How Much Sleep Deprivation Can the Body Endure?

by A Guest Author

Sleep is a necessity for human life, without it the whole world would fall into anarchy. Could you imagine everyone on earth pulling an all-nighter one night? Everyone would be acting like zombies in the worst mood possible. Fights would break out almost instantly due to people being extremely aggravated. The Earth would not be a pretty place to be. Pulling an all-nighter everyone once and a while may be a common thing that people do, specifically ivy league transfer students. However, how much of that can you do before your body tells you no more and you pass out on the spot, or worst, drop dead?

Adverse Symptoms

Sleep deprivation can be anywhere from just losing 1 or 2 hours of sleep per night, to staying up days, even weeks on end. Losing any sleep from the recommended 8 hours of sleep for community college transfer students can have very adverse effects especially if the pattern is repeated over a long period of time. Long term sleep deprivation will produce terrible effects on your brain. Memory is hampered, growth can stunted, attention span is reduced, a groggy brain, and weight gain/loss are all symptoms attributed to sleep deprivation. One in five serious motor vehicle injuries are related to driver fatigue. Approximately 80,000 drivers fall asleep behind the wheel every day with 250,000 accidents related to sleep as well every year. Sleep deprivation has been related to alcohol as well stating that 21 hours without sleep is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, the legal limit for DUIs in the United States and Canada. Further, don't take this as a suggestion, combining sleep deprivation with alcohol can have severe adverse effects as well. Alcohol will take its effects much faster and will provide a more powerful “drunkenness.”


It is not physically possible for someone to stay awake for days on end without actually sleeping though. After a significant period of sleep deprivation microsleeps occur with or without the person's consent. The brain will just automatically shut down, falling into a sleeping state for as little as a second to 30 seconds. The person experiencing the microsleep will not even be aware of the occurrence.

How much is too much?

So how much sleep lost cause sleep deprivation? Well just losing a couple hours of sleep a night is cause for some of the minor symptoms of sleep deprivation. There is no set number of hours that will qualify someone for being sleep deprived. However, not sleeping for days and days is the most effective way of reaching a state of severe sleep deprivation. There are claims of people not sleeping for 18 days at a time in a rocking chair marathon. There are also other unproved claims of people not sleeping for over 33 years. Sleep deprivation has also been used as a form of torture for interrogation purposes. Keeping a subject awake for days at a time and finally allowing them to fall asleep only to immediately wake them up in a dazed and confused state, the will to fall back asleep will overpower any other will they have imposed upon themselves.

Sleep is a very complicated thing so instead of worrying about the effects of sleep deprivation, usually it's easier to just enjoy the effects of a full night sleep on the body. To transfer to Ivy League from community college, you'll want to get your rest!

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: