workout schedule.) Please thank Ms. L for her article for me. I really need to work much harder on getting to bed around 8 p.m. on most nights, and factoring in a better scheduling around the nights when I have obligations that take me to 11 p.m. ... Tom Moller, 1 April 2006

 

It is like when the section of brain that is most active for specific function gets used to the less state of optimal transfer and next section starts cache for function switching over something "bottlenecks" "lags" or slows down, this seems detrimental to length of time used to render descernable output, but may also be slowly acessing the old or first active section and new same time maybe gaining wider length or more less used in that specific routeing of functions process. I find it harder to speak simply, needing more complicated explanations to gain the feeling of "defintion or quoitent correct" nodding head in understanding. Lol the line between actual relevant transfer of understandable "coherant" information v.s. giggity giggity spam blah babble grows <--SMALLER? umm Me thinks the brain on the verge of using all portions due to extreme lengths of slack time (sleep) maybe inherantly affecting perception of reality in a more or less indifferent state i.e. self realization of irrelavance of time to entirety of all existence.Numbers obviously become more dominate rates of optimal language due to universally understood medium words letters are relayed less efficently because of the wide format of interchangeable strings user can understand easier different language regardless of font type etc if relavant numeriacal equivalent is present i.e. health=100 10=*&&*% health=110 or health=90... health could be string in any format of chacters symbols etc but cannot =present amount of self or numbers? Useless if Ω or exponet man I\'ll just stfu and goto sleep try again after those 8 hours, nay it burns I want to define but fear persecution but am hitting the send button regardless big step for me ... Reader on the web, 3 April 2006

 

i would like to try to stay in wal mart for a weekend. and try to not fall asleep, would this alter my mental health. or woulld it get so boring that i would eventually pass out. thank you ... Chase, 13 April 2006

 

When sleep deprived and using parts of the brain that are not normally used is it possible or been researched that a new telepathic sense can be awakened, for the past few years iv lost a lot of sleep and in the past year iv had 4 or 5 very detailed dreams that came true and theres no way they were coincadence. I strongly believe Im telepathic or at least have been and am hoping to find some answers here ... Lewis, 23 April 2006

 

After being an alcoholic and stopped 4 days ago, I have only slept all together about 1hour 30 min. My mind will just not stop working. I am so sleepy but just can not do it. I only catch a few minutes at time. It really starting to affect my health. Is there anything I can do? I have read in the Big Blue Book that Sleepless can not kill you. I am beginning to wonder...
Please advise me ... Kat, 13 May 2006

 


when i didnt sleep for only 3 days i went off it,i was seeing hair growing on me and my boyfriend at fast rates and i saw lights flyin around and insects on my bed, they were very vivid and intense ... Rebeckah, 14 May 2006

 

Hello. I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy in 2002, and then subsequently rediagnosed in 2005 with Sleep anpnea, none of the medication that i received for both diagnosis did not work and I'm still suffering very severly with this problem. I'm currently seeing a chiropratic in which the results of an x-ray of the lower brain and neck shows that I have a sligh cure in my spine resulting in some abnormal pressure on a nerve which is responsible for blood oxgen getting to the brain which could be preventing me from getting sleep, doe anybody now of any other information that might be helpful in helping me combat this disorder I desperately need your help, concerned! ... Fred, 14 May 2006

 

Was looking at site to see link between Bipolar Disorder and Sleep deprivation. I am studying to be a psychiatrist. It is interesting to note that many "manic" Bipolar episodes are preceded usually by 2 or more days of no sleep at all or a period of severely deficient sleep patterns. Also note that Bipolar depression is often preceded and associated with oversleeping? Is this (Bipolar) a real mental illness, or is it often "created" and thrown at individuals showing symptoms of temporary insanity or sadness due to oversleep or undersleep respectiveley? I beleive at the least the "real deal" behind many "Bipolar Disorder" most especially mania is extended periods of sleep deficiency or no sleep at all, all of which go against the brains natural ability in mantaining stable levels of serotonin...good sleeping lifestyle practices should be the prescription in many cases rather than throwing Mood-Stabilizers, Anti-Psychotics and other Bipolar Meds at people who are! nothing more than severely sleep deprived or oversleeping ... Brian C, 19 May 2006

 

 

 

Hi im still young but im really looking foward to study my perfect career, so lately i havent slept good. Im experimenting a little to see if maybe i could get used to it, i agree with some points of your essay and some points i don't know them well yet but im interested on them. If this is true i would start sleeping 8hrs per day but i think is important 4 ppl 2 know this kind of stuff because everyday everyone sleeps less and less ... Swam, 10 September 2006

 

 

hey im in 8th grade and im doing a project about this. uhm okay i sleep really late like around 5 am. then wake up at 7 for school. im doing a project on this cause maybe on my way of doing it i can realize something very important that im missing! at school i just start acting lazy meaning not wanting to do my school work and getting behind my clsses. and im not usaully that kind of person i use to get all my things done in time but now everything is falling apart! so i was wondering if sleeping is affecting my daily acedemics and routines in my life? ... CeeCee, 23 September 2006

 

 

I don't have anything to comment on but I want to know whether the body temperature of a person increases if the person has slept only for 3 hours at night or even lesser. Or it depends on the time period when he/she has gone to sleep or the temperature or weather of the place. Also does the immunity of the person also reduce due to loss of REM sleep? ... Gayetri Ramachandran, 22 October 2006

 

I think I'm sleep deprived. I work a condensed work week 4 - 10 hour days. I've been doing this for about 2 years now. I drive 1.5 hours 3 of the 4 days to start work at 6am and end at 4:30pm. I have a three year old who co-sleeps with my wife and I. I usually try to go to bed around 9-10pm to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep before the drive. What usually happens is that my daughter tosses and turns or my wife usually ends up working until midnight, my daughter won't go to sleep easily without both of us there. By the time I get into a really good sleep it's around 12:30am - 1am, during the night my daughter repeatedly kicks off the covers in her sleep. I usually wake up several times a night to cover her back up. Then the alarm clock goes off at 4 in the morning, I shower, shave eat breakfast and then commute to work. I've been experiencing some behavioural problems such as MicroSleeping while driving, or at work, inability to concentrate, focus or staring off into space. When people talk to me I usually hear about the first three words and then drift off into la-la land as my eyes glaze over and drift away from whomever is talking to me. Last Friday at work I tried to explain what I was doing to my boss and couldn't spit it out! I ended up grunting and pointing like a caveman! This lasted about 40 seconds and he looked at me very strangely until I was finally able to spit it out in short sentences.

I think my work is suffering from lack of sleep, my wife notices that I'm listless and zombie-like when I get home. This in turn is affecting my marriage. So with both my marriage and job at stake is there any recommendations that you can suggest.

I would be entirley grateful ... Matt Strawbridge, 22 October 2006

 

 

Recently,I happened to come across a fact that getting less than 6hrs of sleep per night actually leads us to diabetes and obesity.Infact,when a person wakes up in a sleep deprived state ,there's a growing drive for high carb foods(in the morning).Moreover,production of insulin in the pancreas is also inhibited in this state.Usually I end up getting just 4-5 hrs of sleep per night and if by chance,I get to sleep some 45mins in the public bus on my way to college.Sometimes I experience slurred language,inability to focus and feeling sleepy all the time.Meanwhile,in the weekend I sleep for around 8-11 hrs and this drives me too lazy and decreased energy.And then the life goes on ... John Kane, 8 November 2006

 

 

hello im a middleschooler who todally dosnt agree w/ having to wake up sooo early. ive also read that us teenagers should get more sleep than we do so i think that they should give us more time to sleep, on school days and we should at least try to go to sleep earlier ... Jay Bruner, 14 November 2006

 

I have also noticed the 'buzz' effect of sleep deprivation, it was kinda pleasant, and I think it's similar to a kind of psychosis, you feel slightly removed from reality, as if having taken a mental painkiller.

