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What Happens If You Stop Sleeping?

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Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body

What Happens If You Stop Sleeping?

If you regularly have sleepless nights or poor quality sleep, it will certainly be having a huge impact on life. The importance of a good night’s sleep is immeasurable, but many people either deny that they have a problem, don’t realise they have a problem or are afraid to go and see a doctor about their lack of sleep. In order to make a point about how important sleep is during National Bed Month, we have done some research into what would happen if you stopped sleeping altogether; and the results are terrifying.

Day 1 without sleep

During your first day without sleep you might be fooled into thinking that denying your brain and body the chance to get some rest is a good thing due to the stimulation of the mesolimbic system which then releases dopamine. The dopamine will then trigger extra energy and even feelings of positivity, however this won’t last long.

After a while, your brain will stop being able to plan and evaluate decisions, therefore leading to dangerous and impulsive behaviour. Exhaustion will then start to kick in and slow your reaction times as well as reducing your cognitive functions. All of this and it’s only day one!

Day 2 without sleep

On the second day of no sleep, the original issues you have been having with exhaustion and not being able to evaluate your decisions will worsen. Your body will start to have a physical reaction too as it stops efficiently metabolising glucose and your immune system starts to fail, putting you at risk of getting ill.

You will also find that your eyes start to lose their ability to focus on anything properly and your hand eye coordination will deteriorate rapidly, making it hard to get anything in day to day life done.

Day 3 without sleep

On the third day without sleep you are going to look and feel very dishevelled. At this stage, you will start to have hallucinations and may even find yourself having ‘micro-sleeps’. Micro-sleeps involve fall in asleep for mere seconds or minutes throughout the day which can happen at any time, including when you’re behind the wheel of a car which is obviously very dangerous.

On day three you’ll also have a serious loss in concentration and will even suffer from paranoia, making relationships with other people impossible to keep up. Finally, you will suffer from short term memory loss, making day to day life even more difficult.

18 months without sleep

Now the reality of having no sleep at all will probably lead to this stage earlier, but research on people suffering from ‘fatal familial insomnia’ shows that after 18 months of no proper sleep, organs in the body start to shut down. Don’t worry though, there are only around 100 people who have suffered from fatal familial insomnia in the world!

Getting the right amount of sleep is so important and while the idea of getting no sleep may seem extreme, not getting enough sleep will be detrimental to your health. If you are worried about the lack of sleep you’re getting, talk to your doctor this National bed Month or come down to the David Phipp Furniture Showroom and let’s see if we can find you a bed to give you the best night’s sleep of your life!