- The immune system takes a beating (first and foremost) and makes you susceptible to diseases.
- There is an inability to concentrate on work, thus affecting efficiency and productivity.
- A person is more prone to become irritable, angry, and depressed with lack of sleep.
- The metabolism and other functions are affected thus giving rise to weight gain, acne, and several other such diseases.
Sleep is important to repair the wear and tear that the body and mind has suffered throughout a working day. All the functions that it carries out cause a lot of damage, and if the body and the mind are not allowed to recuperate, then the effects of lack of sleep are seen on the functioning of the body. It begins as a process and continues to get worse with time.
Lack of sleep can affect all body systems
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
...that should never be the question. Sleeping is the one basic right that we owe our bodies. Yet, like I said, there are some people who can make do with less sleep. But here's the deal, for how long?
You might keep awake for a night and be able to carry through the next day relatively well, but you'll see that you're not your normal self and there are certain mishaps here and there. You'll also notice that you'll find it more and more difficult to go without sleep the next night or those that follow. At some point of time, you'll be thoroughly exhausted and normal functioning will be close to impossible.
I speak of people who do not suffer from insomnia or other such sleep disorders, have a normal sleep pattern on most days, as well as excluding those that have consumed artificial stimulants like energy drinks solely manufactured for this purpose.
How Long Can You Live Without Sleep
World records have been set by people who have stayed awake without sleeping (and dying). While some of them have used artificial measures like stimulants and other medical pills, some have done it the natural way.
Randy Gardner, in 1963, set a world record by going without sleep for 11 long days! He did not use any artificial measures to do so but it was studied through an experiment conducted that he suffered from mood swings, lack of concentration, memory loss, and hallucinations.
A human cannot keep awake till the point of death, he will become unconscious before that happens. The brain will start to fuddle and there will be permanent damage to the brain as well. Again, there cannot be instant death like a stroke from lack of sleep, the brain will go into coma and death will follow. There have been reports of people keeping awake for 18 days at a stretch, but these have all been at the stake of their health.
Even though there is no concrete answer to the exact time period that we require sleep, for the simple reason that each person's capacity is subjective, it is a guarantee that lack of sleep will have serious side effects on the health of each and every person that attempts to go without it for long periods of time. Do yourselves a favor then and get a good night's sleep. Every night.