Also, I have noticed when sleep-deprived, that it is easy to drift off into a kind of daze, and in these times it's easy to get into a stream-of-consciousness rant about varied unrelated subjects. I would have expected this to be a cause of increased functioning in language/creative ideas parts of the brain, because it seems like more thoughts can escape from your unconscious into the conscious, but your research suggests otherwise.

Another effect of sleep deprivation that I have felt is that when sleep deprived, the body's tollerance for alcohol, (and probably other drugs), is much lowered, so a small amount of alcohol will have more effect on you when you're very tired.

Remember this is all from personal experience and shouldn't be considered empirical/true. Everything I have mentioned is only fit for stimulating ideas ... Mombius Hibachi, 19 November 2006

 

 

I have done a great deal of sleep deprivation related training in the military, under the mistaken belief that through practice you can get good at it. Afte around 15 years of service I had a seizure, and all the blood vessels in my left eye popped amongs some other unpleasant effects like forgetting my name. The nuerologist told me there was a good chance that this was caused by a life of repeated bouts of sleep deprivation (after I was tested for a myraid of other things like low blood sugar, and epilepsy). Is there anything that I can do to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation? My job kind of requires that I stay up for long hours in order to survive, and be able to carry out my duties ... Nordeen, 9 December 2006

 

Its really nice to read people's experiences in life.

please keep on adding guyz....its really interesting to read about what happened to your life style when you got deprived of sleep ... Mr. Yelmar, 27 December 2006

 

your list for SYMPTOMS of sleep loss leads one to believe you'll just feel "sleepy".

Doctors KNOW about the PSYCHOSIS you can get from it, so you should INCLUDE this on your site.

These symptoms include:

-hallucinations (visual, tactile, smell, taste)
-hearing "voices", most of which or MENTAL VOICES
-total loss of judgement
-false memories
-paranoia
-fears
-believing things that aren't true
-following "commands" (when the mental voices tell you to do something)
-"movies" playing in your head where "mental voices & chaaracters" appear & play a "storyline" (like a movie would), which can last for seconds, hours, days, or weeks. and you may BELIEVE it to be REALLY occurring.

please post this so people will KNOW what it is that's happening to them, & people will know WHY they shouldn't sleep deprive themselves ... Dudbubbin, 1 January 2007

 

 

For a project i stayed up for 37 hours and i never reached the point where i got hillucinations and actually i didn't really experience any really terrible side effects. I did experience the typical side effects such as headaches, slowed movements and thoughts, but after a span of time i felt normal but around hour 36 i could really feel the drag towards sleep. This article has really helped me with an essay that i have to write for this project and i will be sure to use it as a reference. Hope my input can help you in some way ... Mike Radford, 7 January 2007

 

 

I can't sleep. when to a sleep clinic was told that I had a very bad sleep D.gave me all kind of medication but notting help could you help me ... Suzanne Thibault, 14 January 2007

 

I seem to have woken up to the idea that the symptoms of sleep deprivation can easily be misdiagnosed or misunderstood by others, and,then theres the posibility that the sufferer may believe he or she has other unrelated problems. In my case i began to think that i was autistic to some degree, and as a result i embarked on a course to find out. To cut the story short, i came to a point where it was obvious that prelonged periods of sleep deprivation over a span of some 20-25 years have gradually turned me into a completely different person. I have no motivation to do even the things i've always enjoyed and tasks that require ones undivided attention seems to be too much to handle. I made a lot of mistakes typing this dialogue and had to continually make amends to the text, which to me proof is that disorientation is a key symptom. On a daily basis i wander about the work place not able to do whatever job i've been given, even to the point where i have packed up for the day and gone home. Other days are different to the extent that i suffer a kind of panic attack but afterwards i seem to be fine for a while, but definitely a lot more sluggish. I may be suffering from depression too but i've not looked into that side of the matter as yet.

I was tired when i typed this and it was a chore. I hope its of some help, better still will it result in something that will help me! ... H. Rojewski, 22 January 2007

 

 

I start hallucinating after about 3 days of no sleep. I see people everywhere that ive never seen before. They just appear out of the walls and ceilings. All i have to do is stare at a solid object for a few seconds. Sure enough people will start coming through and they usually float up towards the ceiling. Also dark rooms are just full of people floating around and walking through. Once i get some sleep i dont see these things at all. The longer i stay up the more clear and intense these experiences become. I used to take large amounts of Dextromethorphan and would experience these types of things. But i havent touched Dxm in years. Could this be some form of permanent brain damage? ... Jay Grigsby, 4 February 2007

 

 

I am a homicide investigator for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. We work a 21 day cycle. 3 days off, five days on during which we are on call. one of those days we work a shift of desk duty answering telephones from either 0500-1300, 1300-2100 or 2100-0500. This is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year including holidays. During the on call we get called out at all hours throughout the county to investigate murder. We commonly leave late at night, go home late the next day. we get 3 days off then we begin a 10 day stretch. Starting on a friday we are on call until monday at 0600 hours during that time we work one shift of desk duty. What effect does this have on a persons health? ... Boyd Zumwalt, 16 February 2007

 

Re: "i know for a fact that you can go for more then 11 days with out sleep because i went 4 weeks playing computer games on a bet and won but i would never try it again the last 2 weeks it was hard to tell real from not and the stress has caused me some memory loss" -- Reader on the web, 11/06/2005

SS or it never happened.

In the state of sitting on your backside for 4 straight weeks, without any sleep, and more than likely consuming high-energy, caffine full liquids and or foods, you would have died of a heart attack ... Matt Bryant, 20 March 2007

 

 

ALOHA! MY NAME IS BOB. I HAVE NOT SLEP FOR 4 MONTHS NOW. PLEASE EXCUSE THE CAPS, I AM HAVING A HARD TIME TO SEE. I SUFFER FROM CHRONIC BACK PAIN AND OTHER FAILED SURGERIES. PRAISE THE LORD,INDEED, HE HAD HEALED ME 6 MONTHS AGO FROM MY SCIATIC NERVE THAT I HAD SUFFERED FOR 35 YEARS, PRAISE THE LORD. I AM ON MY 2ND PUMP NOW FOR PAIN. IT WAS SET ON #11, FILLED WITH DILAUDID PLUS. ANYWAY AFTER THE LORD LEALED ME, PRAISE THE LORD, I CUT IT BACK OVER A 6 MONTH PERIOD TO A #4. WELL THIS OPENED ANOTHER CAN OF WORMS FOR ME. I STIL HAVE A BULGING DISC, A LEASON, SPINAL STINOSIS, MASIVE SCARTISSUE, NERVE DAMAGE, ETC. I CAN ONLY HAVE MY PUMP REPROGRAMED ONCE A MONTH AT 10% INCREASE DURING MY SLEPING HOURS, FROM 8:30PM TO 4:AM. I HAVE NOT SLEP FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME OVER 4 MONTHS. NOW WHAT I AM About to say is that without any sleep your brain goes crazy. i am lucky that i am retired. i start to think about a lot of weird things, really crazy, i cannot explain. it is also sooooooo hard to keep my concentration. I PRAY THAT MY NEXT INCREASE WILL HELP ME WITH MY SLEEP. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING AS FAR AS SLEEPING AIDS. NOTHING WORKS. I WILL GET UP MAYBE 6 TIMES A NIGHT. I AM SOOOOOOOO TIRED WHEN I GET UP IT IS NOT FUNNY. CAN ANYONE HELP ME. GOD BLESS YOU ALL ... Robert Boyko, 23 March 2007

