Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Terror, hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis. The effects of sleep deprivation aren't just devastating, they can last for life- but just how long can you survive without sleep? T+ 24 Hours With No Sleep You're drowsy, but that's nothing new. Most people have gone a full day without sleep several times in their life, and you're no exception. You know you're prone to becoming irritable with people the longer you go without sleep, so you do your best to stay away from others. You immediately close your Facebook and Twitter tab, because you definitely don't have the patience to argue with your uncle who still thinks Coronavirus is a hoax. Not if you don't want next Thanksgiving to be a complete disaster. You're trying to catch up on school work, but you're finding even simple questions difficult to answer. It's definitely taking you longer than it should to answer which Union army general went on to become President after the Civil War- you keep reading the question to yourself trying to make sense of it. Worse yet, you know that you just reviewed this material a day ago, but you're having a lot of trouble with your short term memory. T+30 Hours With No Sleep You gave up on school work, it's impossible to concentrate right now. You sit down to watch some tv and are shocked to discover an entire hour's gone by in what seems like just a few minutes. On the flip side, that Postmates you ordered that was supposed to take 25 minutes to get here is taking an eternity- but when you check the app only ten minutes have passed. This is making you even more irritable, and you're snapping at friends and family over the slightest provocation. Sleep may not come, but that doesn't mean life doesn't go on. You've gotta drive yourself to work and you're terrified to realize that you've driven entire stretches of road and have no memory of it. Were you asleep, or is it just more short-term memory problems? The fact that you don't know is terrifying, and you are extremely relieved when you finally pull up to work. You have no idea how you're getting through the next eight hours, your back and shoulders are aching something fierce and when you hold your hand out in front of you it's shaking noticeably. T+36 hours With No Sleep You had to leave work early. It was either that or tear off a customer's head. Concentrating on people's orders was almost impossible, requiring every ounce of willpower you had just to get a simple order right. It didn't help that every single entitled customer likes to treat fast food employees like they're human trash, when they're just trying to earn an honest living. The thought makes you absolutely furious- which is why your manager told you to clock out. Are you fired? You have no idea, you didn't even bother asking. Honestly, you don't even care. Because you don't care about much right now. By some miracle you manage to drive home without wrecking, but again you're alarmed at just how little of the trip home you actually remember. You hope it's just your ever-worsening short-term memory, and not because you fell asleep behind the wheel. You should eat, but you're not really hungry anymore. You're just.. tired, but amidst the exhaustion you suddenly get a small jolt of energy. That's your body pumping sugar reserves into your system to boost your abilities temporarily. At this point, even your body has started to realize that something is seriously wrong- it's switching to fight or flight mode believing you're in a life-threatening situation preventing you from sleeping. T+42 Hours With No Sleep The short-lived energy boost is gone. All that's left is a sense of apathy. It's becoming difficult to concentrate on.. anything, even your favorite shows. Everyone in your house is giving you a very wide berth, because you're not just irritable anymore, you're downright obtusely stubborn. Things are definitely your way, or the highway, as your ability to cooperate and reason with people all but diminishes. Your lack of sleep is effectively shutting down your ability to conduct higher brain functions, and you're reverting to a more base, primitive state. If you can't sleep, you can at least boost your energy- you need some Red Bull. It doesn't matter that the store is several blocks away, or that you almost crashed your car a dozen times on the way home, you need that Red Bull and you need it now. It takes you a few attempts to get the key into the ignition, your hand-eye coordination is seriously off, but soon the car's revving to life and you're off to the store. Luckily it's all residential roads to the store, and traffic is extremely light. For a moment you panic thinking about a kid's ball bouncing out into the street, and the unaware kid rushing out after it right in front of you. You try and be hyperalert, and replay the imaginary incident over and over in your mind until finally, in your mental fog, you suddenly aren't sure if you were imagining it or if it really happened and you just don't remember it. In a blind panic you pull the car over and rush outside to inspect the front of the car- and a wave of relief washes over you as you realize that there's no dents. It was just in your head. As you drive back home from the store though you swear that you're starting to see that kid and his ball playing in the yards of the homes you're passing by. It doesn't matter that physically speaking, this same child couldn't possibly be in different yards at the same time, it doesn't matter that none of this makes any sense- to your sleep-starved brain, this kid and his ball are as real as the car in front of you. Oh crap, there's a car in front of you! You don't even realize that the other car has hit its breaks until you smash right into the back of it. In a blind panic, you put your car into reverse and speed off! Wait, what? Did you just flee the site of an accident? Why didn't you just exchange insurance information? What in the world are you even doing?! None of this helps, and instead just makes you more panicked and paranoid. You gotta get home, and you gotta get home fast. And you gotta hide the car... T+48 Hours With No Sleep You just dozed off. You wake with a startled jump- what just happened? You were trying to do the dishes and just sort of dozed off. That's when the pain hits you- you left your hand in the running hot water. But, if you're honest, it doesn't even hurt that much. Just like your other senses, even your ability to feel pain has dulled. From the sink you can see out the kitchen window and into the driveway, where you hastily parked and threw a tarp over your car. Why did you do that? Oh, that's right. You hit a kid on the way home. Huh- no! You got into a fender bender. Wait, why did you run away from a fender bender?! It doesn't matter. Well, it does, but your brain can't process the consequences right now. Your family is gone, took off for the weekend and decided