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How long does it take for sleep deprivation to kill?

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    Say if you go night after night without sleeping and only keep yourself awake with red bull , say if it is impossible for you to sleep.
    How long would that take to kill someone? Days? Weeks?
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    I believe it's 13 days or something like that. Please don't try and kill yourself via sleep deprivation, it won't be a pleasant way to go.
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    Don't think there has ever been a case of a human dying from sleep deprivation, there was a study done in the 1980's with rats where the researchers kept them awake all the time and it took 32 days before all the rats were dead however it wasn't actually proven how the rats actually died as there were three general lines of thoughts of what caused their death, could have been hypothermia, stress or immune system failure however all three would have been caused by the severe sleep deprivation.
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    (Original post by Darth Stewie)
    Don't think there has ever been a case of a human dying from sleep deprivation, there was a study done in the 1980's with rats where the researchers kept them awake all the time and it took 32 days before all the rats were dead however it wasn't actually proven how the rats actually died as there were three general lines of thoughts of what caused their death, could have been hypothermia, stress or immune system failure.
    but i recalled that people were serenaded in some jails for information
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    It depends on the person I think. If you have strong willpower to stay alive then that makes a difference. I think someone was conducting an experiment on sleep deprivation and they found a person who stayed alive for 11 days without sleep. But as little as 5 sleepless days were needed to cause him to have hallucinations, delusions etc.
    I think it may have also been used as a torture technique for some prisoners.
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    (Original post by angelooo)
    I believe it's 13 days or something like that. Please don't try and kill yourself via sleep deprivation, it won't be a pleasant way to go.
    I'm not trying to kill myself , I don't want to die. I was wondering though...
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    (Original post by bottled)
    but i recalled that people were serenaded in some jails for information
    It is a pretty common torture technique (keeping someone awake for days) mainly because you can do it for prolonged periods without inflicting any serious physical damage on someone (as soon as you get a good sleep you pretty much go back to normal). I'm sure if the Americans wanted to kill them by sleep deprivation they probably could however i would imagine it isn't as easy as playing loud noises constantly as eventually humans go into a state where they microsleep so you would effectively need to inflict pain or serious agony every second (maybe even more) to stop it from occurring.
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    (Original post by angelooo)
    I believe it's 13 days or something like that. Please don't try and kill yourself via sleep deprivation, it won't be a pleasant way to go.
    No it's not. No one has actually died from sleep deprivation, only from accidents caused by sleep deprivation.

    Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 days holding the record I think. He suffered no long term effects but during the 11 days he did suffer from mood changes and hallucinations etc.
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    People can and indeed die from sleep deprivation. There is a disease called Fatal Familial Insomnia. Suferers of this disorder can't seem to get into stages of deep sleep, and start experiencing confusion and hallucinations. Average survival span - 18 months.

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Updated: June 25, 2013
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