 

 

I am doing research for a science experiment for my science class and I need to see what will happen to people when they don't sleep for 48 hours. Do you have any tips or information I could use? ... Talyn, 23 March 2007

 

 

Hi. I'm a student and i don't think i'm getting enough sleep. I normally go to sleep from 11 - 12, and wake up 6 30, will this effect my studies? What effect will it have on me? ... Frank, 5 June 2007

 

 

I really hope there is someone out there who can help me with this problem.Some three years ago I was struck down with a nasty dose of Chronic Bronchitis, during that period of illness there was a period of thirteen days when I hardly got a wink of sleep due to continually coughing.I felt dissorientated couldn't think straight and was basically quite poorly. Also in that period I did something Quite uncharateristic of me, I sent an email to a work coleague stating that my presant wife shouted at me because of my incesant coughing and that she would get annoyed if I had not cooked her meal by the time she arrived home from work. I remember saying more or less the same thing to my mother some fifteen years ago when I was married to and alcoholic wife. My presant wife read the email which caused me even more traumer and her daughter will not let the subject drop. Could there be a connection here because I cannot explain why I did such a thing, I love my wife dearly and wouldn't do anything knowingly to hurt her. at the time of the illness I was 63 yrs of age ... John Evans, 16 September 2007

 

 

I guess i don't get as much sleep as i should be getting, but last night it got creepy. story is, i have a mouse. i used to have two, but one ran away, so i got a new one, because the petsmart people say they are social, but unfortunately, the old one ate the new one. well, last night, i looked down at the cage and there were two mice. i starred blankly for some period of time. then i ran to my cell, and called people to see if anyone knew anyrhing about the extra mouse, and non one did. i went back later, and it wasn't there any more. i've looked ever since then and haven't seen it. what?? did i really see osmething that wasn't there? ... Noel Knight, 25 September 2007

 

 

i had noticed u said the longest a human has stayed awake was eleven days.ive went without sleep for 16 days last summer without the use of drugs.during that time i aquired my GED considering i dropped out in the seventh grade i would say i was comprehending and retaining information pretty well but anyhow i just wanted to ask how long i could go without sleep safe from dying ... Zachary, 30 September 2007

 

 

i am a senior in high school and i have to get up between six and six thirty to be to school on time by seven thirty. i usually set my alarm clock to go off at six then again at six fifteen. sometimes my dad comes in and wakes me before my alarm and on these days i always feel more tired than i would had i woken uop to my alarm even if its just a few minutes before my alarm. is this normal? why does losing just a few minutes of sleep make me feel exhausted throughout the day? ... Britni, 1 October 2007

 

 

hi... I was wondering about sleep deprivation verses major depression. I've been diagnosed with major depression but I have also had a lot of sleep deprivation. i go back and forth between being deprived of sleep and sleeping for really long periods of time. could my sleep deprivation be the reason for my depression? and if so, why wouldn't my psychologist and psychiatrist have caught that because I've described my sleep patterns to them both. are there other factors in diagnosing major depression that I'm missing? from what i can tell, sleep deprivation has a lot to do with behavior malfunction, speech problems, etc., which are symtoms of depression. anyway, I would really like your advice if possible. thank you for the article - it was fascinating ... Anna, 1 October 2007

 

 

I'm 14 and i just had a hallicination the other night but i can't recall what it was, but previous hallicinations i remmember. One hallucination was I was the size of an ant in a forrest at night but i also was a hungry chameleon and was trying to eat myself, no joke. I recall that got out of bed cause i felt odd, so i just went to the bathroom, and while i was on the toilet i felt scared, i got up exited the bathroom and i found myself freaking out, my sister was trying to calm me down. Her point of veiw was she came out to go to the bathroom and she saw me standing there looking at the ground, and she said my name and i started to freak out and said there was a worm on my head, but i thought she asked me if there was a worm on my head and i just went with it, so i start saying "There is a worm on my head get it off!" which i don't remmember, also another was a little more calm but still as stressful, it was black every where and i was as if standing on glass, there were old ruin looking columns every where and i had to choose the one REAL column or the whole universe would cease to exist. I also have ones with strange feelings where my mind thinks in a totally different way that i can't explain, One there was bright light all around me and two pitch black wholes on either side of me, in each whole there was a small Imp, and both kept on coming up at the same time trying to pull me in their hole and split me apart, another was the calmest one, There was a frame arch and i was standing in it, there was a light bulb at the top pointing down, (like on the inside) and i was floating through space and breathing. When i hallucinate my mind thinks TOTALLY different, and anything can make me feel like i'm about to die, another was (i know "Don't watch so much TV." wasn't the case though) it was the same setting as the imp dream was, but i was awake, each Dragon Ball Z villain had a hole 3 villains were there, but they were standing above their hole, and i had to go Super Saiyan or they would kill me but there was a chance i would die if i went Super Saiyan, i was 9 at the time, also random things will remind me of my dreams or hallucinations, such as when i was writing this i was going to write "fourteen" instead of 14 but i thought i had a typo and didn't know how to spell fourteen even though it was correct and i got the Sleep Deprivation "feeling" almost remmembering the hallucination i had last night (but i couldn't). So if anyone can explain my type of Sleep Deprivation or anyone that has similar problems or hallucinations or anyone that knows and has experiance the type of "Feeling" or different type of thinking, please contact me ... Devin Farrell, 22 October 2007

 

 

Fantastic site! I really enjoyed the article "The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior." I'm looking for information on types of diagnostic tests for chronic insomnia and studies that gives ratios on degree and types of impairment for amount of sleep loss. For example: For every 5 hours of sleep lost, there is a 10% decline in ability to focus, concentrate, etc ... Pamela Jackson, 25 October 2007

 

 

Hi my name is femi, i am 15 years old and i live in essex, U.K. Althuogh i haven't carried out any research on this issue, but what i think is that the human brain is designed in away that everything you do is to a set out programme in your head, so when you sleep your brain recollects the days events and thats why you have things known as dreams. Then theres an unconsious state during the sleep were your brain works in credibly hard to programme the next day. Thats why you feel very tired and heavy even when you haven't done anything hard, this is very evident i.e those who sleep more do anything better than those who do not ... Femi, 30 October 2007

Comments

LukeT's picture

...going without sleep still messes me up.

But of course as we all have seen, the comments on this page do not point to there being anything different happening than getting messed up by sleep deprivation.

So maybe a month after posting my first comment on this page, (going without sleep can mess me up sometimes...) i started getting back to a normal pattern of sleeping. Now just about a week ago my neighbor friend rented Call Of Duty: World at War. Now you probably know where this is going...

So yes i went over and played COD. Yes i even spent the night at his house Tuesday and Wednesday. And yes of course, i played about a full days worth of COD... Now after i played all those two nights i thought i'd be fine. But again, this has happened before with the parties. Why didn't i see it coming?