you and your bad attitude could use the time alone. Where did they go though...? Try as you might you can't quite remember. Oh well, it doesn't matter. Might as well see what's on the................. (long period of silence)........... huh? Oh crap, you fell asleep again. These micro sleeps are lasting 30 seconds to a minute, and are totally out of your control. Your brain is literally hijacking control away from you in a desperate bid to save itself. You're more of a passenger than the conductor right now. T+ 60 Hours With No Sleep You don't know this, but inside your body an infection is taking hold. Luckily it's just the common cold, but the immune system cells responsible for destroying foreign invaders are not reacting as quickly as they should be. It's like every function of your body is experiencing the same sluggishness and confusion that you are, leaving your immune system greatly compromised. You're hearing things. Sometimes you'll hear snippets of conversation that you remember from long ago, and for just a moment you believe you're back in that time and place. Only to turn around and instead of seeing the speaker standing there, there's... nothing. You're hearing ghosts created by your own, slowly degenerating brain. The barriers between memory and the present are getting muddled. You're also starting to sense presences that are clearly not there. You've heard ghost stories before, and people speaking about being able to sense the dead in the room with them, despite not being able to see anything. It's a lot like that, and you can swear that there's people in the room with you, even whirling around expecting to catch them standing right behind you. But there's no one, it's all in your sleep-starved mind. Your brain is starting to lose its ironclad grip on reality, misinterpreting sensory data and sometimes creating completely false data of its own. You are turning into a very badly glitching computer. T+ 72 Hours With No Sleep You have an unbearable urge to sleep, and yet for some reason are unable to. At this point you know most people cannot prevent themselves from sleeping anymore as the brain literally shuts down. For some reason though, your brain refuses to allow you sleep. Your mood is impossible, and you're glad that nobody is around. The slightest provocation will set you off, even if the only other humans to interact with are the ones on the TV. It doesn't matter, because even their offenses are as real to you as if they were physically in the room with you. You try to take a break and play some video games, but your hand-eye coordination is all but completely lost. You're hungry, but not nearly as hungry as you should be, and you find that you're rarely eating. T+96 Hours With No Sleep You don't quite recall the last time you used the bathroom. You don't really know when's the last time you ate. Maybe a day ago? It doesn't matter, you're not that hungry. Or thirsty really, despite your dry, cracked lips. You're dehydrating, and soon you'll begin starving, but you honestly don't care. You don't even feel like you need to eat anymore. Besides, if you need a meal you can just ask your mom to make it for you. She's standing right there in the kitchen, leaning against the closet door. She's been standing there for hours, but when she doesn't answer your questions and you go to ask her why, you realize you've been staring at a broom the entire time. There's something funny about that, and you giggle. Normally experiencing such a dramatic hallucination would be alarming, but honestly, you just don't care anymore. T+168 Hours With No Sleep How long was your family saying they'd be gone for? Just the weekend, right? Sure seems like they've been gone a long time. You have no idea how many days have passed, but you're pretty sure it's been more than three. You're fully in the grip of sleep deprivation psychosis at this point, and your hallucinations are just as real as the physical world. They don't always make sense, and they don't always materialize in dramatic fashion- sometimes it's just strange sounds you hear. More often it's you confusing household objects for people, like the old coat and hat on a coat rack trick from cartoons. Your sense of smell seems to be.. off as well. The garbage has been stacking up for a while now- you totally forgot which day was garbage day- but it's almost like your nose chooses to focus on only specific scents and ignore the rest. It's not all that bad really, you can smell the citrus smell of oranges coming from the garbage, while blocking out the smells from all the rotting food. You don't even realize that the house absolutely stinks now. Or you, you haven't showered in weeks. Or is it days? You're not sure, you're just sort of... confused all the time. T+264 Hours With No Sleep You just realized why your family's weekend getaway is taking so long- you don't live at home anymore. In fact, you live alone, without roommates. Which is a good thing, because both you and the house are in horrible disrepair. Also, you're pretty sure you're fired from your job. You're not really awake, but definitely not asleep- you exist in a sort of twilight state. Normally it would alarm you to realize that you basically invented a false reality of still living at home with your parents, but you aren't nearly aware enough to care. At least you're eating, but only because you have to. Thank God for postmates, because the thought of cooking is overwhelming to the point of being painful. Your confusion is so intense, you find yourself stopping in the middle of tasks with no memory of starting them- or why. The hallucinations have become so frequent you've basically learned to simply ignore them. They're mostly auditory, with past conversations replaying so vividly you could swear they were happening right now, and random tones and sounds that make no sense but are completely real to you. You're well past the stage of microsleeps, you're drifting into moments that can at best be described as 'wakeful sleepness'. Your body and mind are definitely awake, and you just sort of drift into nothingness as you stare blankly ahead of you, but it's not the sleep your brain so desperately needs. You don't know how long you can keep this up, and honestly, neither does science. You've officially reached the world record for sleep deprivation, and every hour ahead of you is uncharted territory. What is known from animal experimentation is that sleep deprivation will without a doubt, eventually kill you. Brain functions break down to a degree that organs begin shutting down. Just like a faulty computer network, the brain gets increasingly glitchy, until finally, it simply can't command the organs to continue life-preserving functions. How long until you simply shut down and die? Nobody knows for sure, but to your confused mind it doesn't really matter. Now go watch human sleep experiment that went horribly wrong, or click this other video instead!