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Is it possible to die of a lack of sleep?

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    I've read somewhere that after 10-11 days of no sleep, you'll die. :/
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    Surely you'd get really weak and ill as your body can not heal properly unless you sleep?
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    Fatal Familial Insomnia.
    If it's not already been mentioned.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_familial_insomnia
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    There is a study where somebody was kept awake 24/7 for like 3 weeks (I think)
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    ever heard of fatal familial insomnia? people die from this after going through several stages. It is a mental disease whereby the individual cannot sleep; it strikes mid-age.
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    yea... its really dangerous, as soon as you've been awake for more than a couple days your body practically forces you to shut down and u will fall into a coma.
    after the 1st 24 hrs you get hallucinations and stuff so i wouldn't recommend it...
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    (Original post by littleangel9914)
    I don't think its possible to die from sleep deprivation unless there's some other factor involved
    During year 10 and 11 I literally stopped sleeping I'm not exactly sure why it started but I just couldn't sleep no matter how tried I was physically my eyes felt wide awake
    So I went about 1 and a half to 2 years without actually sleeping. surprising this had very little affect on my life and I didn't feel sleep deprived at all, it was like I didn't need sleep
    I'm in year 13 now and I've slowly started sleeping again ang at the present I fall asleep for about 5 hours a night though it's a very light sleep
    Has anyone got any sort of explanation why this happened even though it's over now I'd like to know why it happened
    There's a case of Morvan’s fibrillary chorea where an affected man hallucinated rather than what we know as sleeping. Also -

    "A study by Dr. Allison Harvey, of Berkley, measured how much sleep a group of insomniacs actually got compared to their perception of it. It turns out that they only received 35 minute less than those who had no trouble sleeping, yet when asked how long they had slept, the insomniacs reported only 2-3 hours of actual sleep. Amazingly, when they were told that they had gotten a good night of sleep, many of the symptoms of sleep depravation disappeared!"

    http://www.mindupdate.com/2007/04/th...-dont-need-it/
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    (Original post by Amwazicles)
    I think it almost impossible to force yourself to stay awake for long enough to kill you. You could become extremely ill, but your body will basically force you into sleep unless you are drugged or somehow being physically forced to stay awake.

    There is an extremely rare genetic condition called fatal familial insomnia, which as the name suggests, is fatal. At some point in their middle-age, people who have the affected gene (who have had no other symptoms throughout their life) will suddenly fall ill. Supposedly, symptoms come on suddenly - within hours even - they will start sweating profusely and their pupils will constrict to pinpoints. From that point onwards, they suffer from increasing insomnia, until they reach the stage where they never sleep deeply at all. It is impossible for them to reach the stage of sleep which is necessary to survive. After several months of this, with increasing anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, weight loss and hallucinations, the patient becomes completely mute or unresponsive. They are still able to think clearly, but so tired and weak they can't function normally at all - it's (apparently) worse to witness than something like Alzheimer's, because they are aware of what is happening to them the whole time. Death is between 7 to 36 months after the onset of symptoms. The gene which causes it has been found in 40 families worldwide, and there is no cure.
    Are you sure that's correct? I can't even think clearly after an all nighter in the library, never mind weeks of sleep deprivation.
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    (Original post by k9markiii)
    Not certain for humans but some lab rats have died from it. When really sleep deprived you may get symptoms of sleeping for between 1 and about 30s. Your brain will completely shut down for this time and you will appear to black out. Basically not a good idea.
    It was number 16 (the answer to your sig)
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Are you sure that's correct? I can't even think clearly after an all nighter in the library, never mind weeks of sleep deprivation.
    I see what you mean. Maybe thinking clearly isn't quite the right phrase to use. I think the important meaning is that they aren't suffering real dementia - where they lose their whole sense of identity and reality. They might not be able to do mental tasks they would previously be able to, but the idea is that they are aware of what is happening to them.

    (I'm not an expert on this, I've read a few chapters of a book about it Just thought it was interesting to post anyway)
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    Yes.
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    nahh you just fall asleep out of exhaustion eventually.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I'm on day 20 of less than 2 hours sleep a night - still not dead, in fact, I went for a run today!
    When I do that I end up hearing voices in my head...
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    (Original post by The Socktor)
    When I do that I end up hearing voices in my head...
    Same. :sigh:

    That's actually what's stopping me sleeping tbh.
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    Anyway, I don't know if it can kill you directly, but it can weaken you're immune system which makes it more likely for you to die due to an infection.
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    (Original post by Amwazicles)
    I see what you mean. Maybe thinking clearly isn't quite the right phrase to use. I think the important meaning is that they aren't suffering real dementia - where they lose their whole sense of identity and reality. They might not be able to do mental tasks they would previously be able to, but the idea is that they are aware of what is happening to them.

    (I'm not an expert on this, I've read a few chapters of a book about it Just thought it was interesting to post anyway)
    Yeah, keeping a 'sense of reality' sounds more like it. I can imagine being sleep deprived yet still knowing that I'm not a marshmallow - that kind of thing.
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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Yeah, keeping a 'sense of reality' sounds more like it. I can imagine being sleep deprived yet still knowing that I'm not a marshmallow - that kind of thing.
    Yeah I think that's the idea. And to onlookers like family, that can be harder than watching someone who thinks they *are* a marshmallow, because they are at least fairly oblivious to their decline.
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    (Original post by littleangel9914)
    I don't think its possible to die from sleep deprivation unless there's some other factor involved
    During year 10 and 11 I literally stopped sleeping I'm not exactly sure why it started but I just couldn't sleep no matter how tried I was physically my eyes felt wide awake
    So I went about 1 and a half to 2 years without actually sleeping. surprising this had very little affect on my life and I didn't feel sleep deprived at all, it was like I didn't need sleep
    I'm in year 13 now and I've slowly started sleeping again ang at the present I fall asleep for about 5 hours a night though it's a very light sleep
    Has anyone got any sort of explanation why this happened even though it's over now I'd like to know why it happened
    So just to clarify - I think it's important. Read the following sentence out loud:

    "I didn't sleep for two years. Not at all. Not a single moment."

    Now, if that doesn't sound utterly ridiculous - and really, it should - consider for a moment your flying in the face of all anecdotal evidence, scientific experiments and, well, common sense. Two years. Really?
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    Yes; I believe a few Chinese people have died from lack of sleep after playing World of Warcraft for too long without sleeping.
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    I think you die quicker not sleeping rather than not eating.

    Source: someone i follow on twitter, so probably wrong...

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Updated: February 25, 2012
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