So it's friday and two of my friends are over at my place and we're eating pizza. Nothing big, just hanging out and talking i guess. From there on out the night and the next day basically blurred into one another. That evening was spent like Harold and Kumar state because we went on some trip to the Circle K (instead of a White Castle) a few miles away to get me some energy drinks. It took nearly two hours...i think.

If i could remember anything, i would tell you everything, but nope. My brain couldn't handle it. So i'm going off of what my friends told me happened. We left for the store, and i was walking around as if i had way too many beers (but i haven't drunk before) and people walking by looked at us with the wierdest looks. They made me stay out of the store to stop the workers inside from wanting to question me about drugs. Serious then...only kind of funny now.

I think i thought i was playing COD because i was running around calling out "bouncing betty!" and tripping over myself. Somewhere on the way back i suddenly stopped and pulled some Christopher Titus out for a minute and reenacted the bonfire part. "I screamed, what would you do?" apparently i was hilarious...

So with that all out of the way. I'm going to actually do some school. Until i write back... this is LukeT. (was the Trashmunki, but thats just dumb)

Anonymous's picture

In July of this year I

In July of this year I passed out at the wheel and flipped my car 3.5 times; I didn't wake up for 24 hours. The only reason I am alive is because the doctors said my body basically shut so far down as to be in a comatose state. My doctor thinks I may have had a seizure, but I am not sure. Is it possible to have a sleep deprivation induced seizure?

I am a university freshman this year and for the last seven years I have only slept 1-3 hours a night. How is this going to affect my learning capabilities?

Is there anything I can do to help make myself sleep more at night? My psychiatrist gave me lorazepam 2mg to take every night but it doesn't even touch me most nights.

jessica's picture

sleeping

if you get some sleep your grades will go up.your probably really tired and its perfectly fine if you are.start going to bed at about 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. and try to get some sleep.

kutless's picture

'we'll get all the sleep we

'we'll get all the sleep we need when we're dead'....'life's too short to waste on sleep'....ya, right. you wouldn't hear a peep outta me if sleep wasn't a VITAL and NECESSARY part of life. forget everything else, but DO NOT forget to sleep at night....it WILL catch up with you sooner rather than later and you WILL pay a VERY heavy price for it. try to establish a routine so that your body gets used to getting tired at say 10 at night so you can wake up bright and early at 6 or 7 and get ready for the day. always sleep AT LEAST 7-8 hours a night unless you know you can function with less. that's all i got. peace, good will, and be excellent to each other.

Ian's picture

Sleep deprivation.

Hi i'm a typical 34 year old male, i have my share of issues but the major one i think effects more people then just the one who have the obvious signs.
* Dark sometimes almost black circles or bags surround the eyes.
* Irritable most of the time, or quick to over react.
* Erratic behavior ie: something they wouldn't normally do.
This list of common symptoms is almost endless, depends heavily on these things in a persons life
* Figurative environment - ie: where they live, eg: near freeway or noisy neighborhood, where they work and relax or perhaps sometimes retire to.
* Assumptions made - how they see their life in general "i get enough sleep, i'll be ok, i need more sleep" etc.
* Surmountable evidence - meaning as time rolls by, the habits of a sleep deprived person will, can or may appear normal, but is still evident.
* Terminology - is it really fair to take a persons life and label it as "Sleep deprivation?" The answer is no, clearly not, but any suspicion of SD should be treated by a professional and handled accordingly.

Now in case some of you didn't notice, i have just illustrated a good way to die fast
(note the letter each point above begins with)
I believe there is one other major factor that most people overlook, and that would be the fact that SD & stress is high on my list of things to avoid at all costs. Stress when coupled with SD almost magnifies the actual problem, it can also compile (in a very short time ie: less then a week) the start of irregular sleeping pattern, after two (2) weeks the problem (Stress & SD) may start to appear normal, even though the early signs tells us something is starting to go wrong. My advice to anyone who thinks they may have developed these kinds of problems or symptoms is have a health professional check you out (Start by referral from a GP if you need to) and look at what is needed to get some sleep, because if it took you two (2) weeks to get like this, it will probably take you twice as long to catch up on the sleep you missed ie: a month.

I had been working a rotational shift, and i was also supervising other staff on these shifts, stress wasn't a major factor until some things that were going on at home really started to magnify how i was feeling. My family had gotten used to my irritability and coming home in the middle of the night, watching TV or researching on the internet till the wee small hours to wind down after being on the go for 8-10 hours on shift, this went on for approximately six (6) months, day shift one week, night shift the next ... gradually building up a sleeping problem, i realized i lived less then 100 meters from a major railway line, and beyond that was a 6 lane freeway that kept the noise levels up pretty much constant. I went to the local hospital (whilst suffering from a severe lack of sleep) explaining to them, i couldn't seem to get to sleep and i felt as though i was about to have coronary failure of some sort, to which they began to treat me initially as a junkie (assuming i was high) and kept asking me what i had taken, then they took a slightly different, more scary approach and began to treat me as if i might be suffering from some form of either anxiety or depression, possibly even insanity as i had been listening in to the doctors who spoke about me, presuming i couldn't hear them. Obviously i was keen to find out what their prognosis was and i was alarmed to find out i was to be kept under lock and key so to speak, i was not allowed access outside the hospital, and even more concerning was the fact, there was no possible exit without sneaking past the front desk.
About 7-8 hours later i managed to escape the confines of the hospital and decided to call my local GP for help, he prescribed sleeping tablets and i slept on them for about 9 - 10 weeks every night until some form of normal returned. I still feel as though lack of sleep is being under diagnosed as some form of depression or other similar problem. If you think you aren't getting enough sleep, you probably aren't and this is the first problem you should always treat it as such. Get your sleeping pattern constant for a week or two, and maintain this, if your health continues to improve, you saved yourself a possible adventure to the mental health unit at your local hospital.

John's picture

I was able to get more sleep

I have been through four years of college and I had the most hectic sleep pattern because of my flexible schedules every semester and not to mention work study programs. I hated not being able to sleep when I wanted. I dont know about everyone else on here because it seems some people enjoy not going to sleep but I know for me personally I needed to change this habit because I was hired for a job right out of college and I couldnt afford to not get sleep at night. I tried this all natural product called Sleep aid and it helped me sleep a great deal. I also purchased some relaxation music. I've been using the 2 for quite a while now and it seems to work pretty well. I have been sleeping great for months now. Just wanted to share my experience with all of you guys and I hope that this was helpful.

Anonymous's picture

the things it does to you...

back again to write more...
its story time o yea

so for a while (aobut 2 weeks) i went back to actually going to sleep and getting rest. but of course that didnt stick for long. so now im up again (5 a.m. right now) and i went completely with no sleep yesterday and now today again...this is what happens....

When i go with no sleep, weird stuf happens...from getting scared to death of bb's to more recently, seeing bugs on my arm. it realy freaked me out that night when i halucinated the bugs...i was talking to myu friend on the fone and i was completely out of it, then all of a sudden i start saying something about a bug on my arm and how it kept getin bigger and it was gonna kill me. he decided he'd continue and go on with my story and he told me that the bug was actualy good cuz it payed my rent... what?!!?

so thats all for now, and il write more later...anyways, wierd things happen wen u dont sleep...so always wear a helmet.

