48 hours without sleeping
Sleeping is crucial for humans and animals to function and you might remember what happens to our bodies when we reduce sleep. But do you know what really happens after 48 hours without sleeping?
Here’s a way to break it down:
After 17 hours of wakefulness, the average person begins to function like someone with a blood alcohol content of .05 percent. That means that if you get up at 6 am, by 11pm your cognitive and reactive abilities are just below that of someone who’s legally drunk.
After 18 hours, your body really starts to take a hit. At this point, you’re not giving yourself enough time to properly recharge and repair, and your mental functions are well below normal. To provide some context: Drivers with fewer than six hours of sleep are three-times more likely to get in an accident due to drowsiness, and people who sleep less than six hours a night are 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who sleep longer (sleep deprivation stimulates your appetite and makes you crave high-fat, high-carb foods).
After 24 hours, you’re legally drunk.
And skimming on the shut-eye multiple days in a row has a multiplier effect. Five days of consecutively sleeping four to six hours a night will reduce your cognitive abilities to as if you’ve experienced 24 hours of continuous wakefulness — those five hours you get the night before barely even matter. Ten days of this, and it’s like you’ve gone a full 48 hours without sleeping. Your body just can’t keep up.