NM's picture

I NEED SLEEP

I was so curious to read about being sleep deprived becuz I think I am. Now its not like I go days without sleep. As a matter of fact, I sleep everynight. But for only 3 or 4 hours. I've been having crazy thoughts and dreams. I've been so concerned and worried about everything and everybody around me like never before. I've tried coffee, energy drinks, and naps. But nothing works. I dont know what 2 do. I just dont want it to get worse. Plus I 'm in school, I have a beautiful daughther in school now and I work during the week. Its stressful. But could me not getting sleep be the cause of my stress??? Please give me some answers or advice.

Thank you

NM

Ian's picture

Let me firstly say i am not

Let me firstly say i am not a health professional, and you should see one as soon as you possibly can. I was however diagnosed and treated for a common workplace problem, and that of course is sleep deprivation.
It breeds anxiety and depression, you need to get more sleep and even if that means do only what you have to, and spend more time in bed. Only you or your GP can recommend how much sleep is needed, but if being treated like i was, you would probably be needing some form of either relaxation techniques and or in extreme cases, sleep medication like i was on for several months.

Anonymous's picture

remidy needed

Hi there,
i was wondering if you have any suggestions on how my partner may get to sleep.
I have found that it is effecting all aspects of her life including our relationship.
It is frustrating not being able to help.
I am scared for her sanity and health.
Thanks
vic

Anonymous's picture

listin to music

listin to music

Ian's picture

Relaxation is the key to

Relaxation is the key to regular sleep, giving the body a chance to unwind, if this does not help, go seek professional help from a Doctor.

Anonymous's picture

Sleep deprivation and drug use

What is the relationship between long term "upper" drugs, such as meth, and sleep deprivation? Are the mental effects of drug use just caused by the drug or in combination of lack of sleep and the drug? I have noticed similarities between the effects of meth and sleep deprivation. Any thoughts on this?

Isabella Maxwell's picture

Sleep Deprivation and related drug use

I use to say that the real high from meth was the sleep deprivation. The hallucinations were great... I loved to hallucinate. That is when I was an avid user, well to be quite honest an addict. I used speed for over 15 years and in the end was doing it IV style. In response to your question and being a seasoned-veteran with meth, I just had to write something. I do believe that the mental effects of the drug,combines with the no sleep part can take a person to dangerous, and heightened levels within their mind(s). Often, if a person has been awake for more than 48 hours, I would be opt to say that they are going to, or already are hallucinating.Psychosis from lack of sleep, the drug's chemical and dopamine effects on the brain can cause auditory and visual hallucinations as well as delusional behavior. Meth and what it may contain within it can vary from being made with and/or cut with bleach,acetone,baby laxatives, MSM, chlorohydride crystals, other household cleaners etc,etc, etc ... the list goes on. You have to consider administration of the drug being taken and the amount of time in which someone may be up. Either way, it is gambling with your central nervous system and your neural receptors called: dendrites in your brain... it can fry em! You need those dendrites to connect your thoughts to the axon part of your neurons to make synaptic connections. There is NO NEED to stay up for more than 24 hours ... no need. I think about the amount of sleep I have lost within my lifetime just from staying up from ALL the meth I have done, and I can never get it back. You might sleep just a mere 14 hours from being out (or should I say up) on a binge from tweaking, after having been up for three or even 10 or more days. Sleep deprivation actually increases the efficiency of sleep. I have meet people who have told me they stayed up for a month straight... bullshit! You simply cannot stay up for that amount of time and NOT have your body say: STOP and it shuts down. The little nodding or "falling out" which is experienced by many meth users is called: micro sleep... that is your body telling you that hey man quit the dumb shit I need to sleep some! The micro sleep usually doesn't last but by 2-10 seconds if that, and you usually don't remember it. Anyone out there a meth user , and having been an addict myself for over 15 years and living out on the streets of San Fran because the of drug. PLEASE think twice about what you are doing and consider becoming sober... or the very least take a break. Speed rapes your soul... it rapes who you are! Blessed Be everyone!

seb's picture

current sleep deprived experiences..

i am currently in the midst of a rather prickly bout of bronchitis, which has pretty much removed all chance of sleep for the last 3 days and now moving into 4... its curious reading other people's experiences and relating them to what i am currently going through.. i have missed days before, but never on the scale i am on right now.

after missing the first night sleep, i was annoyed, but not worried - i had been there before. apart from the nasty bronchitis cough, i was lethargic, but still fairly sharp..

after the second night of sleeplessness i was a little more worried, but i dint actually feel any different to the day before. strangely, my heart rate was elevated to around 90bpm.. this left me feeling a little giddy.

by this morning, after my third sleep free night i started to notice a few things. my heart rate is elevated and hovering just under a hundred bpm. i feel like i have the shakes, but when i hold out my hand its rock solid.. i assume that is because of the elevated heart rate. the morning was difficult, i was slow and had trouble with sentences, i had a constant feeling of pressure in my face and head.. when playing computer games i realised after a while that i was much more aggressive.. i had a 2 hour nap at lunch time, and for most of the afternoon i felt like i was new again.. but now i am back where i was this morning.. feeling nasty. reading back over what i have just written.. its very much 'stream of consciousness' and lacks any punctuation. i am hoping that my cough will calm down a bit soon and i will get the chance for some more sleep, as this is not an experiment i want to continue..

Twins mum's picture

to anon, (posted 08/16/08) I

to anon, (posted 08/16/08)

I know exactly how you feel, this is where it started for me, you need to sleep desperatley but the more you try the more you fail, please read my story (Twins mum) 13 logs up, above your entry Hope this helps! :)

Anonymous's picture

i dont kno wats wrong wit

i dont kno wats wrong wit me.. i havent slept in 2 days. in the past 5 days i've maybe slept 5 hrs... i dont want stay awake.. infact im dying to get some sleep. Day or night i' ve found it very difficult to sleep. i am extremly tired. My hands tremble. my head spins, and the slightest noises either annoys or scars me. I have a lack of energy, and a lack of will to do anything. I only desire to sleep but i cant. any suggestions

Anonymous's picture

go out & buy a CD that has

go out & buy a CD that has the soothing sound of a thunderstorm.

jessica's picture

why a thunderstorm it'll

why a thunderstorm it'll just make it worse try a rainforest sounds.

Anonymous's picture

Practice meditation

Try practicing some kind of meditation which will calm down the agitated mind. Its actually the mind which first goes to rest when you sleep. So a calm and peaceful mind will aid in getting a sound sleep.

StephanieR.'s picture

hi im 18 years old and i

hi im 18 years old and i have been seizure free all my life until march of 2008. i have no other family members who suffer from any kind of seizures or any thing. I used to wake up at 5 am every morning to go to school. But whenever i would go to sleep late and then wake up early i would get twitches, and my eyes would roll into the back of my head. Finally on March 28 i woke up at 5am and went to school very tired and when i came home i fell right to sleep. i woke up about 1 hour or 2 later still very tired and went upstairs, fell all over the place twitching, then i sat on the sofa and hours later i woke up in the hospital. my mom was still crying and i had my shirt soaked in blood. (from biting the tip and side of my tounge) I was very confused and i didnt even remember if i had gone to school that day. My mom then told me i had a seizure and that i was getting a CT scan and the doctor is going to refer me to a neurologist. The next day i slept for almost the whole day. I now take dilatin everytime i wake up tired because i still twitch and my eyes still roll into the back of my head when i get to tired.

Anonymous's picture

going without sleep can mess me up sometimes...

i go without sleep a lot... i just do because i feel like it. i guess i really shouldnt be doing it but here's the point.
Once i went to four parties... one each day, and i never went to sleep for those four days. On the fifth day i decided i'd stay up just for the heck of it. I shouldn't have.
My friends found out that i was completely out of it and they were messing with my brain. i couldn't think straight and i felt high. they shot airsoft bb's in the air and each time i heard the sound, i involuntarily fell to the floor in a lump of sleep-deprived-kid...
They treated me like an animal, they scared the living crap out of me when i nearly passed out. they shot the gun again and i jumped and freaked out. everyone thought it was funny exept for me. i think its hillarious now, but definetley not then.
Anyways, it felt really weird to have that happen... feeling high and tired and hyper, but exhausted all at the same time... i do it just because i choose to. i know i probably shouldn't because it's not great for me, but oh well... i'll write another comment sometime.
- The Trashmunki

Anonymous's picture

Not totally sleep deprived

I normally get a good amount of sleep but there are sometimes where I dont and apparentally my boyfriend says I do things in my sleep that may be considered (Creepy, Weird, Scary). So awhile back we were sleeping in bed and he said I woke him up by singing a lullaby in a foreign language and not a language he's ever heard of, he said I did that for about five minutes. Then last night he said that I sat up and turned to look him in the eye but with my eyes closed I sort of said a demonic chante again in a foreign language. After I said the chante I layed back down and was back to sleep, then he said he woke me up and said please dont kill me or stab me and I said dont worry I wont do anything crazy and again went back to sleep. I completely dont remember this happening. All I remember is having a nightmare about getting attacked by horrible attack dogs specifically like in the Wes Craven movie Breed. So if anyone has any answers to why I would have done that please reply. Thanks, Not totally sleep deprived

Anonymous's picture

insomnia is a condition that

insomnia is a condition that can not be treated , you just try to deal with it by trying temporary solutions . the bad thing is trying to treat it with those poisonous sleep medication that has bigger consequences on our health. that why i all the time refuse to use those medication and opt for more natural solution like drinking camomile cup before going to bed or take ForceSleep a natural liquid products that relaxes and make you sleep with no grogeness or hangover.

Anonymous's picture

If you have extended sleep deprivation get help quickly

All of the studies you see on sleep deprivation show that even short term loss of sleep can impair reaction, learning, etc. But when it continues it is far more serious than you can ever imagine. My wife and I separated and I forced myself to stay awake for a few days during the move. I then found it was impossible for me to sleep. I woke up every hour on the hour. Time started to move very slowly. This continued for over 100 days. At first I thought it was depression so I talked to counselors. I took antidepressants and sleeping pills and nothing helped. It felt as though half of my brain was dying. My family had no history of mental illness and I have never had depression or psychotic thoughts. But daily without sleep I began to consider suicide. Instead of checking into a hospital and getting sedated my counselor convinced me to check into a psychiatric hospital. It was a continuation of my nightmare. The place was horrible and instead of getting sleep it worsened my condition. The doctor I dealt with only had experience with people with mental problems and the effects of severe sleep deprivation are similar if you don't listen to what the patient tells you. I was placed in the enhanced unit of the hospital. supposedly the most secure area that is used for paranoid and suicidal patients. I still couldn't sleep and I became convinced I was never going to get out of the hospital and I would never see my daughters again. That thought drove me to look for a way to kill myself. The hospital personnel left two doors open and I saw a large window just past the second door. I was on the third floor of the hospital. I went through both doors, knocked out the window with my hand and I dove head first out the window. Through a miracle I survived with a broken back, ribs, and a cut on my arm down to the bone. No one that knew me could ever think that could happen to me. It wasn't depression it was the physical loss of sleep and the affect on my brain. After getting sleep while recuperating in different hospitals my logical, sane normal mind returned. I am fortunate but I am keenly aware of the importance of sleep. I know only people who have experienced it can understand it. I recommend you get help immediately if you can't sleep.

corderra dupree's picture

i need to sleep

I need alittle help to go to sleep because iv been up for more then 3 days now and haven't closed my eyes once so what can i do.

jessica's picture

try to shut your eye lids by

try to shut your eye lids by having a happy place.

Anonymous's picture

listen to soothing music

listen to soothing music

Melinda's picture

Sleep Deprived But No Solutions by Dr. Offered

I went through the sleep study and the outcome was mild apnea but I was also missing stages. Apparently when I close my eyes I go right into stage 4 and waver there with REM never really going to the other stages throughout the night.
During the day I am very tired (exhausted) as though I never slept and do nod off if I am not moving. My thinking is not clear and I have been stuttering the last 5 years. Dr. says I have ADD but I believe it is symptoms of sleep deprivation.

If I am able to get a 15-30 min nap during the day it does make me feel more alert. Please note, I do have some occasions of sleep walking where I will clean, move something and once I called my sister in the wee hours!

After taking the sleep study, I was given a cpap (has not improved the sleep stage problem, only the breathing and sinus/eustachian tube problem) but Dr. did not know what to do about the missing sleep stages, is there someone out there that does know?

Anonymous's picture

If you go three days without

If you go three days without sleep can you do stupid stuff. I heard of a man that got no sleep for three days and went downstairs to his childs room nude. Is this a systom of lack of sleep.

Anonymous's picture

Elderly and Sleep Deprivation

My elderly mother has had poor sleep habits all her life, but after reading the above blogs, I am of the opinion she is definately suffering from Sleep Depriviation. Her latest symptoms include hallucinations,(visions like ghosts all around her) which lead to paranoia (someone is in my apartment), fear, and back to fear of going to bed. I have witnessed her sleep patterns of snoring and what appears to be sound sleep and her legs (restless legs) in constant motion & jerking and then a sudden lucid uttering of some type which appears to come from a dream or nightmare & she is wide awake again! The hallucinations increase as sleep deprevation grows until they are with her all the time. She can verbalize they are not real, but at times she is convinced they are....i.e., locks herself in the bathroom because there are people sitting on the couch.
I have had her to many doctors to evaluate her medications & potential harmful mixes and her own doctor has carefully prescribed & supervised any additions to her already growning list of meds. But, I don't think we have emphasized the sleep issue. Anything to make the elderly sleep adds the problem of instability and falling. The descriptions on this site of "testimonials" hit the nail on the head. I think we can now hope for some improvement by addressing sleep. Old people get a bad rap for dementia, but she has no memory loss. I remind her doctors not to dismiss her symptoms because of her age. She, at 98, still travels and is outliving her doctors. Andrea

Kevin's picture

Psycological effects of sleep deprivation

I have been having a severe lack of sleep for the past 3 years. The job that I'am currently at now requires me to constantly work shifts that can range from 10 to 14 hrs or 22 to 30 hrs. In the beginning of this job (3 yrs ago) I had no problem staying awake for 2 to 3 days at a time. I would just drink 3 to 5 pots of coffee a day. As the shifts got longer I pushed myself even more and I went on a routine of staying awake for 6 days, sleep for 4 hrs and repeat the process. I figured that im still young so I can push myself beyond my limits and still function. It seems though that as the years go by using this routine the effects on the mind increase considerably. I have gotten to the point now when I reach my 3rd day I get very short tempered. All it takes is the smallest thing to make me react in ways I've never reacted before. I will get this rush of adrenaline flowing through me and I turn psycotic. By my 4th day I start to see things that I know arent there. By my 6th day im a wreck, normal everyday activities cant be performed because I feel as if Im on the edge of becoming enraged. I'am in the process of getting a different job because I fear that the next time I lose control could be the last.

Christina's picture

Every Mother With an Infant Should Read This

I am a mother of two and my youngest is 4 months old, and the WORST sleeper! She's up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and doesn't always go back to sleep in between feedings. All told, I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in over 6 months, b/c the last couple months of pregnancy are also so uncomfortable with several night wakings, too. And I can't remember when I even got more than 2-3 hours of sleep in a row. I've been suffering physically and mentally, and never realized all the things I am experiencing are due to the extended sleep deprivation! I can't believe the truly far-reaching effects sleep deprivation has on the body and mind. One thing I didn't see in the article (or maybe didn't comprehend in my sleepless haze) is how long it takes to fully repair the damage. My husband has taken the night feedings a couple times so I could get some rest, but even with one night of straight sleep, I still didn't feel 100% the next day. Anyway, great article!

Nik Rawlings's picture

Art Study

I am going to be doing a study of sleep depriviation as the last unit of my A level Photography. I also hope to exhibit this.
If anyone has anything they would like to contribute, be it experiences, diary entries, photographs, scans of medical records (anonymously of course) etc etc then it would be awesome! I myself have had great issues with it in the past but have got through and want to put out the actual hightening i sometimes achieved.....and the rest of the negatives that go with deprivation. Basically, if you would like to submit something to me, post here, below me.
Thanks
Nik

Dean's picture

Only going a few days barely scratches the surface.....

I hope that a lot of people the read this page or add their own comments to it actually take note of the other comments from people that are REALLY sleep deprived, as in long term.

I'm 40, and although my sleep patterns are perfect (as shown by 3 in-depth sleep studies and dozens of different doctors) I have never had a restful night of sleep. I can recall about 15 minutes a few years ago when I was still working at 7PM and suddenly I was wide awake. IT WAS AMAZING! I am a carpenter and we were just finishing up a large building, and i just stopping working and walked around, taking everything in from this wonderful new perspective, trying to enjoy every second of it assuming that it would end soon, and of course it did. I will never forget it as long as I live.

People who are truly sleep deprived have a unique challenge similar to people with severe mental or emotional problems, and that is living in a world where no one around them has a clue as to what they are going through and struggling to be like everyone else. I am apparently an Oscar-quality actor. I have been at this for so long that I have a well-established habit of keeping my game face (or whatever you would call it) on, but to a large extent I think it does more harm than good because people don't see the problem and thus are constantly judging me for being forgetful, irresponsible, etc. People see me as this happy guy, always smiling and positive. Them: "How are you?" Me: "Good! How about you?" This is the lie I tell every day, and the whole act burns up so much of the limited energy I have. I'm not good. I'm never good. I am a very ambitious person so I get to work every day, go through all the motions, and actually I can work a hundred hours a week because it doesn't really make much difference - I'm just as tired at the beginning and middle of the day as I am after working for 14 hours.

It has been getting worse over the years, with all of the common deprivation characteristics setting in with the main one being depression. Again, here people close to me figure that the there's something wrong with the meds so we need to adjust the meds. No one gets it. How am I not going to be depressed when I'm miserable every second of my existence and at the age of 40 what I have to look forward to is a couple of decades of equal or increased misery. I have to go to work and keep going every day because I have a family that I love. I LOVE my kids, I'm talking love on a Mrs. Doubtfire level, and I love being with them and they make me laugh all the time but it is still struggle struggle struggle to be able to do anything with them. After 8 years I am still really in love with my wife, but she doesn't get it. I did too good at covering up my flaws when we were dating and now she is burned out from dealing with it, how irresponsible and forgetful I am, why sometimes I think the way I do. Thus, I'm assuming that because of my tiredness at some point I will be losing my family.

Yes, I am constantly seeing Doctors and always using prescribed stimulants, but my body gets used to them so I have to keep switching around and the overall effectiveness is waning.

Twins mum's picture

Hi have just read your

Hi have just read your comment and share your views, but hopefully what worked for me will help you, or maybe even cure you!

I began to have sleep probs, when i was 24 weeks preg, with very active twin boys, i too was up at 5am for work, and would find it hard to sleep at night, with snoring partner, v.noisy neighbours, mums cancer diagnosis, moving house troubles, and many more issues!, all of which got on top of me and would keep me awake worrying. It got to the point where i had had no sleep for 6 days and sleeping (or lack of!), had become an obsession, i became a totally diff person and ended up trying to cut my wrists, i thought this was the only way i would ever sleep (mad as it sounds now), but at the time i was so sleep dep, i was irrational, and illogical. I ended up being sectioned and diagnosed with psycosis, this was the beginning of a nightmare, i was placed on suicide watch and as i was pregnant could not have any medical treatment or sleeping aids, but i used to just say once i get some sleep ill be fine, but the staff would sit in pairs on night duty and chat loudly all night so was still getting no sleep!, i got worse and worse and thought i was never going to get out of my nightmare, my family and bfriend were AMAZING!!, and knew i was still in there somewhere, they convinced me once back at home and getting sleep id be fine, so they (esp my dad), fought for me to be sent home, and i began to get weekend visits etc, after a month in there i was allowed home, although nothing really improved the twins were born and i was given meds, anti psycosis which perked me up but i was still so wired and it was like id forgotten how to sleep, i began to think i was destined for a life without sleep.
Then i was watching this morning with mum, and a new product for sleep dep. patients was being tested by doctor chris it was called GLO TO SLEEP and its a eye mask with points of glo that are activated by lightbulb (see website),it looked great it cost £40, but the testimonals were great so tried it, it was delivered the next day, and while my boys were napping gave it a go, the next thing i remember my bfriend had come back from work and was waking me!, i had slept for 2 hours solid!, i have never looked back, that night i slept for 8 hours solid and every night since!, i was so excited!, its like, i knew once i had retrained my brain to sleep i was gonna be fine, and i am!, i have had no probs since using this product and only had to use it for 3 or 4 nights, now i dont even need it, but it gave me that starting point to recovery. I have amazed my follow up docs, and have even been used in case studies for recovering psycosis patients!. Now 2 years on i am loving life again and am treasuring every minute!, i was well again only a week or so after using the glo to sleep, its definetly changed my life! Please try it and let me know if its helped or if others reading this have been helped. (please note: this is a genuine account, and i have no links to glo to sleep or any other company-just a busy mum trying to help people in a similar situation to what i was in), good luck!!

Anonymous's picture

sleep deprivation

I've heard that some studies have shown that a brain scan of a sleep deprived brains looks very similar to a brain of a person with depression. Does anyone have any information on a sleep deprived person in relation to compulsive and/or addictive behavior?

Anonymous's picture

From first hand experience,

From first hand experience, one tends to satisfy every own whim and is easily manipulated. But this could be that when subconscious mind get mixed up with conscious, it depends on their content so it could depend on person).

Dean's picture

Only going a few days barely scratches the surface.....

I hope that a lot of people the read this page or add their own comments to it actually take note of the other comments from people that are REALLY sleep deprived, as in long term.

I'm 40, and although my sleep patterns are perfect (as shown by 3 in-depth sleep studies and dozens of different doctors) I have never had a restful night of sleep. I can recall about 15 minutes a few years ago when I was still working at 7PM and suddenly I was wide awake. IT WAS AMAZING! I am a carpenter and we were just finishing up a large building, and i just stopping working and walked around, taking everything in from this wonderful new perspective, trying to enjoy every second of it assuming that it would end soon, and of course it did. I will never forget it as long as I live.

People who are truly sleep deprived have a unique challenge similar to people with severe mental or emotional problems, and that is living in a world where no one around them has a clue as to what they are going through and struggling to be like everyone else. I am apparently an Oscar-quality actor. I have been at this for so long that I have a well-established habit of keeping my game face (or whatever you would call it) on, but to a large extent I think it does more harm than good because people don't see the problem and thus are constantly judging me for being forgetful, irresponsible, etc. People see me as this happy guy, always smiling and positive. Them: "How are you?" Me: "Good! How about you?" This is the lie I tell every day, and the whole act burns up so much of the limited energy I have. I'm not good. I'm never good. I am a very ambitious person so I get to work every day, go through all the motions, and actually I can work a hundred hours a week because it doesn't really make much difference - I'm just as tired at the beginning and middle of the day as I am after working for 14 hours.

It has been getting worse over the years, with all of the common deprivation characteristics setting in with the main one being depression. Again, here people close to me figure that the there's something wrong with the meds so we need to adjust the meds. No one gets it. How am I not going to be depressed when I'm miserable every second of my existence and at the age of 40 what I have to look forward to is a couple of decades of equal or increased misery. I have to go to work and keep going every day because I have a family that I love. I LOVE my kids, I'm talking love on a Mrs. Doubtfire level, and I love being with them and they make me laugh all the time but it is still struggle struggle struggle to be able to do anything with them. After 8 years I am still really in love with my wife, but she doesn't get it. I did too good at covering up my flaws when we were dating and now she is burned out from dealing with it, how irresponsible and forgetful I am, why sometimes I think the way I do. Thus, I'm assuming that because of my tiredness at some point I will be losing my family.

Yes, I am constantly seeing Doctors and always using prescribed stimulants, but my body gets used to them so I have to keep switching around and the overall effectiveness is waning.

kiran's picture

i ve been trying to stay all

i ve been trying to stay all night inorder to prepare for my exams from the past 1 month...i ve been getting two hrs of sleep a day...but my health has been affected badly....can u help me in alternative ways of studying other than during the night...

anxiety disorder treatment's picture

Lack of Sleep Worsening Anxiety Disorder

Sarah,

I really enjoyed this article. I can attest wholeheartedly to the fact that sleep deprivation contributed immensely to my anxiety and panic attack condition. Although I still suffered after I'd sorted my huge sleeping problem, it wasn't nearly to the extent or frequency it was. I found this to be a huge hurdle to overcome, and I'm so glad I did.

All the best!

A.C.'s picture

sleep / anxiey & depression

i've been -really- suffering for a few years now; after 14 years of panic attack susceptibility plus nearly a decade of depression, the last 2-3 years have been a hell that feels like it's dragging me to a breaking point.
I cannot afford psy-therapy but am looking for links/info/support info that may help me get -rest- and perhaps address underlying junk. I've got no "backup"/aka: no one else to pay the bills while I try to get well. It's hard just keeping up w/ day -to-day tasks/etc.
Any info/ links, etc. would be helpful & appreciated.
Thank you,
A.C.

Robby's picture

Z?

Hello, me again, i have had an interest to continue my study on this website, to continue my theory on sleep deprivation, psychiatrist's have said that there is no way to train the human body to ignore your nature instict to sleep. I think that if you could train the mind to feel no emotion for many things like as i have done in the past. From that training i have learned how to understand the human mind and the functions or expressions it secretes. They say that the funny thing about insanity, is that the insane person doesnt tend to know he's crazy.

Growing up i have evolved my mind to the point were i have the most distinct disgust for humans. When i tellpeople my theory about how idiotic people could be, they ask me, "But you are a person too." I know i am, but i feel so disturbed to be catagorized under what i up most hate, also poeple tell me hate is a strong word too, but i have understood that, i do not use the word unless i really have to. Some of my intensions lead me to think of how much i want to be left alone by other people. Wich concludes me to talk about why i do not like to sleep.

I have a few reasons to why i admire sleep deprivasion, one reson is that i like to stay up at night because i feel as if night is the only time i could be free from all the steryotypical people that judge before knowing, and that have filled my hatred of humanity. Another reason is that i have a keen curiosity to weather what would happen if i didnt sleep. Last, I would have a theory to that if i heard voices or have seen things, i could have something to talk to other than what i hate.

My heart has been hurting a little, atleast i think its my heart, my mother says its my lack of eating, i wondered if it was from the lack of sleep or the medicine i have to take for ADHD. Thus, i depart from this conversation, but thank you all again for reading.

John Samson's picture

Sleep Deprivation...take it with a grain of salt.

Hello ladies and gentlemen. Interesting to see dialogue on sleep deprivation, especially first hand experience with some of its adverse effects. Keep in mind, going 3 plus days without any sleep at all is something that should not be done...and most people have not accomplished this in their lifetime. I, am a trauma surgeon, and get very few hours of sleep sometimes. Sometimes ill do surgery for 14 hours straight on and off, sleeping 4 hours in between. As a competitive student in the pre-medical program at the Univ. I attended, students would often be overwhelmed with stressful situations preparing for exams. They pull all nighters as they call them, and still perform relatively up to par on exams (i have scored A's on very difficult exams in the sciences while very sleep deprived)...no it does not cause sufficient permanent brain damage because if this were the case, many professionals would be retarded, including myself. Donald Trump (if I may quote him) stated that he slept on average 4 hours a night he loves working so much...and his job at times is very stressful...especially in the past before he had stable millions (real estate crash in the 90's). However, one is more prone to deleterious infection upon lowering immune system function by not getting sufficient sleep. All in all, it isnt a monster to not sleep much...sleeping will make you more clear headed though and memory may be better during days following a good nights rest.

Robby's picture

Z?

I have noticed and have most certainly taken an interest in the deprivation of sleep, I find it increasingly vulger, I sometimes feel as if i do not need the sleep required, I as well feel that sleep deprivation is a more, satisfying than it is an issue in daily life. I guess i can conclude that i think as if the I could halucinate there could be a very more reasonable way to evolve. So many instincts a human must follow in order to maintain. I also find many other issues in humanity, well, to begin with, i find humanity a blasphemy, so much excess not needed, in my thinking i have noticed that science tends to emphasize on the theory of evolution, in a technicality. humanity has barely ever evolved, only trends and overwhelming manifestation occur, i have a theory of that for humanity to evolve, evolution must in fact occur mentally more than physiclly. Thank you for reading.

sophia's picture

sleep deprivation

I have 2 brain tumours & i am to go in for sleep dprivation test as
i have a lot on seizures, what will this entail?
sophia mccartney 27th february 2008

Ian's picture

I recently underwent a sleep

I recently underwent a sleep study which involves a fairly painless procedure of sleeping in a bed (possibly in a hospital or clinic) whilst hooked up to a machine that monitors and records all aspects of your sleeping pattern.

It is a tad uncomfortable at first getting used to sleeping with monitor wires running off contact pads (like the ones used for a ECG or heart test)
These wires usually run to a central unit which has been strapped to your chest, or may be placed in a pocket (you wear a lab coat type outfit so you can have the monitor hooked up and tucked away safely in a pocket or pouch on the coat)

The results are usually read out to you in a week or two by your current GP.
Hope this helps.

robbie's picture

i like this one

hey i like this article it was interesting i even used for my science project thanks it helped alot

keith's picture

sleep deprivation

Well for no reason at all im gonna stay up as long as i can...sort of an experiment of my own...ive ben up 18 hours so far...feel alright!

Anonymous's picture

do not try it i did and i

do not try it i did and i was out of it after 48 hours

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